Andrea Mészáros

meszaros-andrea-photo

Hungary

Executive Director, Kek Madar Foundation
Szekszárd, Hungary

Andrea Mészáros – social policy expert, social entrepreneur, executive director of Kek Madar (Blue Bird) Foundation in Szekszárd, Hungary, a nonprofit organisation driven by the vision for an inclusive and secure society where individuals have the chance of self-realization and freedom of choice.

Andrea is the visionary and founder of Izlelo (Tit Bit) Family Friendly Restaurant, the Foundation’s exemplary social enterprise. Andrea’s core belief is that people with disabilities are as varied and diverse as the members of the majority society. The aim of the restaurant is to prove this in practice; it is a good example of how high quality services can be provided while employing exclusively persons with disabilities.

With an exciting past after graduating as a classical ballet dancer Andrea has always been involved with the nonprofit sector having many years of experience in management, fundraising and training. She has trained social workers and rehabilitation experts at various universities and colleges, and she acts as president or vice-presidents of several umbrella organizations active in the field of disability. Andrea is frequently invited to speak at conferences, seminars, training sessions about the topics of employment and social rehabilitation and social enterprise. She has been a member of the NESsT social enterprise portfolio since 2006, and she continuously strives to leanr more about supported employment and best practices from around the world. She has an e-learning diploma from the Oxford Cambridge and RSA in Supported Employment.

Recognized by one of the leading Hungarian women’s magazines she was the winner of the Inspiring Women Prize in 2011 in the category of Successful Entrepreneurs, and she has taken the prize of the public as well. In 2011 she won a scholarship to attend Social Capital (SOCAP) Europe.

Izlelo – Family Friendly Restaurant
Opened in 2007 and conceived to be a place where families can enjoy a selection of healthy meals in a pleasant ambience, which also offers an indoor playing area for children. The staff of 9, all persons with disabilities, prepare the food and serve the customers lead and supervised by master chef Sándor Both.

Once entering one can see the proof of high standard. The restaurant has won several prizes: in 2008 the White Lily Award recipient for kitchen and restaurant hygiene, in 2009 the Social Enterprise Competition Award winner of NESsT and Citibank, in 2011 winning a special prize in the category of small and medium size enterprises of the CSR Market Hungary.

The restaurant is a place where it does not matter what one cannot do; the hidden qualities of the disabled people working there become the focus. The next important step in the development of the restaurant is to be replicated nationwide and applying the model and the know-how to the Hungarian market.