The goal of the HGC program was to strengthen and extended the Hungarian-owned medium-sized enterprise group.
In Hungary there are 1.1 million businesses and 0.5 million< companies registered on court. When businesses were selected that have min.5% growth in net sales, export turnover and staff, owned by Hungarian persons, and have min.10 employees from the manufacturing sector of the convergent regions, then we end up with 150 companies. Another challenge is that 25 billion EUR in 2007-2013, and 20 billion EUR in 2014-2020 were allocated and spent for development, and the competitiveness level of Hungary went down on international rankings. All allocation of subsidies was based on the system of open calls. Based on these two phenomena such an intention was outlined by policy makers, that a partnership approach should be applied in distribution of funds, reinforced by focus on medium-sized sector. It led to the High-Growth-Companies (HGC) program.
The program consists of the following elements: thematic workshops, on-the-job mentoring, international study tours, digitalization training, communication materials, subsidy program (entire development). Each element is linked to the previous one. It started with 2.000 companies, and 46 are selected in the final stage.
The main stakeholders were Ministry of Innovation and Technology (EDIOP), IFKA Public Benefit Non-Profit Ltd.(management), international consortium (implementation: PBN-HU, BizUp-AT, InnoAG-DE). Further stakeholders were Ministry of Finance, Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Resources needed

The Middle-sized Business Development Program is financed by the EDIOP 1.1.4 whitin this the total amount of the HGC Academy program was 1,5 millionEUR.
3 persons for the coordination + 20 experts in manufacturing to support the implementation and mentoring processes were needed as human resources.

Evidence of success

• cc.300 companies in 20+ thematic workshops around the country with 800 requested developments
• 20 experts in manufacturing in the background
• cc. 140 companies get personal development consultation (in many cases more than 10 meetings/company)
• 200 companies participated in international study tours
• 4 suppliers forums organised
• 2days digitalization training for 46 companies

Difficulties encountered

Limited number of companies were available which match the basic criteria. This segment was the target group of different governmental programs which made it difficult to involve them. It was hard to maintain the motivation of stakeholders and follow the fluctuation (mainly at governmental level).

Potential for learning or transfer

• The SME development elements which existed previously separated were integrated into one program thus the needs of the companies were solve in a complex way
• The export promotion should be based on R&D activities of the companies

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Main institution
Pannon Business Network Association
Start Date
January 2018
End Date
November 2019


Regina Rosta-Pethő Please login to contact the author.