In Search of Entrepreneurial Spirit in Germany? Find a Pole!

That’s at least how one could, very lightly, summarize a recent story in Germany’s WELT ONLINE, the Web version of the influential daily newspaper Die WELT.

Under the headline “Polen, die Gründerkönige der deutschen Wirtschaft” (The Polish – Entrepreneurial Kings of the German Economy), it reports on the findings of a (2009) survey by the German Ministry of Economics.

The study concludes that immigrants (from Poland and other Eastern European countries, as well as such from Turkey or Italy) are three times as likely to start a business on their own as their German-born peers.

While the construction/contractor business still accounted for one third of the Polish founders in Germany, the survey also found a remarkable shift towards service industries.

Let’s be clear here: Fortunately, this is modern Europe. So national and ethnical stereotypes are a thing of the past – good riddance! And of course the survey didn’t count all the innovative and service-minded German immigrants who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit on a daily base – in the U.S., in China or India 😉

Nevertheless, American companies looking for a few good men and women in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, or Munich, for example, will certainly take notice of this survey.

Especially in startup-prone industries, where entrepreneurial spirit, intercultural experience and competence, as well as workplace flexibility, count for a lot.

The more so, if the U.S.-based company is planning to branch out to Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe. Hungry, multi-lingual talent on the ground in Germany, boasting Polish, German, English, and often Russian or French language skills, with entrepreneurial spirit and service-minded to boot, may just be what your company needs for a good start in Europe.