Dominika Kulczyk-Lubomirska was born into the most successful entrepreneurial family in Poland. Her first steps were as Director of Public Relations at “Stary Browar”, a gigantic shopping and arts centre in Poznan built by her mother that fuses commerce, art and business. The arts activities are supported by the Kulczyk Foundation, set up by Dominika’s mother, and as board member of the Foundation Dominika was responsible for co-organizing the artistic events at Stary Browar.
However, having turned 30, she decided it was time for a change. “Some children can work for their parents a lifetime” she said, “but although it was so inspiring and educating, I had to quit and pursue my own business ideas which had always been my passion: strategic social investment and building responsible businesses”.
Her main interest at the time was to see how one could help to build the philanthropic sector in Poland. So in the autumn of 2007, Dominika set up values.pl, a company advising businesses on CSR strategies and corporate giving. For her, this is a way to infuse the civil society sector with much needed investments: “There are a lot of good causes in Poland, and a lot of excellent charities. But they don’t have any money. So we need to get at the businesses, to get them involved.”
Dominika Kulczyk-Lubomirska knows that she will need great staying power in today’s Poland. However, there are signs that her idea is catching on: the first clients are on board, and values.pl is growing fast. Next to her company, Dominika is also continuing her direct philanthropic involvement: She is still on the Board of the Kulczyk Foundation and about to set up her own foundation that will focus on children. Asked about what advice she would give to new philanthropists, she gives an answer that summarizes her own attempt to change the culture of giving in Poland: “Don’t stop, no matter how difficult the path before you seems” she answers. “There is always a way”. With her determination and drive, this certainly seems to be a space worth watching.