One of the many important economic functions banks perform is helping new businesses get off the ground. Whether it’s with a capital loan or some sage advice, banks have helped the dreams of entrepreneurs become reality for years.  

Despite these efforts, formidable hurdles to launching a business are still found around the world. For instance, in Poland it can take 10 to 30 days for a new business to have all its administrative paperwork processed. Last year, Poland’s mBank launched a disruptive new service aimed at solving this problem: the mPower Business Starter.  

“When you set up the company, you have so much energy, so much passion. You have the idea, the plan. You are sure that you’ll succeed,” said mBank’s Tomasz Gorski at the Efma-Accenture 2017 Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards. “And then you hit the wall of bureaucracy.” 

“We said to ourselves, ‘Ok, it cannot be like that.’ We have the tools, we have the know-how to simplify it.” 

Based on this insight and its knowledge of the Polish government’s bureaucracy, mBank built mPower to make it easier for entrepreneurs set up their businesses. MPower is an online tool that radically simplifies opening a new business. Without it, a Polish entrepreneur must travel to five different locations, fill out paperwork with over 200 fields, and wait upwards of 10 days to launch their business.  

With mPower, the process can be done anywhere. Users just answer six short questions. The tool routes this information to the appropriate government departments and compiles the responses automatically. Opening a new business can take as little as 10 minutes. Users of mPower can also create a digital signature and open a business account with mBank in the same interaction that launches their company.  

“If you talk to entrepreneurs, you see that the biggest problem is not the lack of financing or lack of customers,” said Gorski. “Problem number one is lack of time. You have no CFO. You have no assistant. So you have to take care of all this.” 

MPower is still in its pilot phase, but the early results are encouraging. Over 85 percent of users report that the process is so intuitive that they can complete it without any help from a bureaucrat or mBank employee, and over 90 percent of users says the tool is convenient.  

For using digital tools to clear the path for entrepreneurs, mBank’s mPower won the New Business Ecosystems category at last year’s Efma-Accenture 2017 Distribution & Marketing Innovation Awards.  

Don’t forget that you can submit innovations for this year’s awards until September 7. Visit the innovation portal here: 

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