Who would believe that out of 100 businesses, 99 are SMEs? Or that they employ two in three of Hungarian employees? Hungary’s economy is undeniably still export-oriented and dominated by multinational companies. Nonetheless, over forty percent of the national output is produced by SMEs, a figure which increases every year. Moreover, the Hungarian business world has a fair number of family companies whose histories span two, or even three, generations. Needless to say, a lot needs to be done to reach the level of SMEs in Austria, southern German, northern Italy or even Switzerland—still, trends are indeed promising: Some Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises are ready to be listed on the stock exchange. The number of these companies is, considering the criteria set by the Budapest Stock Exchange, around 300 and 400. Given that this is the fourth BSE50 brochure, already 200 of them have been “checked off” the list.
Accordingly, these pages bring you fifty new and promising stories. We have to tell you that although the businesses we met at the interviews had a wide variety of profiles, they still had something in common: they all want to perform at their very best. The interviews also revealed that, once the time is ripe, these companies plan to use the stock exchange to raise funds.
To put it in a trendier way, we’re leveling up. It’s not about choosing between a bank loan and the stock exchange anymore. What matters now is that “small players” are joining in the “big game”, and that, in the current climate, funders are looking for SMEs—not the other way around.
The authors of this brochure, BSE, EY, and Figyelő, also agree that we have reached a milestone. We tried to be even more thorough than ever in learning everything we could about the selected businesses, their stories, operations, and challenges, so that our articles can offer more than conventional reports—rather an insight into their everyday business, so to speak.
Our general conclusion from the face-to-face interviews was that the process of preparing to go public matches up with the goals of most of the businesses we contacted—that is, they are focusing on increasing their efficiency and transparency,
which can later be enhanced with a credible story for the stock exchange.