In the end of the 80s, processes of change to market economy started in Po-land. Market methods which have been introduced have turned out particularly difficult in agricultural activity. In those years, Polish agriculture was one of the most backward systems of national economy. The article is devoted to possibility of development of alternative functions in rural areas of the świętokrzyskie voivodship The last ten-year period brought a strengthening of the agricultural function especially in central and eastern Poland, while the west and parts of the south witnessed an increase in the signifi-cance of non-agricultural functions. The greatest development of non-agricultural economic activity has been observed in city hinterland areas and has first and foremost involved the services sector and trade. The analysis which was made in this article was designed to identify the main social and economic factors stimulating non-agricultural economic activities in the świętokrzyskie voivodship. The analysis has indicated that the concentration of non-agricultural activities depends on the size of the spatial system. Empirical research showed that non-agricultural activity in private farming influences the profitability of private farming and the income situation of communes. Non-agricultural activities carried out in rural areas are thought to be indispensable for their economic development. They are especially important to those farms that are situated in areas with unfavourable farming conditions.