Subsidization of Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas in Poland: Scale, Effects and Regional Diversity
Purpose: The objective of this article is to deepen knowledge about public support for entrepreneurship in rural areas and to assess the scale and effects of this support considering the spatial context. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study is based on a set of data from official reports of the Agency for Restructuring and Modernization of Agriculture. The analysis included programs supporting entrepreneurial initiatives in rural areas in Poland, implemented under the Rural Development Program 2007-2013 and 2014-2020. Findings: The results show that the demand for support for economic initiatives in rural areas in Poland is high. The consumption of programs supporting the development of entrepreneurship in rural areas and the scale of their subsidization varies regionally and depends on the spatial context. The effects of this subsidization are visible in investments in fixed assets, improvement of farm infrastructure, restructuring in the production of food and non-food agricultural products, increase of employment in rural areas and generation change in the countryside. Practical Implications: The study provides evidence of the effectiveness of subsidizing activities to support the development of entrepreneurship in rural areas and stresses the importance of regionalization of subsidizing agriculture and rural areas in the efficient allocation of public funds. In addition, the study highlights the need to continue this support and to develop new, complementary programs that will consider region-specific needs and their local conditions. Originality/Value: This study contributes to literature, showing that the consumption of entrepreneurship support programs in rural areas varies considerably depending on the territorial context.