copy the linklink copied!30. Poland

This country profile reports self-employment and entrepreneurship data for women, youth, seniors and immigrant entrepreneurs in Poland and benchmarks the indicators against the European Union average. It also describes current policy issues and recent policy developments related to inclusive entrepreneurship.


copy the linklink copied!Key trends

The self-employment rate was below the European Union (EU) average in 2018 (17.4% vs. 13.7%). Women were less likely to be self-employed than men in 2018 (12.0% vs. 21.8%), and this proportion declined since 2009. The self-employment rate for older people was 22.7% – the lowest rate over the past decade – but was still the fifth highest in the EU. The proportion of new women, youth and senior entrepreneurs that expected to create at least 19 jobs over the next five years declined over the past decade.

copy the linklink copied!Hot issue

Developing an entrepreneurial society is part of the government priorities, outlined in the Plan for Responsible Development (2016) (“Morawiecki’s Plan”). Several legal reforms have been introduced subsequently to reform and improve the legal framework for operating a business in Poland. This includes new measures (2018) that provide additional incentives for business creation, including an exemption from social security contributions for new businesses. The exemption expires after six months, but entrepreneurs can apply for a partial exemption for two additional years. Moreover, the new “Business Constitution” that was launched in 2018 allows for setting up businesses for a trial period. Entrepreneurs from under-represented and disadvantaged groups stand to benefit greatly from these new measures.

copy the linklink copied!Recent policy developments

Poland is participating in the two-year project “Cross EU Women Business Angels”, which is co-funded by the European Union. The project was launched in March 2018 and its overall objective is to facilitate the funding of women entrepreneurs through women business angels and to build a sustainable base of private investment in Europe. Project activities are structured around three pillars: (i) Information, awareness raising and communication; (ii) Training and mentoring; and (iii) Community-building, matchmaking and networking. Other countries participating are Germany, Slovak Republic, Spain and Greece. In Poland, the project is managed by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP).

This profile is based on a recent country assessment report, which can be found at:

copy the linklink copied!Key inclusive entrepreneurship data

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Figure 30.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Poland
Figure 30.1. Entrepreneurship and self-employment data for Poland

Notes: The self-employment rate is defined as the number of self-employed people (15-64 years old) divided by the number of people in employment. The TEA rate is the proportion of adults (18-64 years old) involved in setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. Necessity entrepreneurship is defined as entrepreneurship activities that were launched because there were no other options in the labour market. Early-stage entrepreneurs are those who are in the process of setting up a business or managing a business that is less than 42 months old. The EU average in Panels D-F excludes Czech Republic and Malta for the period 2014-18 and Malta for the period 2009-13.

Sources: Panels A and B: Eurostat (2019), Labour Force Survey,; Panel C: Eurostat (2018), Self-employment, Labour Force Survey ad-hoc module,; Panels D-F: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2019), Special tabulations of the GEM survey 2014-18.


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