Polish Agency for Enterprise Development

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1 2012 Polish Agency for Enterprise Development We support good governance

2 Management is an imposition of order on chaos Henry M. Boettinger The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) is a state agency, which has supported entrepreneurs for 11 years now. PARP responds to entrepreneurs needs and provides stimuli for their further development. The Agency distributes billions of Euros under several EU and national support programmes designed mainly to assist small and medium-sized enterprises. These funds may be used for investments, innovations and increasing the competence and qualifications of both managers and employees. A considerable portion of these funds is provided to entrepreneurs through Business Environment Institutions such as the National SME Service Network, technological parks and incubators. The competitive position of small and medium-sized enterprises on the domestic, European and global markets depends to a large extent on long-term planning based on a specific operational strategy. Although the entrepreneurs awareness of strategic management is gradually growing (PARP research showed that nearly 50% of SMEs provided focused operational strategies and defined their target groups), their strategic plans are frequently still too general and often fail to take into account an analysis of the companies strengths and weaknesses. By designating the year 2012 as the year of good governance, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development is drawing particular attention to the role of management in enterprises. Entrepreneurs and persons planning to initiate business activity in 2012 will receive special support in the implementation of the most important management functions planning, organisation, incentivising and monitoring through trainings, consultancy and co-financing. Planning Planning is the starting point for the management process. It entails defining the goals of the company. Under its comprehensive project Strategic Planning in MSME, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development will organise training and advisory activities addressed to business owners, managers and employees in micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises registered in Poland. It will also provide consultancy services for selected companies. The effectiveness of a management process is ensured by specifying the actions necessary to adjust to the changing environment. Recognising the current challenges faced by enterprises, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development arranges competitions to finance innovative solutions to problems related to age, knowledge and change management. The solutions that are then developed as a result of such projects and which pass applicability tests that are run in selected companies are passed on by the Agency, free of charge, to entrepreneurs who face such problems and are interested in applying such solutions.

3 More and more companies recognise the considerable profits brought about by the application of corporate social responsibility strategies and treat such activity not as a cost, but rather as a long-term investment. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a management strategy encouraging enterprises to voluntarily take into account social interests, environmental aspects or relations with various groups of stakeholders as part of their activity. In 2012, PARP will organise a competition for SMEs, where entrepreneurs will be able to apply for co-financing of projects consisting of implementing CSR activities in the companies current operations. The areas of co-financing encompass the following areas: environment, relations with the company s employees and social involvement. The acquisition of specialist reports or analyses that allow for a better diagnosis of the new market and proper planning of a foreign expansion strategy may be financed under Measure 6.1 of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy ( Passport to export ). Co-financing will also cover consultancy consisting in the preparation of export development plans for entrepreneurs, including, inter alia, an analysis of the company s competitive position, an indication of target export markets for company products and services as well as research on selected markets. The plan should also describe methods and resources necessary for implementation (e.g. the plan may indicate the necessity to adjust products to standards applicable in the target market, to obtain certificates and participate in specific fairs or economic missions). Entrepreneurs wishing to expand their exports will be given the opportunity to take part in worldwide economic missions, cooperation exchanges and fairs. Moreover, the Agency s Enterprise Europe Network enables entrepreneurs who seek foreign business partners to present their company profiles in the Business Cooperation Database accessed by approximately 600 network units both in Europe and in non-european countries. The Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) also offers comprehensive services covering information, training and consultancy, pertaining mainly to European Union law and policy, business activity in Poland and abroad, access to sources of financing, internationalisation of enterprises, technology transfer and participation in EU framework programmes. Companies own funds are rarely sufficient to finance the entire implementation of a development plan, it is thus vital to obtain external capital. Under Measure of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy, PARP offers support for undertakings which serve as examples how SME entrepreneurs can obtain external share-related financing for innovative projects. Co-financing is granted to cover the costs of consultancy connected with preparation of plans, documents and analyses to facilitate the attracting of investors.

4 Organisation Organisation is a process which focuses on the search for finding the best method to achieve the objectives set at the planning stage. A good strategy and clearly specified goals remain the key factors for ensuring success, however, even the best plan may fail if resources, including human resources, are incompetently employed. Therefore, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development offers educational support as well as information and advisory assistance for increasing entrepreneurs competence and knowledge. In the second half of 2012, under the Human Capital Operational Programme, PARP will launch a competition for co-financing trainings aimed at increasing the management skills of managers. Such trainings focusing on strategic and human resources management are addressed to owners of SMEs and management personnel in general. The project aims also at strengthening the role of human resources in Polish companies. Therefore, trainings will be focused on persons responsible for HR management and improving their business and analytical skills. PARP Academy PARP s educational portal for small and medium-sized enterprises provides the entrepreneurs with access to similar on line training free of charge. The objective is to facilitate the access to e-learning for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises and for future entrepreneurs. The portal offers a variety of trainings, inter alia, on strategic management, negotiations, management skills, marketing and sales. The Polish Agency for Enterprise Development cooperates with centres providing comprehensive training and information services and facilitating communication with entrepreneurs at the regional level. PARP also supervises and supports the operation of Consultation Centres which provide advisory services to entrepreneurs nation-wide, thus assisting in setting up, organising and conducting business activity. Consultation Centres provide information on administrative and legal aspects of setting up, conducting as well as suspending or ending business activity. The Centres provides information on employing foreigners, the remote provision of services (including on-line services), competition law, corporate social responsibility, intellectual property rights, ISO 9001 and HACCP quality systems, the development of human resources and various sources of financing and environmental requirements connected with business operation. Consultation Centres also offer a special support service, entitled Assistance. This is addressed to all companies and consists of two stages. Stage I the diagnosis of business needs boils down to identifying the client s problems and needs as regards business activity and it entails a detailed interview with the client and an analysis of documents, as well as a proposal of methods to solve the problems. Stage II consists in advisory support related to the needs identified at the earlier stage, according to the established mode of procedure. This service covers advice and consultations related to the basic processes in each company: marketing (preparation of a marketing strategy, SWOT analysis, analysis of the impact of external and internal factors on the company s strategic position, etc.), organisation (organisation of work, time management, personnel selection, division of duties and responsibilities, etc.) and financing (preparation of a cost estimate, working capital management and access to funding sources).

5 Incentivising Governance is an art of achieving planned results. The managers efficiency is evaluated in terms of their ability to organise work properly. Under the Human Capital Operational Programme, PARP grants funds to organise trainings for entrepreneurs and their employees and promotes best practices in human resources management. That knowledge and know-how is extremely valuable for entrepreneurs as it enables the companies to achieve success by raising the competence of employees. The nation-wide project Investment in Human Resources 3 aims at improving the human resources management (HRM) skills of SME owners and managers and at introducing an HRM system in those companies, which take part in the project. Company-tailored trainings cover such topics as team-building, group potential development, efficient corporate communication and the development of effective incentives for employees. Thematic workshops are designed based on the report drawn up after an HRM analysis of the given enterprise. Another of PARP s nation-wide projects involving trainings and consultancy is Age plus trainings for enterprises which constitutes a comprehensive programme supporting enterprises in the preparation and implementation of age management strategies as part of incentivising schemes and the process of building the company s competitive advantage. Companies are offered the possibility to gain practical knowledge in strategic personnel management taking account of age differences among employees. The project provides examples of how to manage personnel with a varied age structure to make optimal use of the employees knowledge, experience and involvement. Monitoring The last and final stage of the management process comprises monitoring, consisting of registering achieved results and comparing them with initial assumptions. At the same time, control is the starting point for verification or for designing a new strategic plan. Companies facing difficulties are assisted by PARP through the Instrument of Quick Response designed to provide training and consultancy to enterprises and employees coping with the negative impact of an economic downturn. Such support is provided directly to companies from the SME sector and to large enterprises, which also struggle with the negative impact of economic downturns. Such companies receive comprehensive consultancy aiming at the elaboration of what is called the Development Plan. The Development Plan specifies the directions of corrective or development actions and focuses on such areas as marketing and sales, production, techniques and technology, human resources as well as material and financial resources. The Development Plan is implemented through both consultancy and trainings for the employees.

6 Another instrument used to verify the achievement of results set by an organisation involves audit. The identification of the company s weaknesses and strengths through identification and assessment of basic know-how is then used to design specific propositions for the directions of further development. Under Measure 5.2 of the Operational Programme Innovative Economy addressed to what are known as Business Environment Institutions, PARP co-finances costs of providing consultancy to entrepreneurs, including in particular pro-innovative services concerning, inter alia, various audits (technological audit, audit of marketing needs, level of creativity and absorption of innovation) and analyses (technological and economic viability, viability of implementing a proposed technological solution). For more information on the competitions and available support tools go to: You may also contact our consultants at the PARP Information Point [tel.: , , or at the Consultation Centres in various regions of Poland [relevant addresses are available at: Detailed information about individual projects: Enterprise Europe Network: tel.: PARP Academy: tel.: Investment in Human Resources: tel.: Age plus: tel.: Polska Agencja Rozwoju Przedsiębiorczości ul. Pańska 81/ Warszawa tel , faks:

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