Within a year of her arrival in the UK in 2006, she had set up her new business. ‘It was an uphill struggle at the beginning,’ reminisces the Pole. ‘I had no experience whatsoever in running a business. But I kept learning from my mistakes and, little by little, we managed to attract more and more clients’.
Matylda is a graduate in Advertising and Public Relations from the prestigious Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Even so, she didn’t start off in Britain in her own field.
The firm has gone from strength to strength. In the last three years, Setlak PR has successfully carried out some 40 projects, involving promoting products, services and events targeted at the Polish community.
Scottish Tides-Polish Spring, a Scottish-Polish cultural festival which lasted a few months, was one of the most headline-grabbing events that Setlak PR took on. The agency has now carried out projects in co-operation with British businesses as diverse as the financial and educational sectors and telecommunications. Setlak PR has also acted as an adviser to Government bodies such as the Gangmasters’ Licencing Authority.
‘More and more businesses realise that the Poles in Britain are an attractive niche market, with specific consumer needs to cater for,’ points out Matylda.
There are some 60 Polish-language media in the UK and many Polish organisations dispersed throughout the British Isles. Each year, many Polish events take place, from Southampton to Edinburgh.
‘This makes for wide opportunities for business promotion,’ enthuses Matylda. ‘Not all the Poles are going back home. On the contrary, many are settling down. Even though there are no conclusive data, my guess is that there are at least a million Poles in Britain. This is a sizeable market by any standards.’