Institutional Support for Innovation: National versus Local Level: Insights from Poland
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to examine whether and how the development of business environment institutions at national levels reflected supporting innovation in local SMEs. Design/Methodology/Approach: The article presents the results of a survey carried out in 2021 on a sample of 26 small and medium-sized enterprises representing traditional industries located in south-eastern Wielkopolska. The scope of this research concerned various forms of support for small and medium-sized enterprises proposed by business environment institutions and concerned the period 2019-2021. Findings: The results show a decrease in the intensity of cooperation between SMEs and business environment institutions (compared to previous years). Such cooperation usually concerned various forms of business development rather than fostering innovation. However, due to the limited size of the research sample the obtained results should not be fully generalized. Practical implications: The study can be used as a starting point for further discussion on supporting innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises. The obtained results may be useful for business practitioners, managers of innovation and entrepreneurship centres, as well as policy makers responsible for innovation policies. Originality/value: The article sheds some light on the changing role of business environment institutions in Poland and provides new insights into supporting innovation and entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic period.