Social enterprises in Hungary to receive US $20,000 for further development, as well as US $15,000 in year-long advisory and training
Hungary. Budapest. On August 29, NESsT and Citibank announced the winners of the 2011/2012 NESsT-Citibank For-Profit Social Enterprise Development Program, which supports the development of for-profit social enterprises in Hungary. Anna Horvath, Enterprise Development Manager in Hungary, and Batara Sianturi, Citi Country Officer for Hungary, presented the awards to the winners at an award ceremony.
Please click here for photos from the event
NESsT defines social enterprises as businesses designed to solve critical social problems. The for-profit social enterprises sell products and services, their activities being undertaken in the context of a social mission, such as supporting job creation for underprivileged people or addressing an environmental issue. Operating in the private sector, these businesses seek to balance both profits and mission to maximize financial gain and social impact.
With ten business plans nine for-profit social enterprises participated in a ten-month program run by NESsT, consisting of a series of business planning training and coaching, as well as developing financing methods to improve their bottom line and increase their social impact.
At the end of the program, three businesses were awarded US $20,000 in total to grow their enterprises, selected for developing the most successful business plans. In addition, they will enter the NESsT portfolio resulting in a one-year advisory and training opportunity worth over US $5,000 each.
Batara Sianturi, Citi Country Officer for Hungary, announced: “Economic empowerment of small and growing businesses is one of the key focus areas of our community programs at Citi around the world, and this program is an excellent fit in this framework. The tremendous positive feedback we received from the participating businesses reinforces our vision for this joint program with NESsT: We believe that, by focusing on innovative solutions and delivering an approach that goes beyond only philanthropy, we are building social enterprises and support them in gaining more space and attention in the profit sector.”
Borbala Vaczi, co-owner of one of the winning social enterprises, “matyodesign”, remarked: “During the program NESsT staff helped us structure our various development ideas and select a business strategy with the most potential for sustainably growing our business in the long run.”
The 2011/2012 NESsT-Citibank For-Profit Social Enterprise Development Competition was supported by the Citi Foundation. The program will continue with the 2012/2013 Competition to be announced this autumn.
25 Citibank volunteers have contributed to the development of the businesses as business plan evaluators, mentors and in some cases as co-trainers. They appreciated the methodology of the program and admitted that they also had a lot to learn from the businesses.
Award winning businesses – receiving funding and a year of advisory and training:
Alko-soft Bt. (Budapest) – Award: US $8,000: Alko-soft helps individuals and smaller enterprises by offering solution to their IT problems, provides IT support for people with visual impairment, promotes ICT accessibility, and also produces and distributes special software products, systems and utilities for the visually impaired.
Hazikence Tanoda Kft. (Budapest) – Award: US $6,000: Hazikence offers complex training courses on know-how of natural cosmetics. As a result of their courses, several participants managed to establish their own enterprises, which are further supported by Hazikence through a professional-technological background that also includes a rentable accredited workshop.
matyodesign (Budapest, Tard) – Award: US $6,000: Matyodesign creates and designs clothes that are hand-embroidered and decorated by traditional Matyo motifs and are suitable for everyday wear. Their mission is to support the Matyo culture so that it can find its place in the 21st century, and to help Matyo women in making their knowledge and skills recognized and their work fruitful and well-paid.