Warsaw is a city with a population of 1.7 million inhabitants and surface of 512 sq. km. The population of Warsaw constitutes about 5 percent of Poland’s entire population and, consequently, of the country’s labour market. Warsaw is not only the capital of Poland but the most prosperous and dynamically developing city in the country. At the beginning of the 20th century it was called “the Paris of the East”. Nowadays, Warsaw has the ambitions to regain its old glory and become attractive for everybody who wants to run a business, live here, or just visit.
Warsaw is the biggest metropolitan area in Poland and has a significant impact on regional and national economics. It has a great potential for economic growth, therefore in recent years it has become one of the most attractive places for foreign. Moreover, Warsaw is one of the biggest beneficiaries of European Union funds and the leader both in terms of the value and number of executed projects. According to data from the Ministry of Regional Development, the value of nationally executed projects exceeds 5.5 billion PLN.
There are about 60 universities (public and private) in Warsaw, with almost 300 000 students. More than half of private schools and universities have a business profile. Various universities also offer higher education in the fields of computer graphics, industrial design, multimedia, urban space architecture. The graduates set up their own creative companies, often with the help of university incubators. Such initiatives enrich the city and contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of its inhabitants.
Currently Warsaw is the focal point of the hi-tech industry of Poland with multiple centres of advanced technology, centres of excellence or academic pre-incubators. Warsaw has a capacious labour market and is able to attract best specialists, both national and foreign. The market participants range from small, often one-man companies, limiting their scope of activities to the home market, to internationally acclaimed big players. For the last few years, the city authorities have been actively supporting entrepreneurs, both start-ups and mature companies. The city authorities try to foster creative activities by inviting different kinds of creative initiatives in the city, but also by building up structures in order to facilitate establishing and running creative businesses. Important elements of support are Warsaw’s Centre of Entrepreneurship and Centre of Creativity, to be opened in 2013 and 2014.
Warsaw is an example of a city where the space continuously inspires creative entrepreneurs. Most of the inspiring spaces in Warsaw can be found in Powiśle, an old central district by the Vistula river, or in the underdeveloped and until recently marginalized Praga, a district situated across the river from the city centre. The authorities of Praga see the opportunity and have been supporting the development of a creative district, there have also been major private investments aimed at promoting Praga as a vibrant creative district.
Warsaw has the biggest number of creative entrepreneurs in comparison to other Polish cities. Almost all of them carry out business activities also outside the city and there is a fast growing tendency for internationalization. Dominating creative industries in Warsaw are advertising, architecture, publishing houses and design, however the City policy is to support creative companies of all branches. The rapidly growing creative sector has a lot to offer to the more traditional sectors in the city.
Ms. Małgorzata Dąbkowska
City of Warsaw