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Hungary

Hungary

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.9 Start-up funding for young entrepreneurs

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Access to information
  2. Access to capital

Access to information

Young Entrepreneurs Association Hungary (FIVOSZ)

One of the most significant advocates of start-up supporters is the National Association of Young Entrepreneurs [Fiatal Vállalkozók Országos Szövetsége (referred hereinafter to as FIVOSZ)], which provides information on government and private opportunities on its website. (For more information on the FIVOSZ, see sub-chapter 3.2 Administration and governance)

Design Terminal

The main coordinator for public opportunities is Design Terminal, a non-profit organisation, dealing with business and cultural talent management. Its operations are funded by government grants and company partnerships. State grants are provided by the form of a public service contract signed with the Prime Minister's Office (Miniszterelnökség). As such, Design Terminal is required to provide a regular reporting, including the submission of annual, and project-based financial statements.

Their activities include:

  • a Mentoring Program for start-ups,
  • Professional guidance, networking possibilities, funding for space industry entrepreneurs,
  • the digitalization of the start-up sector, in cooperation with the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture,
  • running a start-up scholarship programme,
  • support start-ups to become a 'Fintech' and
  • contribute to the success of Europe's space programmes by exploring innovative ideas.
'MVM Edison Light Up!'

A new initiative is the 'MVM Edison Light Up!' (MVM Edison) which is an innovation tender and a start-up contest for supporting start-ups. The programme aims to embrace innovative ideas in the field of energy, which can offer solutions to real problems, can make everyday life easier for users and can make the operation of the energy sector more efficient. The MVM Group believes that Hungary’s start-up community is one of the most important drivers of solutions making progress in the field of energy.

Access to capital

Youth entrepreneurship programme

The aim of the measure (EDIOP 5.2.2, 5.2.3, 5.1.9 and 5.2.7, 'Start a Business at Home, Youngster!' and CCHOP 8.3.1) is to prepare young people aged 18 to 25 and registered unemployed people aged 25 to 30 who are interested in business and planning to start a new individual or microenterprise to start their own business and to provide them with non-repayable financial support to cover the initial costs. Within the programme, the organisations provide young people a training, where they can obtain the required competencies and knowledge on how to become an entrepreneur, on the operation of a business. They can also receive assistance in preparing a business plan, advice and mentoring. (For more information on the programme, please see sub-chapter 3.6 Integration of young people in the labour market.)

'Enter the market!' programme

The 'Enter the market!' programme ('Lépj a piacra!' program) is implemented by the National Employment Public Non-Profit Limited Association (Országos Foglalkoztatási Alapítvány Nkft, OFA) and supports the business creation of young people under 35 (people between 25-30 without a tertiary education and people between 30-35 with tertiary education) in two stages, following the same method as the above-mentioned Youth entrepreneurship programmes.

The programme offers e-learning to help participants acquire knowledge on how to become an entrepreneur and how to run a business. They can also receive support in creating a business plan, advice and mentoring. In the second phase, those who successfully complete the training and have an approved business plan can apply for non-repayable support of a maximum of HUF 2 million (about EUR 6 396), 20% of which comes from their own funds. The total budget of the programme is HUF 479 million (about EUR 1.53 million), financed from national funds.

National Research, Development and Innovation Office

The mission of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Hivatal) is:

'With responsible and trustworthy contribution of our excellent colleagues we support the scientific and innovation ecosystem to build a competitive Hungary.'

The Office also supports business innovation and market-oriented research and development activities, partly carried out in business-academia cooperation, through programmes with an investor approach. 

Hiventures

One of the biggest funding organisations is Hiventures.

'Hiventures' mission is to support innovative ideas of the present and future and to foster a sustainable and value-generating ecosystem of start-ups, SMEs and large enterprises in Hungary.'

The Fund is a state-owned venture capital company which aims to provide financing solutions to Hungarian entrepreneurs with capital using their own and EU resources. The National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Hivatal) and the Hungarian Development Bank is their professional supervisor. Their target group includes SME and large companies and their aim is to establish a long-term strategic cooperation with them. They have a mentor network also and the companies have the opportunity to receive professional support for the ventures in the 'pre-seed phase'.

Széchenyi Funds

The Széchenyi Funds (Széchenyi Alapok) does not aim specifically at start-ups because it has a much wider portfolio but it has a significant role in funding.

'Széchenyi Funds Ltd. is a 100 percent state-owned company with the Ministry of Finance as the legal owner. It invests in companies with promising growth potential with the aim of developing businesses and setting them on a long-term growth path. Széchenyi Funds are a leading capital investment partner for domestic enterprises. We aim to improve the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy, to help develop innovative industries, to enable domestic SMEs to go public, and to achieve economic development goals.'

Budapest Enterprise Agency Public Foundation

Other important initiatives in Budapest are coordinated by the Budapest Enterprise Agency Public Foundation (Budapesti Vállalkozásfejlesztési Közalapítvány).

'The two pillars of the activity of the Agency are innovative SME development and non-profit microfinancing. BEA is one of the few European SME development organizations that provide both low-amount (below 32 000 EUR) financial services for micro entrepreneurs and non-financial, business development services to SMEs. Women and young entrepreneurs are emphasised target groups of the services of the BEA.'

Foundation for Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED)

The Foundation for Small Enterprise Economic Development [Kisvállalkozás-Fejlesztési Alapítvány (SEED alapítvány)] supports the competitiveness of small enterprises by the development of entrepreneurial knowledge, by the reinforcement of the non-profit sector, and by pursuing activities in the field of equal treatment.