Welcome to the first issue of the
In the first article, entitled “Assessing the diversification risk of a single equity market: evidence from the largest European stock indexes,” Florin Aliu and Artor Nuhiu measure the risk–reward trade-offs linked to the stock indexes of Germany (DAX and MDAX), Spain (IBEX35), Italy (FTSE MIB), France (CAC40), and England (FTSE100). As the first step they analyze the national stock indexes as individual portfolios, and then compare them to the hypothetical common equity index. This way they examine the diversification benefits gained from a hypothetical common European stock market. The results indicate that, on average, IBEX35, FTSE MIB, and FTSE100 were the most well-diversified equity indexes. In contrast, DAX, MDAX, and CAC40 on average tend to be less diversified. The diversification risk for DAX, MDAX, and CAC40 decreases from joining a common hypothetical stock market, while for it increases for FTSE100, FTSE MIB, and IBEX. In the final part of the paper, the authors offer an interesting discussion on the theoretical impact as well as the practical implications of their findings for financial investors active on the largest European stock exchanges.
The second article is entitled “Don’t tell me stories - the narratives of retirement and their relation with brand associations”, and it is by Monika Hajdas, Joanna Radomska, Aleksandra Szpulak, and Susana Silva. The authors aim to explore the possible relationships between various brand narratives based on changing meaning of retirement and brand associations. They also aim to explain whether any of these retirement narratives affect the brand associations. They apply an experimental design to test the proposed conceptual model and examine the effect that brand narrative has on brand associations. Data come from an online survey from a random group of 432 respondents and are analyzed using MANOVA. Their results do not confirm that in case of financial product brand narratives represented by distinctive retirement cultural codes have an impact on brand associations. The authors claim that this is the first study that explores how brand narratives based on cultural codes relate to brand associations.
The third paper, entitled “Poland and global value chains (GVC) at the beginning of the 21st century - an opportunity or a threat?”, is by Aleksandra Nacewska-Twardowska. It aims to examine trade relations in GVC and their impact on the Polish trade, emphasizing Poland’s ability to react to rapid changes in the global economy as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first step, the author analyzes selected indexes describing the Polish share and position in GVC against the background of the EU and OECD countries. Later, the focus is on the analysis of the latest economic trade data and the reaction of Poland, the EU, and OECD to changes in international trade in 2020 and 2021 in the context of GVC. The study uses data from the OECD and WTO Trade in Value Added Database and the Eurostat Database. The findings indicate quick adaptation of Poland to the world standards and prove great adaptation possibilities of the Polish economy. The export orientation of Polish production increased during the analyzed period, proving Poland’s deep commitment to global production chains. At the same time, the service sector is gaining importance, and its share in exports is systematically growing. Finally, it is necessary to emphasize that high flexibility in Poland’s international trade allowed attenuation of the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Polish economy.
Another paper associated with the problem of COVID-19 in the Polish economy is the article entitled “Forms of COVID-19 State aid by Beneficiary Size in Poland in 2020” by Adam Ambroziak. The author aims to identify and assess the schemes under which COVID-19 related state aid was granted in Poland in 2020 for different instruments and beneficiary size. The main objective of the paper is to find out how effectively public intervention plans responded to the needs of the weakest companies – i.e., the ones affected the most by the COVID-19 inflicted crisis. The author employs statistical analysis to learn about the share of individual groups of businesses of different sizes in support instruments granted in relation with COVID-19 in 2020 by type of aid. The study demonstrates that Polish aid schemes approved by the European Commission in 2020 assisted mainly micro and small companies that usually suffered from poor liquidity. They benefited, above all, from soft instruments, such as unreturnable borrowings, advance payments or grants, and much less frequently from credit guarantees.
The next article, entitled “Who gains more from networking? A comparative study of Polish exporting and non-exporting SMEs”, is by Lidia Danik and Dominika Mirońska. The paper focuses on the differences in the perceived benefits of cooperation in domestic and foreign networks achieved by Polish SME exporters and non-exporters. The study uses quantitative CATI and CAWI analysis on 240 Polish exporting and non-exporting firms. The main findings of the study are following: while exporting SMEs attach greater importance to networking with foreign partners than non-exporting ones, domestic partners are of equal importance for exporting and non-exporting firms. Exporting SMEs perceive local business partners to have more influence on their market success than foreign ones. Exporting SMEs benefit more from networking than non-exporting companies.
The final paper of this issue is an in-depth bibliographic literature review about startup accelerators. It is by a group of authors: Michał Bańka, Mariusz Salwin, Szymon Rychlik, Aneta Waszkiewicz, and Maria Kukurba. Accelerators are a relatively new element of the innovation ecosystem on the market, and are becoming increasingly popular among young entrepreneurs interested in developing products, attracting investors, or establishing relations with industry represented by large companies. The focus of the paper is on how accelerators operate and what kind of startup programs they run. The article aims to show the current state of knowledge about startup accelerators and the support they provide. It outlines what added value accelerators offer in their programs for young innovative companies. The research demonstrates the importance of accelerators for shaping relations between acceleration program participants participating in activities such as: organizing events, providing space, communicating about conducted activities, working on product development, testing at a potential technology recipient, and acquiring a round of financing. This paper is a perfect source of knowledge for young entrepreneurs looking for an engagement in the right accelerator program that would speed up the development of their business ideas.
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