Polish entrepreneurs who have set up businesses in Scotland are likely to give their new host country an economic boost – and the BPCC will help them by providing practical advice on growing their businesses and by networking.
Last week, I was at the BPCC’s first event aimed at Polish entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, attended by no fewer than 104 people.
Bartek Kowalczyk, owner of Picklemedia.com, an advertising and recruitment agency that allows British business reach the Polish migrant community across the UK, said “there’s a difference between the old Polish notion of kolesiostwo (cronyism) and open networking.” It is the latter that the BPCC wants to facilitate. The large turnout for the first Polish entrepreneurs’ meeting in Scotland proved that the demand most clearly exists for what the BPCC can offer. Among the participating firms were many dynamic young start-ups with great business ideas, as well as more mature businesses that have already been growing strongly. The BPCC is here to help them exchange best practice, ideas, contacts – with a view to helping micro-businesses to grow into sustainable small- and medium-sized firms. Indeed, I’m sure that in 20-30 years time, Scotland will have a Polish Brian Souter or Richard Branson.
Tomasz Trafas, the Polish Consul-General in Scotland, welcomed the entrepreneurs, and while praising Poland for its current economic growth, mentioned the potential that Polish migrants offered the UK economy.
Presentations from Polish entrepreneurs active in Scotland shows that they are focused on growth. Deli Polonia, a Polish delicatessen and restaurant, founded by Lucyna Ellis and her husband Kelvin. The business, which grew faster than expected, now employs nine people, and there are plans for further growth in the direction of outside catering.
I spoke to several Polish entrepreneurs and was impressed by their courage, vision and ability to succeed in the Scottish market. Native Scots entrepreneurs tend to shun nuts-and-bolts business ideas, leaving the market wide open to more energetic newcomers. But Scotland’s gain is Poland’s loss. Everyone I talked to couldn’t believe just how easy it was to start and grow businesses in the UK. Bartek Kowalczyk told me how easy he found it paying VAT in the UK compared to Poland.
The BPCC plans to focus on delivering more events for Polish entrepreneurs in the UK.
Our Scottish experience proves that there’s demand not just in London, but around the country. There is a need there for high-quality business information, delivered in Polish, as well as a platform to meet and exchange experiences and contacts with other Polish entrepreneurs. The BPCC is the natural facilitator for insight and networking in the British-Polish business space.
See photos from Polish Business Seminars.
BPCC for Polish entrepreneurs in Scotland