Network helps Polish bakery owners secure funding for state-of-the-art equipment and a new drive-through window.
Ewa and Grzegorz Olszyna always had big dreams for their bakery in the central Polish town of Kalisz. Taking their cue from the fast-food business, the husband and wife team came up with the idea of a drive-through window to serve customers on the go, as well as those with reduced mobility.
Unable to afford the expansion on their own, they searched for external financing without any luck. Then they went to the Business Incubator, a non-profit business support group that works closely with the Kalisz town council. As part of Enterprise Europe Network, Business Incubator is ideally placed to steer ambitious entrepreneurs to a multitude of funding sources, from public financial aid to venture capital and loans. It is one of some 600 Enterprise Europe Network member organisations offering free business support to SMEs in more than 50 countries.
For the Olszynas, a €1.28 billion, multi-annual EU programme financed by the European Regional Development Fund and aimed at boosting the competitiveness of small businesses in the Wielkopolskie region was just the ticket.
“It took us 20 minutes to find the information while Ewa was still in our office,” says Network consultant Aleksandra Kasprzak. “We then helped her prepare the necessary documents.” The application was approved, and the Olszynas received €60 000 for a new state-of-the-art dough-stirring machine and the only drive-through window attached to a bakery in the 104 000-population town.
Today, dozens of hungry customers stop by daily to buy fresh bread and słodkie rogaliki, crescent rolls with a sweet nut filling, without leaving their cars. The investment proved a major boon to business. Later, the Network helped the Olszynas secure a PLN 100,000 grant to cover the cost of a new delivery truck. The Network continues to work with the entrepreneurs, advising them on European funds and financial support, as well as inviting them to regular training services for the food sector, business matchmaking events and study visits abroad.
“With the Network on our side, the sky is the limit,” says Ewa Olszyna.