Founder and CEO of Access4you International Kft, founder and sales director of Magyar Pénzhíd Pályázatíró Kft, economist, wheelchair user. Balázs Berecz graduated in Economics from Károly Eszterházy University in 2003. After starting his career in the field of sales and sales support, in 2008 he founded Magyar Pénzhíd Pályázatíró Kft that specialized in tendering operations. He founded the social startup enterprise Access4you in 2018, after gaining experience in technology and innovation, as well as in IT, business development and strategic planning.
What motivated you to set up an organization such as Access4you?
As a wheelchair user for 16 years, I have had a lot of very funny and less funny experiences when traveling, going out, going on business meetings or simply just doing shopping. What I really missed was a platform where reliable information on accessibility was available. After a little research, I understood that this is a general need, and this demand must be answered. The disabled community is faced with many barriers, information should not be one of them. Being raised in an entrepreneurial family, I decided to launch an initiative that is for social good, and where I can utilize all my market and civic knowledge. This is how Access4you was created. It is a business that uses digital tools and manpower to make real and reliable data about accessibility of any kind of environment. And it is a social enterprise that goes far beyond profit maximization.
What are the main services of Access4you?
Access4you constructs information about the accessibility of any type of built environment. Be it an office building, a drogerie, a transport hub, a banking branch or a nightclub. The information is split according to the necessities of different types of disability needs. It is essential to understand that accessibility means a very different thing for a person using a wheelchair, or for a person who is deaf or blind. So Access4you is a digital tool for people with special needs to fulfill their life, explore the world. On the other hand, it is a marketing and sales solution for businesses who want to reach out to customers and clients.
Basically, this is our main service, which we further diversified according to the specialities of workplaces, or the specialities of homes. Early on, it also turned out that our Clients, especially from the property segment, want to adapt building designs to answer accessibility needs, so we created Access4you Design for early-stage projects.
How did Access4you evolve since its foundation?
Our mission has always been solid: to help people of special needs fulfill their life, explore the world, and to promote accessibility as a means of inclusion and social sustainability. But the road was/is not at all direct. Being a social enterprise, we did not fit into any business development model, and this made it often hard to adjust our focus. And we really had to do so. There has been more than one year of pandemic since the company was founded in 2019. Places closed up, social distancing became the new buzz word … this was not at all an atmosphere for promoting mobility. But we decided to survive and focused all our efforts on workflow finetuning, service development, IT development and brand development. In 2021, contrary, our country-wide network of auditors won’t stop working; more than 600 audits, both from the private and public sector will be performed in the second half of the year. Parallel to this, we are moving beyond national borders and started to build the foundations of international presence.
Do you have any favourite projects?
Whoever gives valid information about accessibility and respects human dignity is all our favorite project. If I need, though, to mention a special attitude, I can tell you about a housing estate project, where there are lovely ideas that make my heart beat faster. For example, in the park, the curb will be designed to lead a blind person to a garden bench surrounded by fragrant flowers and plants, to help them relax and recharge.
What advice would you give to a company that wants to get certified by Access4you?
A lot of people think that accessibility is overcomplicated, or is something that is difficult to reach. And this, somehow prevents a lot of decision makers from moving forward. But if you give valid information about your business’s accessibility – no matter how far you are from complex accessibility – that’s the first fundamental step towards making your business more disability inclusive. We are very happy about that and we are here to help you.
Join us for the 6th Hungarian Impact Day on the 14th October 2021, in Budapest at the Radisson Blu Béke Hotel – where Balázs Berecz will be one of our speakers!
Our main aim with this year’s conference is for the participants to gain an insight into the world of ESG funds and impact investments, their relationship, their similarities and differences, and their impact and its possible measurement. True to our mission, with this conference, we strive to stimulate the impact ecosystem, increasing the number of social impact investments in Hungary and its region.
How does ESG differ from impact investment, how do they correlate, when do they go hand in hand and how do they help each other out? How can ESGs remain credible, how can we avoid impact/greenwashing? How can we reach out to more and more investors to reach impact investment? Are ESGs a tool? We strive to find answers to these questions and many more from actors of the financial world.
More info about the 6th Hungarian Impact Day: http://thbe.hu/konferencia/
Get your tickets here: https://impact-design.typeform.com/to/o6q6RZPd#ref=web