Daleen Hassan, euronews: “We are in Krakow in the Malopolska region. Malopolska means little Poland, but there is nothing little at all, especially when it comes to business and entrepreneurship.”
The unique strategy of developing small and medium-sized companies and business incubator programmes to help budding entrepreneurs are the main components that allowed Malopolska to win the prestigious title of 2016 European Entrepreneurial Region, the first area in Poland to do so.
Chemist and entrepreneur Katarzyna Sawicz-Kryniger benefitted from an entrepreneurial incubator programme. She started her company InnovaLab inside the Life Science Park. They create chemical marking technology that is used on plastic-based materials to protect them from unfair business.
Katarzyna Sawicz-Kryniger: “For me, as an entrepreneur starting out, it was very important to be able to customise the lab equipment and have flexibility in terms of choosing the right equipment that suited my needs.
I take my inspiration from the start-up community for which Malopolska offers many events.”
Supporting business through all stages is Malopolska’s main target. With incubator programmes in place, more than 60 companies have been started by young entrepreneurs in the Krakow Technology Park where technical facilities and multimedia laboratories provide support for each project.
Małopolska is an active beneficiary of European funds and has recently become one of the leading regions in Poland in terms of economic growth; GDP grew by 30% between 2008-2014.
A high official of the area attributes much of this to youthful entrepreneurs.
Marshal of Malopolska region, Jacek Krupa : “Our goal for the coming years is to stimulate innovation among entrepreneurs, especially small and medium-sized
companies, because they are the ones generating the largest part of the Gross Domestic Product in the region.
“We have a widespread program of stimulating start-ups and
Malopolska has become a well-known center in Europe for many events. Young entrepreneurs from around the world are coming here to discuss, to network, to create good initiatives.”
More than 500 events are held by the Region each year, to gather expertise and entrepreneurs from different sectors, such as one held in the old town, supported by idea-generator TEDxKazimierz and hosted at the “Galicia Jewish Museum”: http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/en.
The wide variety of topics could give inspiration to entrepreneurs like Katarzyna, and others who wish to start a business.
Richard Lucas, curator, TEDxKazimierz: “A common theme in all our events is taking action. Someone who wants to start a business, they may have a great idea, but the message they’ll get here is to make their idea come into reality, they have to actually get out there and do it.”
In order to increase investment in its blossoming human capital, a regional plan has been set up to boost entrepreneurial funding by 2020.