We would like to introduce Gyula Gábor Tóth, owner, father, pioneer… Truly an entrepreneur carving a new path within the environmental industry in Hungary. He realized a HUGE opportunity to help environmental organisations that are doing something good, but weren’t getting their message out to the world. This is definitely something that resonates with us at the Impact Hub on many levels. We are passionate about environmental issues and also about doing things differently or against what is normal in this country.
IHB: Tell us about your startup/yourself: how are you making an impact?
GT: Our start-up is BEE Environmental Communication, founded almost 4 years ago. I previously worked in the advertisement industry and for an environmental NGO. We feel there are many environmental initiatives and companies doing really good things, but they usually have no communications strategy or an outdated communication style. I started this agency to apply modern advertising & communication methods to organisations working in the environmental and social impact arena.
I consider myself a man with 1000 ideas and I think we are quite good at simplifying complex topics into digestible bites and creative outlets. Right now, the visual sphere is extremely overloaded. Successful communication combines having the right message and creating the right tools to represent a company. We try to be a unique voice for our clients by doing things differently. We allow them to rise above the noise and clutter and make their voices heard.
IHB: How do you sustain your venture/project?
GT: To sustain, we are focusing on international clients and doing project work. We are now trying something new: developing our own products/projects that are exclusive to our brand. For example, there is currently a huge problem of plastics polluting our oceans and this issue doesn’t seem to be important enough to be emphasized by the media. We see this as an opportunity to improve how this problem is communicated. In our new experiment, our message is directed to children, whom we believe to be the future change-makers of the world. We decided to create an interesting book about this topic, explaining in very easily understood ways the reality of the situation, the life-cycle of plastics, and the death of our oceans (ocean acidification). Oceans account for almost 50% of our oxygen, and altering their chemistry will have dire consequences to all life. Our hope is for this book to inspire awareness and future action by both parents and kids.
IHB: What was the inspiration behind BEE Environmental Communication?
GT: Loving the environment and wanting to preserve as much as possible for future generations. For example: TIGERS… I would like to show my son one living tiger in the world and to think that only 1 – 2,000 still exist, it scares me that this is happening. I realize it is strange to link tigers to the business world, but I started this business because I feel strongly that there are many things that a company can do to change and make things better on many levels.
IHB: Why did you choose to join IHB and what do you hope to get out of this experience?
GT: Flexibility. I feel like the impact Hub can satisfy my needs with its flexibility. To me, it really is the true definition of the word hub, not just because of the name or that it is in the city center, but because it is really bringing together a community. It is also very convenient to my home. I have been to other co-working spaces and at the IHB, I can’t explain, but it is just better.
IHB: Are you looking for collaborators at the moment and if yes, how can someone help you take your business to the next level?
GT: I am absolutely open for new collaborators, but I am quite occupied right now with our projects and have little time to do any investigative work on this. I have also had difficult experiences working in this country mostly because I have ideas that may be a little crazier than the norm. Much of my working style is based on my gut feeling for things and sometimes I find it difficult to find common ground with people that are not as open minded. When things calm down, ask me this again and I am sure I will have a better answer.
IHB: What has been the biggest challenge that you faced on your entrepreneurial journey so far?
GT: To survive in a place that is not so understanding of environmental issues and topics. Our ideal partners might not be here in Hungary right now, but persistence and being close to people will allow our company to grow and thrive. I really believe in finding a different approach to communication and typically most of the companies we are talking to are not using these more progressive methods. It is not always easy to sell the concept of something new, but our recognition is increasing.
I also feel that we have a basic language failure where we over complicate everything. We need to simplify the messages to be more easily understandable and appealing to a bigger audience.
IHB: Based on your experience so far, what would be your advice for fellow and aspiring change-makers in Budapest?
GT: Just be different, stay on the same path, find the right people around you, and don’t care about what the old school people say because if you follow this strategy, you will not reach any new levels.
IHB: Aaaaaaah, what a refreshing perspective! We hope that this interview will open up the minds of members and they will take advantage of your expertise and utilize your creativity. Personally, I will be looking forward to reading your book on the oceans!