Aim: Development of Polish economy, increase the volume of Polish export and sales in European market, raise the number of enterprises operating internationally
Support under Operational Programme Innovative Economy, was available to MSMEs established in Poland and individuals residing in the country. The support available only to companies with an export potential and to those demonstrating readiness to commence or develop export activity.
The project provided obligatory consultancy concerning the assessment of their export potential and the drafting of an export development plan, to include: identification of the target export or sales markets within the EU market, information on financial support instruments available to exporters or sellers of products, services or goods, including financing the costs of export transaction insurance. Entrepreneurs also had at least one of the following instruments to choose from: search for, and choice of partners in the target market, participation in organised economic missions abroad and fairs or holding at least one meeting with potential business partners, obtaining the necessary documents to authorise the introduction of the goods or services in the chosen foreign market. Entrepreneurs could obtain financial support of 100% of the costs of consultation serviconsultation services and 50% of the eligible costs of the instruments used under OP IE, Measure 6.1. The maximum amount of support is PLN 150,000. Support under the Measure was granted on the basis of de minimis aid. The budget of OP IE, Measure 6.1 is EUR 122 million
For entrepreneurs: Stage 1: max. co-financing for one entrepreneur is PLN 10,000. Stage 2: The max. co-financing is PLN 200,000. HR: counselling experts in Export Development Plan, counselling experts in establishing business cooperation, legal experts in lauching the products on foreign markets.
Evidence of success
258 Export Development Plans created. Fund amout for Podkarpackie region: over 5 mil EUR, around 20% spent on trade sector, around 25% invested in heavy and soft industry and around 15% spent on ICT sector. The funds spent on other sectors: auto industry, finances and insurance, creative industries was around 5%-7%. The rest 20% was spent on other sectors.
Lesson learned: the support not always addressed to enterprises really needing it, the quality of prepared Export Development Plans very often did not meet the requirements. Solution to obstacles: putting more attention to the quality of Export Development Plan.
Potential for learning or transfer
The development of export activities was expanded to outermost regions. So far, 258 Export Development Plans for entrepreneurs from many sectors were developed. In order to facilitate the implementation of activities included in Export Development Plans effective tools were developed. Responding to the needs of clients, a special website dedicated to services supporting the development of companies' exports was created. Key success factor is the increase of entrepreneurial activity in terms of SME internationalization. Potential obstacles: adjusting to legal requirements of the interested parties.