Where to look for funding?
If an entrepreneur does not have enough funds of his own, a number of programs and activities come to his aid, aimed at supporting business in overcoming new challenges. The recipients of most of the proposed subsidies are micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. They can use the aid they receive for, among other things, the establishment of a company, the implementation of innovations, computerization, the introduction of ecological solutions, operations abroad or for the ongoing activity of the enterprise.
Depending on the needs of the business entity, various forms of financing can be sought from the Labor Office, the EU Funds information desk or a bank, among others.
Subsidies from the labor office
In the case of starting a business, when a person is registered with the labor office as unemployed, he or she can apply to receive non-refundable and one-time financial assistance. The amount of funds possible to receive is a maximum of six times the average salary in the enterprise sector.
In order to receive a grant, an application must be properly filled out and submitted to the district or provincial labor office. On its basis, officials will evaluate the planned venture. In order to increase the chances of receiving a grant for opening a business, it is worth attaching a well-prepared business plan to the documentation.
If the application is successful, the money can be used for the specific purpose described in it. Most often they are granted for the purchase of machinery, goods, advertising and for consultancy assistance related to running a business. It is worth noting that a business must be established after receiving a grant and signing a contract with the authority, and must be operated for a minimum of one year.
EU grants for business development
If an entrepreneur intends to develop his existing business activities, he can receive support from European Union funds. Operational and regional programs financed from the EU, offer funds to help in many areas of company activity such as the introduction of electronic systems, development and research work, ecological solutions or expansion into foreign markets.
When planning the internationalization of a company, it is worth keeping an eye on the website , where grants are announced, which include the Eurogrant and Research to Market competitions. The objectives of the successively mentioned supports are to finance the costs of introducing products or services to new markets and promoting product brands abroad. The awarded funds can be used for consulting services related to the preparation of an expansion strategy, participation in trade fairs or promotional activities.
In addition to the non-refundable grants mentioned above, EU funds offer like loans, credits, leases or guarantees. The requirements for obtaining such funds are lower than for ordinary bank loans. They can be used for the establishment and development of a company, research work or the purchase of means of transportation. Information on financing can be found on the pages of the National Contact Point for Financial Instruments of European Union Programs.
Financing with a bank loan
An alternative to non-refundable grants is a cash loan from a bank, which can be used for various purposes related to the business. Such a solution allows the company to grow quickly without the need to raise funds in advance. However, the borrowed money must be returned with interest, so it is important to reliably prepare a strategy for the company's operations in order to repay the loan without problems.
Before deciding to obtain financing from a bank, it is necessary to check and compare the terms of all offers present on the market. There are investment loans, working capital loans (intended for the company's current obligations), short-term loans and loans for designated investments, i.e. for a purpose specified by the lender - usually based on more favorable conditions.
Financial assistance for startups
When companies are in the early stages of development and offer innovative products and services, help can be sought from Venture Capital funds. They invest in private equity, high-risk ventures
Business Angels - wealthy individuals who invest their private wealth - are also present on the market. By subsidizing a given business, the investor receives a stake in the company. In addition to funding, a Business Angel often offers consulting support in running the business.
A company wishing to use Venture Capital funds or the help of a private investor must have strong prospects for success in the market. A list of VC Funds is available on the website of the Polish Venture Capital Investors Association.
Funding an opportunity for development
Depending on the form of your business, there are many ways to receive funding. The largest range of support programs is provided by the European Union funds, so it is worth keeping an eye on the website fundseuropejskie.gov.pl.
Regardless of the source of funding, in order to increase the likelihood of receiving it, you need to reliably prepare a business strategy, which is essential for your business.
A well-used grant, can be the key to business success.