THE IMPACT OF THE GLOBAL DOWNTURN ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF THE SME SECTOR IN POLAND

Anna Stępniak-Kucharska

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/EiP.2016.015

Abstract


Small and medium-sized enterprises play a leading role in modern economies — they create more than 50% of GDP, employ over 70% of people and are a major source of entrepreneurship (more than 99% of entities belongs to the SME sector). The changes in the socio-economic system, initiated in Poland at the turn of 1989 and 1990, became the foundation for the development of entrepreneurship. Nowadays, companies from the SME sector have dominated the market over time and play a key role in the Polish economy. Small and medium-sized companies dominate in the domestic economy as they account for almost 99.9% of all enterprises. Their role in creating GDP is increasing — over the last 25 years, the share of SMEs’ production in GDP almost doubled. The impact of the SME sector on the national economy can be also described through its participation in the creation of jobs. The SME sector is a major employer, employing more than 7.8 mln workers. Therefore, it is important to examine the condition of small and medium-sized enterprises. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impact of the economic downturn on the financial condition of Polish non-financial SME companies. The survey covered such issues as: the number of active enterprises, number of persons employed and employees, revenues and production, profitability indicators, salaries and labour productivity. The analyses were performed over the period 2003–2013. Data were obtained from Central Statistical Office of Poland.

Keywords


SME; enterprise; profitability; business fluctuations; economic condition

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