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Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski - "People of Freedom"

  • Agregado 04 junio 2014
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Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski were honoured as "People of Freedom" in a unique plebiscite organized by "Gazeta Wyborcza" daily and TVN television network. The winners were chosen by readers and viewers who casted their votes via SMS.


"We would like to sincerely thank you for entrusting us and casting your votes on me and my husband. We are proud to receive such a prominent distinction, I did not even dream about it 18 years ago when we set up our business in Poland. I would also like to thank you for all congratulations and warm words we received. This award is dedicated to all our employees with whom we create our company", said Solange Olszewska, Chairwoman of the Board of Solaris Bus & Coach S.A.


Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski were recognized as “People of Freedom” in the business category for "abandoning a prosperous middle-class life in Germany for creating a new competitive business in Poland. They believed in their skills and had faith in Polish employees and perspectives the domestic market could offer. Their history proves that the Poles can achieve success in different fields, including transport industry".


"This award is particularly meaningful to my husband who could not join me today because of his health problems. Nearly 20 years ago he took a risk and decided to leave Germany to start everything from scratch, here in Poland. We believed that thanks to our hard work we can achieve a lot. However, I could not have expected that 18 years later I will be standing at this place, thanking you for such an important distinction. I was not afraid to leave Germany, even though a lot of people told us that Poland had already been divided and there were no place for a new business there. It was difficult to be a foreigner. When working in Germany my husband was denied a promotion, because he was not a part of a family who owned the company he worked for. None of our 2500 employees will ever have similar problem. We offer equal chances for promotion and professional development. Those people who complain about difficult economic situation should now that there are no easy and difficult times. I always repeat that everything depends on our determination and our will to fight. We wanted to contribute to a positive change of the expressing "Polnische Wirtschaft". We take this honour also as a reward for many Polish entrepreneurs starting business in the ‘90s who are successful in Poland and the whole world", said Solange Olszewska after receiving the award.

The plebiscite’s aim was to distinguish the most significant personalities in the world of art, sports, business and society since the historic elections of 4 June 1989, which saw a landslide for Solidarity candidates and brought to an end decades of communism in Poland.


Additional information:

Solaris Bus & Coach is a family company founded and owned by Solange and Krzysztof Olszewski. The company is a major European producer of city, intercity and special-purpose buses as well as low-floor trams. Since the start of production in 1996, over 10 000 vehicles have already left the factory in Bolechowo near Poznań. They are running in 28 countries. Despite its young age, Solaris has become one of the trendsetting companies in its industry. For many years it has been the indisputable leader among the suppliers of city buses in Poland as well as one of the largest suppliers of city buses in Germany.

Mateusz Figaszewski
Head of Public Relations
Mobile: +48 601 652 179