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The Impact Evaluation of the Innovation Implementation within the EU Funds on the SMEs Performance Results

Authors: Beata Ślusarczyk, Sebastian Kot


In subjective terms, Polish SME sector occupies a prominent position in the national economic development, in which planning of the management strategies should be primarily based on identifying and meeting the innovation needs. As a research sample, there is chosen a printing sector of industry. SMEs share in printing sector in Poland is estimated at the level of 81% of all enterprises. In recent years, the printing industry achieved one of the highest levels of EU support in Poland. There is a relatively high increase in the development of technological innovations in equipment and the associated significant increase in production capacity. It can be also noticed that on average, every third enterprise belonging to the printing industry has implemented innovations, but not all of them effected in better economic results. Therefore, the aim of this article is to evaluate the impact of the implementation of innovation projects financed from the EU funds for performance of SMEs in the printing industry. As the results of research of EU funds co-financing effects on the development of innovation in the printing industry, it was specified that examined SMEs prefer to implement product innovation to receive a grant to the project at a level between 40% to 60%, the remaining part of the investment is usually covered with equity. The most common type of innovation had indicated a single implementation, related only to the change in process, technology, or organization. The relationship between variables of the EU funds and management of innovative activities was verified. It has been observed that the identified variables arising from the support in a form of the EU funds had a positive effect on the level of earned revenue, the increase in margin and in increase in employment as well. It was confirmed that the implemented innovations supported by the European funds have a positive impact on the performance of the printing companies. Although there is a risk that due to the decreasing demand for printing services such a high level of funding the companies in this sector will significantly increase competition in the long term, that may also contribute to the economic problems of the enterprises belonging to the analyzed branch.

Keywords: Performance, Innovations, SMEs, results

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