Raw Materials Market Report 2020

RAW MATERIALS MARKET REPORT 2020: Entrepreneurial opportunities in the raw materials sector in Hungary, the Czech republic, Poland and the Slovak Republic

Annex 1 for the Poland chapter           Annex 2 for the Poland chapter


The LIMBRA team has prepared this complex market report in order to identify the main characteristics of the raw materials market in the Visegrad countries, and to detect skills gaps and market gaps, areas that offer the greatest potential for startups. Our key findings:

  • There are considerable differences among the Visegrad countries (Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia) regarding the size and the structure of the domestic raw materials sector, but some of the fundamental problems are very similar.
  • Managers and experts have reported considerable skill gaps, and the lack of available knowledge in such crucial auxiliary services like IT & Industry 4.0, life cycle analysis and recycling methods, industrial symbioses and support network. 
  • The main reason of knowledge gap is the lack of proper entrepreneurial activity in the raw materials sectors. Although the sector is dominated by micro-enterprises (close to 90% of the active firms fall into this category), the number of new, innovative businesses is extremely low.
  • Barriers to entry in the sector are typically very high. Initial investment costs are significant, and the share of sunk cost is also high. This is one of the factors that discourages entrepreneurs.
  • Our interviews have also revealed that the stakeholders consider the regulatory and tax burden to be too high, creating another barrier to entry. Regulations, on the other hand, create new market niches as well, since government policies make it compulsory for firms to apply novel approaches and methods, which incumbent firms have very little experience with. 
  • A final clear barrier is the low entrepreneurial intention among raw materials students, and raw materials graduates. Our survey revealed that students are discouraged by the high bureaucracy costs; academic programmes include entrepreneurship skills training, but respondents reported that these courses are too theoretical, and so they clearly do not contribute to the boosting of the entrepreneurial intentions of students.
  • The training materials developed by LIMBRA, and the entrepreneurial skills training programmes based on these materials, the inclusion of real life business problems into the training are all novel approaches that go beyond the traditional curricula of entrepreneurial courses, and LIMBRA activities confirmed that these can effective in boosting the entrepreneurial intentions.
  • The mentoring programmed designed by LIMBRA will not only offer guidance to students, but it can also help them in overcoming some of the bureaucracy costs as well.
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