Hungary - Step with us!
During the course of 2018, the latest edition of the “Step with Us!” programme, in support of social enterprise in Hungary, entered its operational phase. The initiative aims to promote the economic inclusion and empowerment of the most disadvantaged social groups by leveraging income and opportunities deriving from activities carried out by the prizewinning social enterprises.
The programme involves the launch of a competition to select the three social
enterprises that will benefit from dedicated training and an economic award of between € 15,000 and € 25,000, depending on the specific characteristics of the initiative.
A total of 24 applications were received, 10 of which were then selected and evaluated by a qualified jury, which then decided on the three winning projects. The selection of beneficiaries is intended to favour social enterprise and sustainable, scalable enterprise projects, capable of breaking the short circuit of social marginalisation.
Following an incubation phase, the competition winners received targeted support from NESsT experts and UniCredit Bank Hungary employees involved in the project, who offered strategic support and managerial and financial reinforcement to ensure the selected enterprise projects are scalable, innovative and sustainable.
The project has been closed in March 2019.
The beneficiaries of the project are the following
From the grant the ‘Kanálka’ food manufacture in Királyhegyes increased its production capacity and the sales volume by purchasing new machines. In addition, they have moved to a higher level in their operation, compared to 2017 their turnover increased by 3.6 times.
Machinery station of the manufacture expanded with a shrink wrapping machine, which significantly reduced the packaging and loading time, and thanks to the new 6 packs, the number of products sold to resellers has also increased. They also got a new cooking pot, which also increased efficiency.
Now 8 workers can be employed on a stable basis and offer also to their family members occasional earnings during the raw material processing period. Also a significant result is the purchase of nearly 8 tonnes of processed vegetables which was bought from local farmers.
They won in November 2018 the 'Best Product-Producer Social Enterprise' award by the National Employment Fund.
The foundation created the UCCU Budapest Roma City Walks service from the grant, and the website that sells walks. 11 young roma people were trained as walking guides in Pécs and Budapest and they
also prepared marketing promotional materials for the walks.
They have renovated the ‘Come with us to the eighth district!’ city walk in Budapest and two new walking paths have been established in Pécs: ‘Downtown roma walk’ and the "never seen Pécs". In addition, the route of the "finding Roma culture" walk in Budapest was completed. Between May and December 2018 31 walks in Budapest and 2 walks in Pécs took place, with this, more than half a thousand people were reached. The UCCU Budapest Roma City Walks service generated nearly 1.5 million Huf revenue for the organization.
The foundation's service was selected as one of the most 55 inspiring stories of 'Highlights of Budapest' , where they were nominated for a 'Pro-bono' prize and they won the prize for Best Social Intrepreneurship at the 2019 Civil Society Awards.
The Real Pearl Foundation is operating in Hajdú-Bihar County in Told. Within the framework of the Step with us! programme they obtained grant for the establishment and operation of a briquette-making workshop. The set-up of the briquettes workshop will ease the heating problems of families in Told living in extreme poverty in the next heating seasons.
Thanks to the grant, the appropriate briquette producer machine and shredders were selected and they also learned the basics of briquette production. The Machine was constructed and put into service in Told. The mechanization allows the production of 80 kg briquettes per hour, and it is expected that 40-50 local families will be able to solve their heating problems in the future. With the establishment of the workshop, two local residents will be provided with jobs.
The use of briquettes also can contribute to reduce the use ofenvironmentally harmful fuels in the future.