It is hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since Anna left our physical earth. At her memorial on May 18th, 2018, we announced the Anna Horvath Women Social Entrepreneurship Award. And on March 12th, 2019 we gathered to give the first award to a women-led, women-focused social enterprise.
Anna was such a presence. Strong and courageous, kind and caring, completely devoted to issues of social change and social justice.
She joined our team in January of 2012 and led NESsT Hungary into a strong and sustaining program. She made time to help her colleagues, was a great leader and role model, a problem solver with endless creative ideas, always aiming to take us to the next level.
Anna was a visionary. Anna was positive energy. Anna loved humans, but also humanity.
Her vision and her life’s vocation were to build a just and equitable world. And Anna did this every minute of her waking hours.
She fought for the rights of women, the rights of the Roma, the need to close the huge gap that we currently are living. If I had to use one phrase to describe Anna, is that she was an informed, strategic and practical social change activist. She worked at the local, national, regional and global levels.
She didn’t allow anything to deter her. She used this passion and leadership to bring NESsT Hungary and NESsT overall, to a completely different level. She strengthened our portfolio of enterprises. She built a strong network of advisors and supporters. She ignited programs aimed at local entrepreneurship as well as those changing the regional ecosystem.
Anna really changed the face of NESsT in Hungary and in Central Eastern Europe overall.
Each and every single day, I wake up missing Anna. I remember our monthly phone calls. I remember her resolute and fair way of being. Her stubborn determination. Her problem-solving attitude.
Like many of you reading this, Anna holds a very dear place in my heart. She was more than a colleague. She was a loyal friend. A caring mentor. An inspirational and devoted mother. A warm person who enjoyed bringing people of diverse cultures together. She shared her house. Opened a nice bottle of wine so we could laugh together. Teased us a lot.
She loved to travel to small villages throughout her country, volunteering with her children and seeing the world.
Anna is our example and our light. Her vision and passion will continue to live through all of us.
As the leader of NESsT's work in Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic, Anna was responsible for the development and growth of social enterprises in this region.
She oversaw the due diligence process to identify new social enterprises demonstrating promising social and financial return potential. She led NESsT's sector-building activities raising awareness and increasing support for social entrepreneurship. She worked closely with key stakeholders, including managing relations with key corporate and foundation partners and a network of advisors providing pro bono support to the portfolio. Anna also acted as the managing director of NESsT in Hungary.
Before NESsT, she worked for SEED Foundation for Small Enterprise Economic Development where she supported the launch and validation of micro-enterprises mainly led by women. She evaluated hundreds of business plans and was also involved in the implementation of many of them.
She started her career in the for-profit sector, as she worked for GfK Market Research Institute for 13 years, during the last 5 years as Deputy Managing Director.
She achieved a degree from the Technical University of Budapest and from Corvinus University (Economics) and was also a certified trainer.