Reversing the 'brain drain' in Hungary
A large the number of people in central Europe are planning to leave their countries in search of a better job. Hungary is one such country - where a large number of highly qualified research and development people, have already moved overseas. This so-called 'brain drain' problem has long been recognised - but now one young businesswoman who returned to her homeland has created an organisation to encourage other young people to move their brains - and their business - back home. Regina Saphier is the founder of the Retour Office. Sándor Laczkó of Radio Budapest asks her about what it takes to attract people back to Hungary.
How does your project Retour help to enhance this process?
"We are not only focussing on degree-holders, or researchers, as we think that this is a whole complex group of people. They can be professionals, who have worked overseas; people who might have received their degrees in Hungary but have also have a lot of work experience from the U.S or Canada or Australia or even Europe. So we are concentrating on several groups of the population."
"And what we mostly do at the moment is lobbying for support. We are trying to draw people's attention to the fact that home comers need support in order to be able to efficiently integrate in the country and this way we returnees can solve problems in the country. We are very innovative, very active in terms of changing things and doing things. So at the moment we're having regular open shop meetings, and we collect information on our website too - which is www.projectretour.org.hu. Another very important issue is that if you are an NGO in Hungary it is very hard to starts your operation, because there is no culture for financial support. So we're trying to pursue people who live in brain drain countries and can afford to support such organisations because we would like to also give financial support to returnees."