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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - BGK case study: Captain Tadeusz Prokop (Poland), Tourism

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Back in the 1990s, with Poland’s political situation very much in flux, Tadeusz Prokop did not seek greener pastures. Instead, he maintained his belief in the possibility of becoming self-employed in his own country. Having always been attracted by the sea and involved in activities like kayaking to sailing from an early age, Tadeusz pursued the dream of running a business that would allow customers to get closer to the water.

At a time when only few people were able to pursue their passion, Tadeusz, otherwise known as ‘Captain Prokop’, decided to offer tourists the opportunity of discovering the Vistula River, its wild animals and the cultural beauties of the city of Sandomierz through a guided cruise.

With time, Tadeusz was able to extend the company’s fleet by buying and renovating two boats. Boats, however, are notoriously demanding in terms of maintenance, and when Tadeusz needed to improve furniture and equipment, in particular to replace an engine with a more eco-friendly one, he found himself short of cash and started to consider additional financing solutions.

With this in mind, he secured a loan guaranteed by Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) and backed by EIF and the Investment Plan for Europe, the EU initiative aiming at generating new investments by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe: “Thanks to the guaranteed loan, I was able to improve the condition of my boat and to make it compliant with European standards, thus increasing my general competitiveness on the market. As a result, my business activity rose by 10 to 15%.”

In terms of alternatives, Tadeusz would have taken much longer to achieve his goals: “The additional financing that I received allowed me to achieve my targets within a shorter timeframe.” In the future, Tadeusz dreams of extending his business to other parts of the country where he could devote himself to his passion: sailing.

Company: Żegluga Śródllądowa Sandomierz - Kapitan Tadeusz Prokop (Poland)

Type of business: Tourism

EIF financing: COSME LGF, EFSI

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Poland, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/pl

 

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