We Give Nets, Not Fish – but Eggs, Yes!

2,000 Euro Prize 2020

Country: Hungary

Region: Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Poverty, Professional qualification, Adult education

Project owner: Kiútprogram Közhasznú Nonprofit Zrt.

Responsible person: Gaal Ilona

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Challenge

Marginalised communities, especially Roma minorities, of northern and eastern Hungary lack the educational resources and jobs to end poverty. Financial resources to start a business are also not accessible. Kiútprogram supports vulnerable communities living in Hungary’s poorest regions with the resources and microcredits to support agricultural businesses.

Idea

We support our clients with mentoring and financial resources to grow cucumbers to sell in the agricultural market. Kiútprogram is the only organisation in Hungary to provide financial credit without a minimum asset base, margin, or interest to clients. The programme also prepares and connects Kiútprogram participants to jobs in the region.

Actors

We assist marginalised and Roma communities living in in the northern and eastern villages of Hungary. The project also works with accountants, farmers, and wholesale buyers to mentor our clients’ agricultural businesses.

Impact

In 2016, our clients received an average of HUF 350,000 in net income from their work after repaying their loans. In the last four years, we have cooperated with a total of 380 families in 29 villages, who thus earned more than 120 million forints in their own income.

Transfer

The project can be transferred to a similar geographical region and social demographic community. Kiútprogram will implement the programme to new villages in northern Hungary this year. There is also potential to expand the programme’s activities. As of this year, individuals can join the Kiútprogram with additional and new business ideas.

Appreciation of the Jury

The project is a classic blend of a microcredit programme and mentorship with a socially innovative response. Cucumber farming generates sufficient income for families in the poorest region of Hungary. The Kiútprogram also increases the participant’s confidence in their own abilities. The programme and its successes for rural communities has spread beyond the villages of northern and eastern Hungary. And slowly, social stereotypes and roles are changing...