Budapest Enterprise Agency

Budapest Enterprise Agency is the only organization founded by the Budapest City Council back in 1993 for the development and promotion of the micro, small and medium enterprises of the Hungarian capital. Our mission is to contribute to the development and expansion of viable, new and existing entrepreneurs based on the market needs, thus contributing to the creation and preservation of workplaces in Budapest and to the facilitation of the economic growth of the Capital.

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Our tasks are defined by the Budapest Strategy of Facilitating the Economic Growth and Job Creation (2015-2021) accepted by the Budapest City Council in 2015. The principles of its operations are in line with the actions proposed in the Small Business Act and Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.

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 emphasized target groups of the services of the BEA.

By its non-profit microfinancial services the Agency enhances the access to finance of micro enterprises – especially for those which stand outside of the interest of commercial banks due to their size, to the low sum of the credit or to other causes. Budapest Enterprise Agency not only grants microcredits in the national, metropolitan and divisional microfinancing programs but helps the micro entrepreneurs with business plan and credit standing development consultancy and mentoring.

The Agency supplies innovative SME development services both for micro, small and medium enterprises and SME developer organizations and institutes.

In the BEA Smart programme – winner of the national competition of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards 2016 – designed for new and existing enterprises BEA established an entrepreneurial competence centre network with free services for the entrepreneurs. It organises events (conferences, workshops, lectures, networking events etc.) both at the seat of the Agency and at outplaced BEA Smart Points, presents entrepreneurial success stories and role models, builds a community, provides consulting and mentoring services. Regularly organizes the Be Smart startup competitions with international presentation opportunities for the winners.

In the Startup Budapest programme the Agency presents the Budapest startup ecosystem at a regional, national and international level. Welcomes the delegations, startup managers, and investors interested and organizes professional programs for them. Ensures networking and presentation opportunities for outstanding Budapest startups at internationally recognized events, festivals, conferences of the twin-cities of the Hungarian capital. Cooperates with the Hungarian embassies, consulate generals and consulates in the twin-cities and keeps contact with the municipalities and organizations associated with the municipalities thus enhancing the economical connections with the twin-cities of Budapest.

Startup Night, organized by BEA in every November is the largest startup event in Budapest supported by the city council, where members of the startup ecosystem can meet, network, and present themselves to the public.

Within its economic development activity participates in the SME development activities of Budapest and its districts, in elaborating policies and creating an SME-friendlier business environment. In its Budapest SME Development Forums processes topics related to the growth of the economy of Budapest and presents entrepreneurial good practices both for the entrepreneurs and the SME developers. It has a national and international network having in the focus of the cooperation the organizations supporting SMEs, the authorities dealing with SMEs, the representatives of international markets and the partners in the economic development of Budapest, especially the organizations of the neighbouring and V4 countries.


The population of Budapest is 1.759 million (figure for 1 January 2016). According to EUROSTAT  data, the Budapest metropolis region – i.e. the capital and Pest County – is the fifteenth largest of the 278 European metropolises in terms of the population and the number of employees (15–64 age group population: 1966 thousand people, of which 1330 thousand people were employed). The per capita GDP measured with purchasing power parity amounted to 106.6 % of the EU average, which corresponds to a middle ranking among the metropolises.

In 2014, every fifth employed people lived in Budapest and every fourth employee worked for an employer based in Budapest. SMEs in the private sector employ 501 thousand people in Budapest. Thus, small and medium-sized enterprises in Budapest provide jobs to every eighth Hungarian employee.

The rate of employment in Budapest amounted to 72,4 % in June 2016, which is 6 % higher than the national average and nearly equally higher than the EU average. The unemployment rate comes to 4,5 %, declining 1 % in one year. The rate of employment increased significantly – reaching 824 thousand people – and unemployment decreased. Twenty-four per cent of enterprises operate in Budapest, of which 41 % are corporate enterprises and 14 % are self-employed enterprises. These figures reveal the relevance of Budapest in Europe and in Hungary, and the importance and responsibility of the work carried out by the Budapest Enterprise Agency.

Why Budapest?

Budapest has been ranked the most attractive city in Eastern Europe in 2014-15 from the point of view of foreign direct investment by fDi Magazine, an investment supplement of the Financial Times group. The magazine ranked 468 European cities and regions in five categories, such as economic potential, cost-effectiveness, infrastructure and business friendliness.

Budapest won the Startup Europe Award in The best public administration for startups category in 2018.

Budapest was named the best European city for British stratups planning to move from the UK by the

Budapest has been selected among the The World’s Leading Innovation Cities by Cities Today and Impact Hub.

EDCi – European Digital City Index 2015 says: „Hungarian startups have grown rapidly in recent years. In 2010, there were a total of around 50 tech startups in the whole country, which has exploded to over 300 at the time of writing. Budapest, the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, is the epicentre for this activity. Prezi was founded here in 2009 and has undoubtedly served as an inspiring model for digital entrepreneurship in the city. The number of private and public initiative supporting startups has also increased in the past few years. Access to capital is still an issue for startups in the city – though this has been improved by the appearance of VC funds supported by the EU’s JEREMIE program. Additionally, the Hungarian government is actively supporting the growth of the startup ecosystem by channelling funding from other EU grants. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is also headquartered in Budapest. Many of the indicators show that Budapest is on the right path towards developing an ecosystem where entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other contributing actors can work together to spawn successful new companies.”

Why Budapest?

  • Very easy and free to start and cheap to maintain a one-person company
  • Low corporate tax levels
  • Emerging ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces
  • Top 5 in cost of living
  • Travel links to other European cities above average
  • Digitally well-connected city with fast internet
  • Welcoming startup ecosystem
  • Lots of well educated specialists in any field – Hungary is well known in the region for its high level of education. Business, technology and medicine are studies where our universities and colleges excel especially.
  • A great place to stay: winner of the Europe’s Best Destination Award in 2019, hosts 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and an active cultural and nightlife.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to get to know the Budapest startup ecosystem and its significant players, to meet Hungarian startups or if you have any other questions concerning SME-development.


Budapest Enterprise Agency
H-1072 Budapest, Rákóczi út 18.
Postal Address: H-1364 Budapest, P.O.B 226, Hungary
Phone: +36 1 269 6869