Have you ever wondered how many entrepreneurs are there in Hungary? Or how difficult is to start a business here? During my 5 years stay in Budapest I met a lot of people who are successfully running their businesses here but there are also the ones who were in the initial stages of their entrepreneurship journey. I wouldn’t say that setting up a business in Hungary is an easy thing- language barriers, high taxes and pretty close society might make it difficult but on the other hand the perfect location, international crowd and the city’s vibe tempt us to give it a try.
I have a felling that this year’s autumn will be a really promising one for all of you who are about to launch a business in Hungary. Why? Because Impact Hub has finally reached Budapest!
Few weeks ago I had a real pleasure to interview Zsuzsanna Keri, who was one of the co-founders of Impact Hub Budapest. She definitely restored my faith and I now believe that with little help, a successful start up is actually possible in this country.
The Spoiled Queen: What is Impact Hub in general?
Impact Hubs are where change goes to work. Part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center, they offer a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities to grow impact. We believe a better world
evolves through the combined accomplishments of creative, committed and compassionate individuals focused on a common purpose. Just step into any one of our Impact Hubs around the world and experience a combination of people, spaces and programs that inspire and empower people to realize enterprising ideas for sustainable impact. Although each local Impact Hub has their own unique community, Impact Makers from around the world come together on a global scale to share stories, aspirations, and accomplishments that celebrate our collective impact.
The Spoiled Queen: How did it happen that you decided to start Impact Hub Budapest?
Our story began a couple of years ago when a passionate American green building expert moved to Budapest and looked for an Impact Hub to work from. Since she couldn’t find one, she contacted the global Impact Hub Association about establishing
the local office – and so the journey began. In the process she met with a number of people, made new friends and business partners and found 5 Hungarian co-founders, with diverse backgrounds. This is how our founding team of 6 finally formed over a
year ago, with the common goal of bringing an international network and changemaker mindset to Budapest. It might sound ambitious but our motivation is to show people in Hungary that creating economic, social and environmental impact at
the same time is possible and that a community of like-minded people (such as the local and global community of an Impact Hub) can really help you steer your career and life in a positive, meaningful direction.
The Spoiled Queen: What type of activities are you going to offer within the Hub?
Our service offering will be built on the 3 elements that are traditionally present in an Impact Hub:
1. A physical space that offers a flexible and highly functional infrastructure to work, meet, learn and connect, i.e. open co-working office space but also rentable fixed offices if you have a bigger team or need more privacy.
2. A vibrant community of passionate and entrepreneurial people who share an underlying intention to bring about positive change and act as peers to cross-fertilize and develop their ventures – our work will help bring together members of the community and keep them actively involved but the true advantages will come from having all these people around you.
3. Meaningful content through thought-provoking events, innovation labs, learning spaces, incubation, programs and facilitated conversations that support positive impact. We’ll select and host events organized by members and non-members alike that are interesting for the changemaker community in Budapest. We’ll also organize our own programs, ranging from wine-tasting evenings for casual networking to longer workshops on specific topics. We already have a few workshop themes on our minds based on requests from our community, including idea development, partner search or basic skills to starting and running your own venture (legal, financial and other issues to be considered). However, we would love to hear other requests, as our goal is to
organize events that are really needed and useful.
The Spoiled Queen: Your platform will be bilingual which is a good sign for all expats living in Hungary. Does it mean that all workshops will be held in English?
Impact Hubs form an international network and we are very proud to offer this global connection to everyone in Budapest. And with an expat co-founder and lots of experience in working with foreigners coming to Budapest we will definitely pay
special attention to inviting the expat community in and helping them establish better connections with Hungarians and each other. Our communication channels are managed in English or, whenever possible, in two languages. Most of our events will
also be held in English or we’ll try to find a way to involve non-Hungarians as well. The more diversity the better!
Impact Hubs form an international network and we are very proud to offer this global connection to everyone in Budapest.
The Spoiled Queen: Do you think that there is a real chance that locals will blend with expats? What kind of opportunities can this create?
As far as we know, this wouldn’t be the first case of expats finding good business or personal connections in Budapest. However, we believe that there is still a need to facilitate this blending and that it always brings in positive results, whether you are
looking for advice on renting a flat, buying food or finding the perfect local business partner or subcontractor. Don’t forget that Hungarians also have a lot to learn from these encounters, especially when it comes to having a positive outlook on the world
and doing ethical and transparent business. Through the Impact Hub community you will find open-minded people with all kinds of skills and knowledge, who are not afraid to share what they know with you and will be happy to connect with you.
The Spoiled Queen: How to become a member of Impact Hub Budapest?
For now simply follow us on Facebook or join our meetup community. Actual membership packages will be available from the autumn, when we have our final location and have announced our programs for the coming months.
The Spoiled Queen: I heard an opinion that there are so many start ups in Budapest but they don’t have a real impact on the local community. What are the benefits of joining Impact Hub Budapest?
We welcome passionate individuals and impactful companies – start ups and other types – into our community and hope that by breaking up the silos (especially between different industries) we can create meaningful connections, which lead to
additional local and global impact. The power of our community and the welcoming, helpful attitude is what everyone can expect from us from day one.
credit: Impact Hub
The Spoiled Queen: When can we expect a fully established hub?
Our plan is to have our grand opening by January 2016 the latest – the actual date depends largely on how long the space renovation will take (and we are keeping the location a secret for now, but not for long). However, we will already have a few
workshops and other events running from September 2015, which will be announced on our media channels, so stay tuned.
If you have any questions contact us through budapest.impacthub.net
If you wish to be a part of Impact Hub Budapest, have an interesting project or just seeking information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with IHB folks. Follow them on FB to stay up to date and check their website.
See you all during upcoming workshops?!