Running one’s own business is the best

Running one’s own business is no piece of cake. You must come up with a good idea, be enthusiastic, healthy, and often a bit lucky. European funds support beginning entrepreneurs by providing training and grants needed to get started. Thanks to them, Marta Farion from Gliwice opened a small bistro with Polish cuisine, where you can get a decent serving of delicious food.

The photo shows a smiling woman with straight, light hair and her hands folded.

Karina Śliwa
Project Coordinator at the Silesian Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support

We are a non-profit organization providing broad support to entrepreneurs, who can expect help in implementing their own business ideas. We undertake numerous initiatives to promote self-employment. One of them was the “My Own Business 2” project. The initiative targeted unemployed and economically inactive people over 30 years of age living in the region in urban areas in need of revitalization. We conducted the recruitment in two stages – in September 2020 and December 2021. Anyone interested in participating in the project presented a business idea backed by knowledge and accumulated experience.

We based our support for future entrepreneurs on training and grants. At the beginning participants took part in a course covering the legal grounds of running one’s business as well as basics of labor law, marketing, financial analysis, tax law and obligations to the Social Security Administration. Depending on the needs, the training lasted from 16 to as long as 48 hours. After this stage, future entrepreneurs benefited from a one-time start-up grant of a maximum of PLN 23,050, most of which was spent on equipment necessary to pursue their professional plans. The EU assistance also included monthly bridging support in the amount of PLN 2.6 thousand, which helped cover the mandatory costs of running the business, including administrative fees and Social Security contributions.

Thanks to the EU project, 21 new companies have been established, operating, among others, in the transportation, photography, retail, catering and installation industries. Implementing the project’s goals was not easy. It was a pandemic period which was not the best time for business, much less the self-employment. Many companies went bankrupt, others temporarily suspended operations. We had problems recruiting participants, too. Even those who had planned starting their own business for a long time didn’t want to take a risk at a time of such uncertainty. In the end, however, we successfully completed the recruitment, and over time our participants showed that even a pandemic would not prevent those who dream of running their own business.

The photo shows a woman in a blue sweater who is standing behind a counter.

I have been dreaming about my own bistro for years. I love to cook, and my family and relatives have always appreciated my culinary talent. For a long time, however, I could not decide to take this bold step and start my own company. I am a salesperson by profession. I previously worked at a health food store in my hometown, Gliwice. Unfortunately, due to financial problems, the shop was closed. I lost my job, which was not easy for me. However, I did not break down. I thought: “Maybe it is fate giving me a sign. Maybe it’s time to start my own business?”

I was enthusiastic about the idea and genuinely determined. What I lacked was the experience and, most importantly, the money needed for a start. I no longer remember who told me about the EU project, but I know I was happy to hear the news. I got down to preparing the presentation of my business idea. It was worth it, as it was rated so highly that I was admitted to the project.

I really benefited from training in running one’s own business, especially the sections covering marketing and basics of accounting. And thanks to money from the European Union, I could afford to equip the premises and kitchen, as well as buy a cash register.

“Bistro u Marty” started operating in November 2020 with an offer of traditional Polish and Silesian cuisine. The menu included Polish “pierogi” (filled dumplings), pork chops and delicious soups. However, this was an extremely difficult time for restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bridging support I received from the project helped cover the fees in the early stages of the business, when I could only serve take-out meals.

News of my tasty cuisine spread relatively quickly, primarily by word of mouth. The meals began to be ordered mainly by employees of companies located next to my bistro and students of the nearby Silesian University of Technology. The number of customers gradually grew, and news of the bistro spread widely. We’ve recently celebrated our 2nd anniversary. During this time I learned a lot. I look to the professional future with optimism. I want to grow and if I have the opportunity, I will take advantage of EU support again. I recommend this path to you, too, because if you don't have your own business capital or creditworthiness, which is hard to get these days, this is the best recipe for a successful startup.

Say it the Silesian way:

Say it the Silesian way

Silesian noodles

Say it the Silesian way


Say it the Silesian way



My own business 2. Support program for people intending to start their own business

Beneficiary: Silesian Foundation for Entrepreneurship Support
Project value: approx. 1.4 million PLN
RPO SV co-financing: approx. 1.2 million PLN
Implementation period: September 2020 – August 2022