Enterprise sector in Poland

Enterprise sector in Poland

Key information:

  • The SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) sector includes companies operating in the public and private sectors, typically small, medium and micro enterprises.
  • Companies that belong to the SME sector have up to 250 employees.
  • Ways to support the development of SMEs include financial support such as soft loans, tax credits, loan guarantees, accelerated depreciation and EU funds.
  • There is also non-financial support, such as training, consulting, business incubators and business parks.
  • There are various sources of financing for SMEs, such as equity, foreign capital, internal financing and external financing.
  • The government's policies toward SMEs include shaping macroeconomic policies, lowering tax rates, making advisory services available and developing an equity financing system.

Small and medium-sized enterprise sector

WSC sectorP, or team small and medium-sized enterprises, is a group of companies that operate in the public and private sectors. It usually includes small, medium and micro companies, and the term is used worldwide, including the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. One of the main criteria for determining whether a company belongs to the SME sector is the number of employees, which must not exceed 250. A company that employs 250 people will already be counted as a large enterprise.

In Poland, the SME sector was formally introduced into law in 2004, in order to harmonize Polish legislation with European Union standards. Under this definition, the SME sector can include. any business entity, regardless of legal form. Entrepreneurs who are in the SME sector include self-employed individuals, family businesses that are engaged in handicrafts or other activities, as well as companies or consortiums that regularly conduct business.

The situation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Poland is dynamic and challenging. Small businesses are engaged in a wide variety of enterprise activities, from retail to advanced technology services. Unfortunately, many of them still face problems related to the financing of the enterprise, which can hinder their growth and development. In many cases, the development of these enterprises through investment in new technologies or expansion into new markets is limited by the lack of adequate sources of financing. Therefore, it remains important to strive to create more favourable conditions For financing small and medium-sized enterprises.

Ways to support the development of SMEs

Small and medium-sized companies are an important part of the economy, and their development of enterprise activities is crucial to the country's sustainable development. Small businesses make up a significant percentage of enterprises, but often face problems in financing enterprise operations. Medium-sized companies are another important segment that often needs support, especially in financing SME development.

Precisely for this reason, support for small businesses to develop an enterprise development strategy, especially in the context of raising funds for investment, is essential for further growth and development of the sector. These measures contribute to improving the financial health of enterprises, and thus to the sustainable development of the entire economic sector.

The dynamics of Poland's small and medium-sized business sector is significant. The share of small companies is significant, but the share of medium-sized companies is growing, which shows the evolution of this sector. Support for small businesses is crucial to their survival, especially in the context of SME capital management. In Poland, the financial market plays an important role in financing these companies, but there are areas that can be further developed and improved. In this context, improving support mechanisms, especially those related to financing and capital management, can contribute to the further development of the Polish SME sector.

The popularity of the SME sector continues to grow. Nowadays, one can distinguish a number of ways to support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), both in the form of financial and non-financial support.

  • Financial support:

Preferential loans - The government can provide financial institutions with funds to lend to SMEs on more favorable terms than in the general market. This includes lower interest rates or required collateral.

Tax credit - Businesses can get a tax deferment loan, which helps improve liquidity at the start of operations when there are large one-time expenses.

Loan guarantees - State administrations or regional development agencies can provide loan guarantees, especially for new entrepreneurs who have difficulty obtaining traditional loans due to a lack of collateral or credit history.

Accelerated depreciation - Entrepreneurs can take advantage of increased depreciation deductions, which reduces the tax burden and encourages infrastructure and equipment upgrades.

EU funds - Companies have access to EU funds, such as Regional Operational Programs, the Innovative Economy Operational Program and the Rural Development Program, which can support investment and development of the SMES.

  • Non-financial support:

Training - Organized by public institutions to provide training to potential entrepreneurs and specialists in various fields.

Consulting - Business advisory services offered by chambers of commerce, business associations and trade unions.

Business incubators - Special places that provide support for budding entrepreneurs by providing office space, training, mentors and resources.

Business parks - Special areas with buildings and basic infrastructure that serve as a place for future entrepreneurs to start a business.

Sources of funding for SMEs

There are many different perspectives from which to view the processes funding. There are several key sources of business financing, taking into account different criteria:

Capital Ownership:

  • Equity
  • Foreign capital

Sources of capital:

  • Internal - a.k.a. self-financing, is the primary source of financing that enables a company to grow and benefit its owners. In the case of small and medium-sized companies, this is usually equity invested at the beginning of operations and funds generated by the company during its operation.
  • External - involves raising funds from outside the company, especially for development processes that require significant capital. This can include increasing equity by attracting new partners or shareholders, or increasing debt levels by using outside capital.

Time of disposition of a certain capital:

  • Short-term - provides immediate financial readiness, often through accounts payable, making it possible to cover current expenses.
  • Long-term - provides financial stability for the long term and enables long-term investments.


Reason for funding:

  • Initial - is important in the initial phase of the establishment of the company, helping to finance the necessary registration costs, initial capital and investment in fixed assets.
  • Ongoing operations - aims to maintain liquidity, matching revenues and expenses to ensure the company's operational continuity.
  • Development (investment) - focuses on obtaining external funding, which is necessary to implement investment processes and achieve long-term development goals.

Understanding the different types of funding is important for business owners and managers, as it allows them to make informed financial decisions, taking into account the available options and the specific situation of the company. Choosing the right source of financing can have a significant impact on a company's growth, stability and long-term financial health.

Government policy towards SMEs

To support the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is necessary to properly shape macroeconomic policy, reduce the budget deficit, rationalize spending, control inflation and reduce the state's borrowing needs. This will allow increase the availability of external financing for SMEs and reduce its costs. In addition, the reduction of tax rates, the introduction of flexible depreciation rules and the simplification of bureaucratic procedures support the development of SMES.

It is also important to benefit consulting services, improving access to business information, expanding the credit guarantee system and developing the system of equity financing by high-risk institutions. These measures create favorable conditions for the development of SMEs and contribute to economic growth.

Registration of enterprises

What does the business sector in Poland look like? Analyses conducted by the Central Economic Information Center (COIG) show that as of March 2023, businesses had been launched 34,868 entities, including 6063 in KRS. Available data shows that from January to March 2023, the following started their activities 98,056 companies. This represents an increase of 3,27% relative to an equal period in 2022 (94,954 companies formed).

The largest number of companies in the Register of Entrepreneurs of the National Court Register in April 2023 started in the construction industry 18,9%. Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, including motorcycles were also in the top positions 16,3% and professional, scientific and technical activities 10,5%.

The highest number of business registrations took place in the Mazowieckie voivodeship (18,8%), Silesia (10,0%) and Małopolska (9,8%). These companies prevailed in the small and medium-sized segment, employing less than 50 employees.

What about the employees?

As of March 2023, employment in the business sector stood at 6516.8 thousand FTEs, which was an increase of 0,5% Compared to last March. The average monthly salary was 7508,34 PLN gross and was higher by 12.6% y/y.

According to the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP), the largest y/y increase in the number of job openings in 2023 is seen in financial industry and health (in both cases by 17% more), while the most significant decline was in the sector legal (-42%).

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    Which workers are most often in demand?

    According to statistics published on the platform pracuj.pl, the most sought-after professionals in 2022 were. IT experts. It was to them that as many as 25% advertisements on the job site. The second group that was most frequently searched for are. trade and sales specialists (almost 25%), while they were immediately followed by blue-collar workers (13% announcements).

    Despite the fact that for many quarters the industries craving new employees have not changed, changes in the number of offers can be noted in the market. In the segment of salespeople and tradespeople, the number of offers decreased by 2 p.p. compared to 2021. The situation of IT specialists, where the biggest difference compared to 2021 is visible (a 3 p.p. increase in the number of ads), also attracts attention. The customer service industry is also an interesting group, as the number of offers fell y/y by 2 p.p.


    The business sector includes a variety of companies, operating in different industries, which are the backbone of the economy. It is a sector in which businesses provide products or services, generating profits and creating jobs, contributing to economic growth. The sector is important for social and economic development, affecting the quality of life and innovation in society.

    In addition, the business sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, is extremely important for sustaining the competitiveness of the economy. Much of the innovation comes from these companies, which are often more flexible and can adapt more quickly to changing market conditions. Nevertheless, these companies still face challenges, such as gaining access to financing or the need to adapt to rapidly evolving technologies. Developing an enabling environment for these companies, including financial support and advisory mechanisms, is key to their continued growth.

    Klaudia Gawor

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