Mastercard launched a new digital tool which leverages the power of data to help  Polish and Ukrainian businessess identify prime  locations to open shop, based on a complementary business data model.  

The tool, named WhereToStart, is part of Mastercard’s” Room for Everyone” initiative and follows the celebrated “Where to Settle” platform that uses data for good to help outplaced Ukrainians find places in Poland to live outside of the most overcrowded cities.  The campaign earned the SDG Grand Prix and a Titanium Lion at Cannes last year. “Room for Everyone” is the next step to ensuring that refugees not only find a place to live but to thrive in Poland. 

Entrepreneurs for small and medium-sized businesses are growing steadily in Poland. In 2022, more than 310,000 companies opened in the market, and today about 1,000 new businesses are created daily with 1 in 10 newly opened businesses in Poland being Ukrainian. These figures, as well as the PARP[1] report, show that Poland’s entrepreneurial trend is on the rise.  

WhereToStart addresses the needs of people who already have an idea for their business and are looking for the best place to run it. It can help entrepreneurs decide on a location to open their business based on data that shows where the greatest chance of success lies.

WhereToStart was built using anonimyzed Mastercard’s spending trends and additional data such as street traffic or noise level provided by partners. It is available at no cost and provides access to information that was previously available only for large companies, now making it available for anyone. 

“Choosing the right location or matching it to a chosen industry is a key success factor for many businesses. By providing Room For Everyone  to future and current entrepreneurs, we want to help them build their businesses from the start and more, help them thrive together. This is a unique tool in Poland to support entrepreneurs from small and medium-sized businesses, free of charge. It was created to leverage our resources in the best possible way – it is an example of the responsible use of data analysis in the service of society and for the development of entrepreneurship” – says Marta Życińska, general manager Poland, Mastercard Europe.

How The Tool Works

WhereToStart is a simple and user-friendly tool, requiring no prior registration, adapted for both mobile and desktop devices. The tool presents results and insights from advanced data analysis – based on various sources, showing not only the business potential of a given location, but also the characteristics of its surroundings, including public transportation information, green areas, or number of educational institutions, among other data. Orange Polska provides ready-made statistics, based on anonymized mobile network data, which are an invaluable source of knowledge on urban traffic. Thus, in one place you can find a whole range of information that can help you make decisions related to your business.

The tool also enables users to obtain information about complementary businesses, i.e. those that, operating near each other, prosper better. Examples include a bakery and a barber, a pet store, and a drugstore, or a bookstore and a jeweller, these “power couples” operating in the neighbourhood, can count on more customers. Therefore, the neighbouring business can be another factor for choosing the optimal location for the business.

Results and information is available for the 37 largest cities in Poland. Thanks to cooperation with the Morizon-Gratka Group, users of the tool will also receive direct access to current offers for the purchase or rental of commercial premises, tailored to their needs and budget limits.

WhereToStart.com uses consumer spending data, which is aggregated and anonymized according to Mastercard’s secure data processing rules. WhereToStart follows the success of Mastercard’s WhereToSettle which helped asssit Ukrainian citizens arriving in Poland with suggestions on the best place to locate.

In August this year, WhereToStart will be rolled out in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

To access the tool, visit WheretoStart.com