Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship
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Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship

Towards a Theory of Internationalization

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten

This unique Handbook illustrates how entrepreneurs across Europe tackle internationalization. This timely and important book identifies patterns and builds a theory of international entrepreneurship in Europe.
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Chapter 29: The Impact of the Single Market Programme on the Internationalization of Polish SMEs

Anna Rogut and Bogdan Piasecki


Anna Rogut and Bogdan Piasecki Introduction and theoretical background to research Country introduction With a population of over 38.6 million and an area of almost 313 000 km2, Poland is the largest new member of the European Union.1 In the enlarged Union, it has the sixthhighest population after Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and Spain. Private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a long tradition in Poland (Dana, 2005). They survived the entire post-war period and began to develop dynamically after 1989, when the new Economic Activity Act came into force. Consequently, the number of registered SMEs rose from 572 500 in 1989 to 3 576 800 at the end of 2004. The largest group of enterprises are microenterprises (employing up to nine people), which account for 95 per cent of all firms. Small firms (10–49 employees) account for four per cent, medium-sized firms (50–249 employees) account for 0.8 per cent and large firms (over 250 employees) account for about 0.1 per cent of all firms (Piasecki, 2002; Przedsiebiorczosc w Polsce w 2005, 2005). ˛ ´´ From 1992, the Polish economy grew faster, achieving its best results in the period 1995–98. The year 1999 saw a slow-down in growth, culminating in economic stagnation in 2001–02, but, since 2003, economic revival has been observed in Poland. The average rate of economic growth in Poland is expected to exceed 5 per cent during the period 2005–20. This means an increase in the annual real convergence rate from the current...

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