Edited by David Smallbone and Friederike Welter
Chapter 8: Entrepreneurship and the middle-income trap: the case of Poland
For a longer period, Poland has remained in the phase of transformation from effectiveness-driven economy to innovation-driven economy. What is more, it appears to suffer from the ‘ailments’ characteristic of economies stuck in the middle income trap. Thus, the latest OECD report recommended that the country should reorient its development strategy towards productivity by enhancing technology adoption and boosting its own innovation capacity. In this respect, a major role is played by entrepreneurship. Indeed, for many years now Poland has been stimulating entrepreneurship, thus construed, with the help of substantial transfers from the EU Structural Funds. However, the first evaluation reports revealed problems with the potential to absorb these funds. Thus, the objective of the present paper is to assess the effects of previous EU funding on the innovative capacity of Polish businesses (and especially SMEs), as well as to outline lines of action conducive to greater absorption of those funds over the coming years, which could then serve as a basis for designing a longer-term entrepreneurship policy for Poland.
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