The analyses presented in this article were conducted within the research project, called 'Social, psychological and educational potential of the Polish rural community' implemented in 2001-2003 owing to a grant from the State Committee for Scientific Research (KBN). Six communes situated in different parts of Poland were surveyed. Two communes - Biale Blota and Dywity, represented the regions of Poland characterized by the most favourable socio-economic situation, and two communes - Kluczewsko and Plaska, represented those areas of Poland where the socio-economic situation was extremely unfavourable. The remaining two communes - Gizalki and Otyn, were chosen to represent rural areas characterized by the average level of socio-economic development. Such criterion of selection was meant to serve the purpose of verification of a hypothesis suggesting that there existed a dependence between the economic and demographic conditions of communes, as well as the condition of their technical and educational infrastructure, and the level of social capital represented by their population. An analysis of the material and educational resources at the disposal of rural entrepreneurs constituted one of the aspects of investigations launched within the project. This analysis was designed to explain who and how well educated the rural entrepreneurs were, what qualifications they possessed and how much their diversified capital was correlated with the socio-economic level of communities to which they belonged. The results of the conducted surveys have shown that entrepreneurs from that social-professional group which is characterized by a relatively high level of education and the highest material status, both in terms of incomes and in terms of the standard of lodgings. The analyses have also indicated that there exist essential differences in the type and level of education represented by individual entrepreneurs, which, however, can be attributed to their family background rather than the economic situation of the surveyed communes. The conducted analyses have not revealed a clear dependence between the socio-economic situation and the structure of education of entrepreneurs in local systems.
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