Past event

Polish Business Mixer in London

The latest in a series of networking seminars aimed at Polish entrepreneurs took place in London on 25 September, on the premises of money-transfer company MoneyGram. Attracting over 65 participants, the event, focusing on finding funding for business growth, was opened by the Polish Ambassador to the UK, Witold Sobków.

Mr Sobków said that the enterprising Poles who set up businesses in the UK over the past decade are not a loss to the Polish economy in the long-term, saying that we should think in terms of talent circulation rather than a talent drain. People from other diasporas around the world contributed to their countries' economies in the form of know-how and inward investment.

The event was sponsored by MoneyGram, TurnerLaw, BC Print and LycaMobile.

The substantive part of the event was a series of presentations aimed at helping Polish entrepreneurs find support and finance for business growth.

Mark Swarbrick from Business, Innovation and Skills, the British government department responsible for small enterprise, talked about the various UK government support schemes for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Chris Farmakis from Enterprise Europe Network London, spoke about what support small businesses based in and around London could be entitled to. He suggested that around of all the funding available for SME growth came from high-net-worth individuals, seeking to invest their money in high-growth start-ups.

There were two case studies of businesses set up and grown by Poles in the UK; one was Catering Pyszności (which also provided the delicious and beautifully presented catering for the event), and T&WBakeries, which bakes Polish bread for the UK's largest retailers.

After the main presentations, there was a chance for every participant to introduce him or herself and their businesses. This was followed by plentiful time for informal networking and swapping business cards - with many of the participants moving across the road to a local pub to continue networking over a glass or two of real ale.