3 key messages to policy makers after ICT2015 in Lisbon

3 Nov 2015

On the 20-22 October I was invited by the Lisbon Council as a speaker for the ICT Summit in Lisbon to participate in the panel discussion: Startup Manifesto Movement: Driving Change at the Member-State Level. I was the leader of the Polish Startup Manifesto published last year with 25 recommendations for fostering youth entrepreneurship in Poland. The Manifesto was presented in the Polish Parliament, to the Ministry of Economy and Polish President. During the session all of the speakers were asked to address three questions. This is my message to the participants.


Talking at ICT2015 in Lisbon


State of play for (young) entrepreneurs in Poland

It is quite easy to open a company in Poland right now. It usually takes less then a day (I am not talking about limited companies) and you can even do it remotely through the internet. Big change. It is reasonably cheap to run a company in Poland with respect to social security costs. For first two years you are obliged to pay amount equal to 100 EUR and that’s it. Moreover, you can also chose to test your company or idea in one of the entrepreneurship incubators across the country where costs are even lower than that and you don’t even have to be a registered company. You can use the incubator as an umbrella without risking much.

There are obviously pains as well. It comes down to a complicated tax system that is impossible to be thoroughly understood by a young entrepreneur making the life of accounting services companies easy across the country. Secondly, I pointed out to the bankruptcy process and procedures behind that. It is really expensive and path through the pain in Poland to shut down a company and interestingly enough you cannot go bankrupt if you…don’t have money. Last but not least, education system. Polish schools – from primary to universities – do not teach entrepreneurship. We do not educate employers, we educate employees. We teach students how to run (theoretically) a global enterprise instead of running a small company. Bugger.

Uniqueness of our Polish Startup Manifesto

My personal opinion about the special uniqueness of our Polish Manifesto is that it was a collaborative work of entrepreneurs, startup community and NGO’s. We have successfully managed to present it in the Polish Parliament, Ministry of Economy and the Polish President. We have inspired the President to work on the Young Entrepreneur Act, but he himself didn’t get through the second term. We have also triggered Ministry of Economy to include some of the recommendations in the New Business Act, which they haven’t managed to pass through the Parliament. They failed, we didn’t. Them Policy Makers.

Message to The Policy Makers

 I have focused on three key issues that in my opinion are crucial for fostering youth entrepreneurship in Europe:

  1. We need more unified European Union with deeper integration. Creativity comes from diversity and this won’t change across Europe. We are and will be diversified across Europe, which is great. However, the ease of doing business comes from one single market. Not 28 individual markets.
  2. We need an entrepreneurial visa across European Union that will enable free flow of ideas, labour and capital. We need to focus on eliminating borders for services and products and support youth migration across Europe. Success comes from experience.
  3. We call for including young entrepreneurs in the TTIP negotiations. We believe that TTIP is the way forward for Europe’s future growth and success. For this reason we have organized “EU-US Young Entrepreneurs Summit Katowice 2015” during V European Congress of Small and Medium-Size Enterprses in Katowice to prepare a joint declaration of EU-US young entrepreneurs. We are the future and we demand to be heard and listened.

We The Young Entrepreneurs.

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