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OPENING A CHARITY SHOP IN BUDAPEST Scaling up the social enterprise of BAGázs

BAGázs Public Benefit Association has been working since 2011 to contribute to an inclusive and accepting society in which Roma people have a chance to achieve their goals. BAGázs provides resources for Roma communities to enable them to recognise and articulate their needs. In parallel, the Association sensitises members of mainstream society to become more accepting of Roma communities. The Association implements their activities in two Roma settlements (Bag, Dány).

Through Badur’s Springboard programme, BAGázs developed the business plan of a mobile charity shop that provides access to quality clothing at a very affordable price for underprivileged communities in Pest County, in addition to creating employment opportunities for local community members. With the support of ERSTE Seeds Programme, BAGázs launched a mobile charity shop in May 2018. The mobile charity shop focuses on the area close to Bag and Dány, but during the summer season, they appear on the major Hungarian festivals as well.

In the long run, the Association had always intended to complement the mobile shop by opening a charity shop in Budapest in order to enhance their social impact and to strengthen the financial vitality of the two complementary business initiatives. As part of their Springboard award, Bagazs received professional mentoring to develop a business plan for the charity shop in Budapest.

In August 2018, BAGázs found the right location for the charity shop in 13th District of Budapest, next to the Szent István Park. The place is well fitting to all ideas and needs of BAGázs and the envisioned charity shop concept. The location of the shop is suitable for the integration of a charity shop and a community space. In addition, the Association can also move its office to this location.

The Foundation awarded financial help to Bagazs to cover the start-up cost of the charity shop including part of the renovation costs. The renovation of the building started in September 2018 and the shop was opened in December 2018. The Foundation will closely monitor the development of the business activities and assist the management as needed.