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A PEEK AT POLISH ENTREPRENEURSHIP

For Utah entrepreneurs who get upset about the problems they face in getting a company started, consider the story of Ryszard Sadowski, president of Boss'a, Gdynia, Poland, under a government that was just emerging from communism.

Sadowski started his company with $400 and had to borrow $50 from his family because he was only making $5 per month at his job for a university's computer science department. In spite of "silly" regulations placed by the government, Sadowski overcame his struggle for survival and heads a successful company.In an effort to gain more information about American business and try to persuade American companies to form alliances in Poland, Sadowski spent three weeks in the United States visiting Salt Lake City, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Seattle.

His visit to Salt Lake City was made under the auspices of the International Visitor Utah Council, a nonprofit agency working with the U.S. Information Agency in helping foreign visitors find what they are looking for.

As Polish companies emerge from state ownership under communism, Sadowski said, the biggest problems they face is in human resources and quality control, two items that he is attempting to learn more about to help his financial and accounting software company.

Sadowski said his company is growing very fast, but he is able to find experienced computer programmers because two nearby universities have computer science departments. His big problem is learning how to deal with employees who are just learning how to operate in the free market system.

"In the state-owned businesses under communism, middle managers had different jobs than they do in the present businesses," he said. As a result, retired professionals are hired from Western countries to act as consultants to help Polish companies.

In addition to enticing Utah companies to sell their products to Polish companies, Sadowski also is looking for alliances that will allow Polish companies to sell their products in the United States in return.

While in Salt Lake City, Sadowski visited the Utah Technology Finance Corp. to learn more about creative financing and capital; Utah Small Business Development Center; Pro-Mation; Libra Corp.; Sterling Wentworth Corp.; and A-Systems Corp.

The movement against communism began in 1980, Sadowski said, and over the years there were strikes and declarations of martial law. The next wave of revolution came in 1989 when the communists eventually were ousted.

Polish companies couldn't compete with Western companies because they didn't know how the free market system worked, Sa-dow-ski said, so the general economy almost collapsed. Inflation is high, but it isn't as high as it was several years ago.

European countries formerly under communism are approaching the change to a free market system in different ways, but in Poland the changes that are being made are keeping the Polish children at home rather than leaving to find work, Sadowski said.