Anna Kalmár is one of the founders of AdniJóga and also the one who’s holding classes at Impact Hub. AdniJóga provides access to the mental and physical benefits of yoga (relax and recharge our soul and body) and has a social cause. They partner with NGOs to practice with children in state care, vulnerable women, refugees, people with disabilities etc. 

Can you tell us what your average day looks like?
For me, an average day starts with teaching a yoga class, either at a Budapest office building or a volunteer class at one of our social partners’. Afterwards, I take care of my laptop-related to-dos, organise classes, get in touch with new partners and do some reluctant administrative work. Then, probably meet with the operations team behind AdniJóga and/or one of our teachers over coffee. I try to spend some time every day studying for my Masters degree as well, usually in the afternoons. The day ends with a big walk with my puppy.

Where did the idea of AdniJóga come from? What are you most proud about it?
I decided to bring AdniJóga to life in Budapest while I was volunteering in a refugee camp on a Greek island called Chios. Here, I taught my first ever yoga class to a group of refugee women (an experience of a lifetime) and seeing what a great mental health tool yoga and mindfulness could become for them too, I wanted to try whether this could be recreated in Budapest as a self-sustaining social enterprise. We offer access to free classes to groups who wouldn’t otherwise be able to practice yoga and have gone through trauma, and we fund ourselves by teaching office yoga classes as well. AdniJóga started 1.5 years ago and today we reach more than 50 vulnerable people a week with free yoga classes, supported by 5 companies.

How long have you been practicing yoga? What does it mean to you?
I started practicing yoga as a university student to calm my ever-racing mind. It has been instrumental for my mental health in the past 6 or so years and broadened my views on many aspects of life. I’ve become more accepting of myself and others, I concentrate better and it has also made me more patient, although there still a lot of work to be done in that regard ☺

In what field do you work apart from yoga?
I am originally a historian by degree but rarely have the time to improve in that discipline. In the past few years I’ve become interested in social innovation and enterprise. I am fascinated by alternative ways of making change in our societies to begin to solve the immediate challenges that face us. I’ve started doing a Masters degree at the University of Cambridge in this field to fuel this interest (and sometimes, frustration) further and I’ve been enjoying it very much!

What does social impact or social entrepreneurship mean to you?
Personally, it means purpose, the reason to wake up in the morning. More recently, I’ve also started looking at the big picture and asking whether social impact is enough or maybe the aim should be social change instead? Can social enterprise create meaningful and long-lasting change? So beyond being a purpose, I now look at it as a theoretical dilemma as well.

How did you come in contact with Impact Hub?
When I moved back to Budapest in the beginning of 2018, I was put in touch with one of the founders of Impact Hub Budapest by a common friend. I came to the Hub for a short meeting and I was blown away by the space, the athmosphere, the people. It felt like being in Berlin, London or anywhere in the world, right in the heart of my beloved Budapest. I’m so happy to be a member of this community now.

Play a leadership role in social innovation education

Social Innovation Academy is a project aiming to become the go-to online platform for anyone willing to learn more about social innovation. We attract thousands of visitors globally each month.

Are you a social innovation academic, researcher, a successful social entrepreneur, impact investor, social innovation consultant, or an experienced practitioner from a social innovation-oriented organisation? Or maybe you are a journalist or blogger experienced in the topic of social impact and social innovation?

Why co-create the Academy?

  • Enhance your influence and gain even more recognition in your field. The Academy reaches thousands of people globally. We have several thousand social media followers and hundreds of newsletter readers. When a content piece gets published at the Academy, it is also promoted on all our social media channels and in our newsletter. Being an expert at the Academy can also be an excellent way to draw attention to your expertise field, a specific topic, or a proven practice.
  • Grow your personal network. Being part of our pool of experts is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field so that you can attract new partners, start new collaborations, or attract more clients.
  • Boost your professional career. Sharing your expertise on social innovation makes you more visible in your field. This enables you to cultivate a stronger reputation, promote your work and move forward faster in your career. Publishing a small piece of your work with the Academy can also mean you promote your larger body of work (such as full books, lectures, or publications) to new audiences.
  • Give back to the community. All the co-created content is provided on a voluntary basis and made available absolutely for free to our readers. For some, this is one of the few ways they can access high-quality, well-curated content on this specific topic, from wherever they are in the world, and irrespectively of their current level of expertise in the topic. Help them gain more knowledge and skills, and inspire and support them for the own social innovation journeys.
  • Play a dynamic role in the development of social innovation in your field of expertise. We want to raise awareness about social innovation and its potential regarding social, economic as well as environmental challenges that our societies are currently facing. While in some fields social innovation is already well-established, in others it is still an emerging topic. Let’s bring social innovation to the mainstream, together.

How can you contribute?

You can choose from three types of content:

Article

A subject-matter article: a 1,000 words post basedon either a specific social innovation topic analysed by you in-depth (a great choice for true subject-matter experts, see an example here), or a collection of 8 social innovation good practices, arguments or sub-topics curated by you (perfect for social innovation journalists or bloggers, see an example here).

Interview

A practitioner interview: an interview with a change maker who shares their experience of going through the social innovation process. The questions are standardised and it is a great way to showcase leaders of social innovation initiatives in the private, public and civil domains. You don’t need to be very senior to be interviewed, and the social innovation itself does not need to be massive, but your social innovation should already be proven in practice and implemented in real life, positively impacting the world. You can choose between a written (see example here) or a video (check here) interview format. You can also interview someone else e.g. a winner of your social impact awards, or a top member from your social innovation hub. We provide the questions, but the length of the answers is up to you. You can also skip some questions altogether.

Case-study

Real-life case study: if you think your social innovation could benefit from some visibility, and at the same time serve as an insightful example for those willing to learn more, then this is the right format for you. Each example is exactly 1-page long (see our previous examples here), and the template, instructions and guidance are provided. We are always on the lookout for inspirations from all over the world, be it from the private, public or civic domains.

 

Please, click for more info: http://www.socialinnovationacademy.eu/co-create/

 

This article was originally published on impacthub.net.

The earth is heating up, and fast! Sadly the natural resources available to us are struggling to keep up with how much humans are using and producing. What we can do is make daily choices that lead to a more sustainable lifestyle. These decisions can also influence people around you and have a big impact on the wider community. On a personal level, any action, however small, can make a real difference on the planet. It also doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Often, the environmentally-conscious decisions you make are friendlier on your wallet as well.

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is more attainable than you may think. Here is a list of how you can contribute to a greener future!

1. Shop consciously. 

The call to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” has been used so much that it almost sounds cliche, but it remains an effective approach in leading a sustainable lifestyle. Every product that we shop for carries an environmental footprint.

One of the best ways to change our attitude towards the products we buy is to understand how many resources they consume and what damage they cause throughout all stages of the product life-cycle. Choosing goods that use a minimal amount of resources (e.g. pesticide-free vegetables) and supporting brands that recycle is a big step towards living more sustainably.

Not sure about the environmental footprint of something? Mobile apps like the GoodGuide helps you know a product’s footprint by simply scanning the barcode.

2. Ditch the plastic. 

Shifting away from using plastic does a lot of good for the environment. This is an especially powerful change because around 40% of plastics end up in our oceans and kill sea life and sea organisms. Switching to reusable bags for shopping and ditching single-use plastic is a simple but effective approach in leading a sustainable lifestyle.

3. Use water wisely. 

Did you know that an average person uses between 80 to 100 gallons of water for indoor use per day? The biggest chunk of this is flushing the toilet. This accounts for about a third of a regular household’s water use! Replacing old toilet cisterns with newer and more water-efficient ones means you save water with every flush.

Changing other habits like having shorter showers and only using a dishwasher—that can use as little as three gallons per load—rather than manually cleaning dishes in the sink where you can easily use up to 27 gallons per washing also helps.

4. Read product labels and tags. 

With more and more businesses shifting to greener approaches, it has become easier to go for products that are produced in a more environmentally-friendly way. For example, shopping for clothing made from recycled materials is a great way to support ethical and sustainable designers. On top of that choosing, organic products that don’t use pesticides help preserve land and water resources around the world.

5. Choose green transport methods. 

The climate is changing, and transportation is a leading cause of that. According to studies by the US Environmental Protection Agency, transportation is the leading contributor of greenhouse gasses. Cars, trucks, buses, and other fuel-powered vehicles are responsible for 28.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Let’s consider ditching our cars and hopping on a bike or walking on our next trip. If you’re traveling far, consider taking other modes of transportation like trains which are more carbon efficient. Really need to fly? Go for airlines with newer plane models that have better fuel efficiency. You can check out this link for a list of the top airlines for more environmentally-friendly travels.

6. Make homes energy-friendly. 

The amount of resources that we use at home is a primary contributor to environmental damage. Fine-tuning our homes to become more energy-efficient helps not only in the fight for sustainability, but it also helps us save more!

Using energy-efficient household appliances such as light bulbs can help you save not only on the electricity bill but also on our greenhouse emissions. If it possible, install solar panels and water tanks because using them means consuming fewer fossil fuels. It also uses resources available to you that do not harm nature.

7. Reduce meat consumption. 

Did you know that meat production is considered to be one of the most destructive industries in the world? It is a driving force behind land and water degradation and loss of biodiversity. Livestock farming alone makes up for the 18 percent of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Cutting down on your meat consumption is one way of showing that you do not support the meat industry.

You can still get your share of protein from meat-free alternatives and food such as almonds and lentils. If you are unable to eliminate meat from your diet completely then, buy it from local, ethical sellers that don’t use as many resources during production.

The decision is in your control

Living sustainably is more complex than just using less plastic. We must address the root cause of the problem which is human consumption and make more conscious decisions about where we purchase our products and services and really understand where they come from.

Acting alone can seem daunting in the face of such huge challenges–get involved! Encourage your family and friends to make the lifestyle changes with you and join groups and communities who are already doing so. Always be curious and ask questions about where your products come from and what you can do to reduce your environmental footprint! Apps like MyPlanet is a fun way to connect and encourage others to get things done and make a difference.

We could follow Írisz Babanics’s success and conscious career-building from the beginning. We first met her when she was a part our team as a voluntary host. It was truly inspirational to watch a very young and talented woman to build and develop her own business step by step. Írisz working field is the full marketing of the small starting businesses. Check out our mini-interview with her where she answered some of our questions.

Could you tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurship?
I started as a freelancer in marketing. Today I am a marketing consultant and have my own marketing boutique agency.

What long term goals you have with your venture?
My team is the most important for me right now. They are mostly juniors, and I do not pay them as much, as I wish. So my 2-year plan is to grow the business so that I can pay them well (more than the market average) and have passive income from the agency.

What are your superpowers?
I am well organized and I can note + organize information real-time, while I am listening. This is very useful when I have consultation with a client. After they leave, I can immediately send them a memo that they can use right away.

What do you like most and least about the entrepreneurship lifestyle?
To be honest, I love all the moments I spend in my business. Sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation to get up early in the morning. 🙂

What is your first thought, when you hear the word „impact”?
Impact Hub Budapest. Seriously, this co-working office really has an effect on their people.

What was your first connection to Impact Hub Budapest?
I joined as a volunteer in 2016 September. I just started my entrepreneurship, and it was awesome to be a part of a community.

What do you consider your greatest success?
My amazing team!

This article was originally published on impacthub.net

Discussions, debates, and calls to improve the state of climate change have been around for some time,
but the topic is gaining traction now more than ever with the rise of activists like Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old who has started a mass scale climate activism movement. Thunberg, who is currently a favorite for the 100th Nobel Peace Prize award has given a face to a subject that has been around for so long but has never been taken seriously⁠—and now the world is finally willing to listen.

But climate change is more than just melting snowcaps and carbon footprint. Read on for a more detailed look at its most important cornerstones.

Climate change is more than just global warming

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

Contrary to what many believe, climate change and global warming are not interchangeable terms. They are connected, but not exactly synonymous with each other. To be specific, global warming refers to the rising surface temperature of the planet. While climate change is a broader term that includes its side effects, like changes in weather and melting glaciers.

Another way to look at it is that global warming is a term mostly used by scientists to refer to changes brought by humans. Climate change, on the other hand, includes this as well as natural causes.

To put it simply, climate change is the bigger category while global warming is just one of the many phenomena falling under it.

What exactly is climate change?

Photo by William Bossen on Unsplash

From its root name, climate change refers to the changing of the patterns of weather, bodies of water, ice sheets, and land surfaces. This is not the first time our planet has gone through this phase. In fact, the Earth has already undergone fluctuating glacial and warm period cycles in the last million years.

What makes climate change, we have now much of a big deal is because it has been majorly caused by humans. Past cycles of climate change have been naturally caused by the shifting of planetary temperature, but hard evidence shows that the warming of the planet is moving at a rapid pace⁠—and it can be traced back to human activities and what they produce (e.g. greenhouse emission gases). It is us who have abnormally pushed a natural phenomenon to happen prematurely, making our planet a ticking time bomb.

2017 figures say that the planet has already warmed by around 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, the year when records started showing the global-scale changes in Earth’s surface. While this may have been a small rise, it is actually an alarming increase. This jump alone is what is currently causing the large-scale melting of the Earth’s ice caps, which, in turn, has caused the sea level to abnormally rise.

Why should we worry about climate change?

Photo by Harrison Moore on Unsplash

Probably one of the reasons why governments and individuals have been so idle about the topic is because it is easy to ignore its effects if you look the other way around. The signs, however, are everywhere⁠—and they are now catching up to us, too.

Heat waves, forest fires, abnormal weather patterns⁠—all of these can be attributed to climate change and global warming in general. When unstopped (or at the very least, unmanaged) these phenomena will grow into a scale so large it can make developed civilizations struggle to exist alone. Rising sea levels can sink coastal countries. Flora and fauna can go extinct. Humanity alone will struggle when the planet finally reaches the point of being incapable of supporting it.

How much longer do we have before our planet caves in?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Let’s rephrase the question: how much longer do humans have before we’re incapable of living on this planet anymore?

Here’s one thing everyone should know about this whole climate change picture: regardless of what happens to our planet, it can recover. Remember, Earth has undergone several cycles already⁠—it was who inhabited it who has either evolved or turned extinct. Global warming is the gun, and it is us, humans, pulling the trigger. If in the worst-case scenario, humankind is indeed wiped out, the activities that have driven global warming in the first place will also stop. The planet’s temperature will go back to normal until it finally recovers. Its residents, however, may have been gone at this point.

Going back to the original question though, the answer to it is this: we don’t have very long. Scientists have said that we have two to three decades at most to reverse the damage we have done, but there’s also a growing consensus now that we have barely 18 months to do it if we don’t take action.

Let that sink in.

Can we stop climate change? 

Yes, but we have to do it quick.

Even with international agreements like the Paris Agreement signed and inaction, more can be done before we could make a real change. Real action has been put off for so long that the problem is now extremely severe, so much that we can only make things manageable again once we have reduced our emissions to zero. At the very least, steps are now taken in the right direction⁠, the use of electric cars and marketing of better energy sources are good examples⁠. But as long as coal plants are burning, we’re not really doing the planet any real favors.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Experts agree that to save our planet⁠—or better yet, ourselves—collective action needs to be taken. Nations have to be more active in improving their energy systems and laws need to be developed to better traffic carbon emissions. Most of all, societies, units, and individuals need to be encouraged and empowered to contribute to the change. Something as simple as switching to an eco-friendly fuel or turning off devices that are not in use can do so much when done at a collective level. Last but not least, it is important to keep the conversation burning. Individuals like Thunberg may have made the cogs move again, but it is up to us to continue the flame burning.

There is a real angel in the family of Impact Hub Budapest. Antal Károlyi is one of the best-known business angel in Hungary. The Signcoders a project at his heart which keeps improving and growing at the Hub. Come and get to know Tony a bit better, it is definitely worth it!

What are your superpowers😊
I can travel in time. Granted, only forward. And also at quite an average speed of one day in 24 hours. But hey, who are you to judge my superpowers?!
What was your first connection to IHB? 
I first heard about IHB a long time ago, as it was still in the planning phase. I met one of the founders as you do in the local impact community, still very small at the time. But it was only much later that I joined the IHB, as I was looking for a co-working space to operate from two years back. The format is great for balancing focused work and community chit-chat. An important aspect for choosing IHB was its value-based community building that goes way beyond a shared office service.
What is your first thought, when you hear the word „impact”?
I consider our generation to be lucky to live in an age, where millions of us have real opportunity to produce positive social and/or environmental impact. I love the democratised access to value creation.
What was the idea behind establishing the SignCoders?
SignCoders is a socially inclusive software development company. Our main goal is to create tech jobs for the deaf and heard-of-hearing. The motivation might not be trivial for hearing people who do not experience the challenges the hearing impaired face on a daily basis. The truth of the matter is: it is hard to climb the career ladder with hearing impairment. That is why we have created a work environment, where deaf team members can communicate with sign language.
What long term goals you have with this venture?
Our vision is to make an IT career path accessible to as many Hungarian sign language speakers as possible. We understand that digital jobs are not everyone’s cup of tea. But we are dedicated to create as many jobs that there is interest for.
Have you got any pet project beside the SignCoders?
I continue to work with a couple of my surviving angel investments. I also preside the Hungarian Business Angel Network, an association dedicated to grow the startup investor community.
What do you consider your greatest success?
Being born on a tiny planet in a vast universe is a mindbogglingly unlikely event. The rest is a quite enjoyable free ride.

We’re living our lives in the cloud to an ever increasing extent and the work we do confines many of us to our laptop and the internet. But we haven’t relocated our work to the online world only – we do banking, shopping and read the latest news there. So many stimuli, so much information. Although this setup has its advantages, human beings are fundamentally offline social beings. We are hungry for personal encounters and community.

Running a co-working space, we are well aware of this all. In English, the word co-working suggests a somewhat matter-of-fact meaning at times, whereas the Hungarian közösségi iroda literally translates as community office. At Impact Hub Budapest, community comes first at all times. We provide a home for personal and professional relationships – a functional and aestheticly pleasing minimalist atmosphere awaits members and visitors alike. Even the space was designed to foster collaboration and conversations. Several people can sit down at one desk and the bistro usually gets really loud arouncd lunchtime, when our members eat their lunches at our big dining table.

We feel the overwhelming effect of the digital world and the flow of information, so we’re building a community in which members can rely on each other, let it be a joint project or a professional brainstorming. We believe that everybody has their strengths and only by exploiting those can one have real effect on their environment. Our programmes and trainings aim to attract attention to social problems and we provide all the knowledge, toolkit and networking capital at our hand so that they can realize their ideas. In February, we organized a study group, where the participants elaborated on the material together and learn the basics of sustainable business management together. The training was a big hit, so we’re organizing an autumn edition as well. In addition, we also provide trainings and mentoring for beginner entrepreneurs for free within our Incorpora program.

We are concerned by global problems – such as the climate crisis – and we believe that we can act efficiently only together. With that in mind, we joined the global commitment of the Impact Hub network, within which – among other things – we will organize zero waste days at Impact Hub in order to raise awareness among our members.

It’s important for us to open our community for those who do not neccesarily need the co-working space itself. That’s why we came up with the Connect membership. Despite its name, we encourage Connect members to spend as much time at the Hub as possible, attending our workshops, business clinics and conversation to develop personally and professionally, too.

When it comes to community, we always say that “you can take out as much as you put in”. We’re doing our best to spread this attitude day after day, as we believe that only by creating a participatory society can we find answers to the challenges of the present and the future.

Written by: Roni Karsai, Community Catalyst

Since 2009, Social Impact Award promotes the knowledge and practice of social entrepreneurship among youth in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Social Impact Award is more than just an award. It is a year-round educational program on social entrepreneurship dedicated to students and youth.

SIA supports the participants in building social enterprises that find solutions to the most challenging issues of our time. They do so by hosting events and organizing workshops to raise awareness for social entrepreneurship, teaching the necessary skills to navigate from vague intentions to promising ventures, providing access to networks and promoting the best teams with the Social Impact Award.

The Award Ceremony of Social Impact Award Hungary 2019 will be staged at Impact Hub Budapest. 47 projects applied to partcipate in SIA 2019, the jury has chosen 8 teams who are ready to create a better world with their ideas

SIA AWARD WINNERS

LOW-COST ROBOTIC HAND

Low-cost Robotics develops cheap, 3D-printed prosthetic arms for children between the ages of 6 and 16 to help ease them everyday problems.

We think it’s important that the proscthetics have more than one function, and the design also fits the children’s vision. Our main guideline is to promot the development of children while keeping prices low, as not all parents can afford to replace expensive, bionic hands at short intervals.

ROMAMA FOOD TRUCK

In the Romama Food Truck project, our main goal is to create new street food rooting in authentic gypsy cuisine and spread the delicacies via a food truck to reach as many people as possible.

The idea came from a collaboration with a Hungarian Roma organization that is working in an underprivileged area. They already have enterprises, including a small restaurant and accommodation service, but unfortunately, their audience is yet knowing them. We want to help them to maintain a sustainable enterprise, and at the same time, bring closer the Romani culture to Hungarian people. This concept is also supporting the youngsters to keep their traditions and shaping a positive role model.

ELDER-BERRY CAFÉ

Elderberry Cafe is a special place in Budapest connecting generations through recipes with stories. Employing elderly people we hope to combat loneliness and age discrimination for people close to retirement and already retired. The uniqueness of this cafe is that there are no waiters but hosts of different generations and experiences ready to share stories through the food they cook and serve. Please follow our project to see the progress here: https://www.facebook.com/elderberrycafe/

SIA COMMUNITY AWARD WINNER per Community Votings

YELLOW DOGS

Yellow Dogs is not just an organization but a community with a purpose to increase the visibility of shelter dogs. This is accomplished by university student volunteers who regularly walk shelter dogs in the busy green areas of the capital, while enjoying the time with the dog and company outdoors that might never have happened to them because they didn’t have their own dog. The goal of the process is to find new owners through street encounters. We also want to expand our community to companies with dog related activity. Yellow Dogs owners can take advantage of discounts at our partners. This is how we create synergy between different target groups.

OTHER FINALISTS
Közös Többszörös

Every child has enormous potential. In Hungary, however, 750 thousand children live below the poverty line, which means they can’t unfold their talents. With Teach For Hungary, we recruit talented young graduates and professionals who work full-time for two years in needy communities’ schools. Working together with the local community, they become true leaders and advocates of education.

Confy

Confy is a platform created to help students, freshmen and everyone who is interested in learning new things while joining a supportive and motivational community in gaining useful knowledge and network through volunteering.

Polifun

Polifun is an open-minded, demonstration workshop that offers a personal experience through the recycling of used plastics. Experience – Knowledge – Attitude! We would like to show you and teach you a simple technique for recycling plastics to reduce the environmental load on our environment!

Roll over!

“Roll over” is the name of an online informational platform about the challenges of independent life of physically disabled people. It aims to list the problems connected to this field; it is addressed firstly to people with this impairment, secondly to their closer nvironment and finally to outsiders, making them potentially interested about the subject. Further aim is to build a community around the platform and to connect the followers to the relevant institutions. The content will be presented primarily through a video channel about the  everyday issues of physically disabled people and the social aspects of it.

We strongly believe in the power of community. People join IHB for networking, sharing ideas with each other or taking part in workshops or trainings to create something new, innovative, and impactful. An example is Chintan and Antonio who met at the IHB and collaborated since January 2019. Here is their successful story:

Q: Where do you originally come from?

Chintan is from Delhi, India

Antonio is from Malaga, Spain

We both followed our partners to Budapest about 2 years ago.

Q: What previous experience do you both have?

Our CEO Chintan, MSc. Enviro Entrepreneurship from the UK, MBA, a multi-discipline professional with 9+ years of experience in Circular economy/sustainability projects, new venture creation, organization development and leading a sales and marketing team. Our CTO Antonio, MSc, is a multicultural technologist with expertise in Android app development and IT services. He’s Deeply passionate about environmental sustainability on a personal level. Having lived in Sweden for a long time he has a good understanding of the business culture there.

Q: Could you please briefly introduce your app?

BeCon live is a system to gamify behaviour change in the urban consumers to “Be Conscious” in their choice of products and utilities and mode of transport. Self-learning system motivates users to lower their environmental impact by positive reinforcement.  Our intuitive mobile/web app is an accurate non-intrusive interface maintaining the users’ data privacy.

Q: Did you initially meet at the Hub for the first time or did you know each other from before?

Antonio has been working at the Hub for 2 years and I joined as a Community host in Nov 2018. We met and collaborated since January 2019 when we were a part of an Acumen workshop on “Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact!”

Q: Why do you like IHB/working in the Hub?

The Impact Hub Budapest is a positive and collaborative space that allows ideas to germinate and mature. We met many likeminded people who were passionate about the climate challenge. We received valuable mentoring from thought leaders like Fred Eberstien, Antal Karoli and Bea Bedo. Had it not been for the Impact Hub, Antonio and I wouldn’t have met. It was here that we got the chance to pitch our ideas at 620ChilliNights. We feel fortunate for the opportunities and the networks the place offers.

 

It’s our pleasure to introduce our next lady in our professional women series and give you the scoop on how she built her professional career. She and her partners are making a serious impact on various industries with.

Meet Bea Borzási one of the co-founders of 6:20 chili nights. Born and raised in Transylvania, Romania where she experienced the Eastern culture of Hungary. Bea moved to Budapest about 10 years ago in pursuit of her studies in data science and it is also the field she works in today.

Q. What Did you have for breakfast?

“I did not have breakfast because tomorrow I would be leaving for the United States and I currently have so many things on my To Do List to accomplish, so I just grab my cup of coffee and moved on.”

It was a very fun and interesting interviewing Bea cause after we started off about breakfast and how she missed hers on that day we got into how important this meal is to have even when your schedule is busy. Our little breakfast chat turned into a small confession segment When I admitted to missing breakfast on most days which is not a good way on starting a productive day knowing it’s significant importance.

We kept the interview flowing what the next question where Bea shared with us how she started her own business with her friend after University.

Q. When did entrepreneurial bug first bit you?

“Well, it is a bit of a complex question because the business part of course started at University when I was studying IT for business. There I attended case study competitions and I had to understand the whole process of how a company makes money and the connection between departments, different business models, and where IT and data are connected. When I came home from the United States, I realize how different the entrepreneurial mindset is in Hungary, so I had a conversation with a friend, a fellow alumnus, we started talking about the difference is that we have noticed and decided to do something about it. That’s the first time we decided that we have to bring and teach the different business cultures here in Hungary from what we have learned at University and from our time in the United States.”

We continue talking about the business plan and the impact they wanted to have when it all started in 2015. We went into the conflicts Hungry has had over the years with its neighbors and some of the things that were taught when she was younger.

“One off the things I remember from growing up is that some parents would teach their kids to keep their failures and successes to themselves, because if we are successful there are people out there that would try to jeopardize our accomplishments and with hiding our failures, we are protecting our reputation and image from those outside,”  Bea said this to show how most of the mindset of young people in Hungary was different from those in the United States who are proud of both success and failure because it is a learning factor especially when you share them with others, and this is something I strongly agree on. She and her friend then went on to create a community to support each other in these business areas and connect entrepreneurs with industry experts and investors where they can ask questions and learn from each other. That’s how 6:20 Chili Night was formed.

Q. How was the process when creating 6:20 Chili Night and the name?

“We decided on the structure first that the speaker would have 6 minutes to present their idea or product of service and in the next 20 minutes, they would receive feedback. We knew that probably among the feedback there would be some hard criticisms that could hurt a little bit just like chili which hurts a bit but a pleasure because of the flavor it adds.”

Q. What do you do to keep motivated on working your business?

“Seeing the direct impact made is already motivational and helps us keep going and working on the next Chili Night event. Also, hearing feedback whether positive or negative shows that people care and are interested and want to make it better and that’s already something to help us improve on our own business model. Even though that we might be tired at times from our full-time jobs, these are just some of the things that keep us going.”

As the time passed in the interview, we discussed a bit more about her full-time job as a Data Mining Analyst for the Chicago based company, boberdoo.com. I ended our interview with the following question:

Q. What are some of the things your spare time?

“Cooking relaxes me, I like hiking and cycling.”

She also gave me some tips on learning how to cycle; yes, I am still learning J, which I would use in the Spring season.

Ps. The first tip was to have some Palinka before I start. You got to love #Hungary.

Advice for readers who are looking to start a business of their own from Bea:

“Find something that makes you happy and you enjoy spending time on it. Keep doing it even if in the beginning it doesn’t provide the kind of income or revenue that you hope for, it is also good to have a job before to help build some financial security. Keep doing and keep improving to be the best in the market then never be cheap. Once you at the level you have clients put a price tag on it because people would see and appreciate the service/product you are providing. This is what happened with Chili Nights, we invested in our business from our own pockets and keep pushing forward and now, we have a grant.”

 

#womenentrepreneurs #620chilinights #makinganimpact #impacthubBudapest

https://www.linkedin.com/in/beataborzasi/?originalSubdomain=hu

https://www.620chilinights.com/

https://budapest.impacthub.net/