I came to Budapest to study English and French. First, I wanted to be a film critic, as much as I was interested in languages. But I started working in Price Waterhouse in 1989, to set up the bilingual department of the first office at Hungary. At that time, English wasn't spoken in Hungary. There were a lot of foreigners flying from abroad doing audits and different consulting services. And I came to work as an interpreter and translator. I realized that you can only interpret and translate what you know, what professionally you’re aware of. That's what I had to get interested in auditing. I have a good sense about that. So I became an auditor. 

I took my second degree in finance. Twenty one years I spent mostly in a multinational company environment, between finance in Price Waterhouse and media companies, until I had my kids. I needed to slow down a little bit and be more focused on family than business.

At 45, I realised I’d no longer like to work for multinational companies. In 2008-2009, we had the known financial global crisis. The owner said we had to terminate 250 people from their jobs, out of 600. I was not only responsible for finance auditing, but also for human resources. So with that I got fully burned out. It wasn’t right to work for such a businessman. I really knew I should do something else, something good.

During that time, there were also seven people dying of cancer in my family. My father, my mother in law, my brother in law, two of my cousins. And this deeply affected me. It wasn’t right to live the way I lived. I should focus on helping more. So I decided to found a health centre, not far from Budapest. It’s still working and it’s an alternative to show how to recover or heal cancer patients by the food they eat, the juices they drink.

I enjoyed very much setting up my own company as well as doing something good for people, leaving footprints. But after five years, I was no longer needed, because the company could go on by itself, so I wanted new challenges. And I realised that I wanted to give back more to the people, especially young people.

I think it’s very important that you love what you do. If you don't love what you do and what your job is, it's not wise doing it. My daughters are very driven themselves, and I encourage them to follow this path. They just started college, so I wanted to help college students to see their future in a way that they can live up to their dreams. I worked as a mentor and trainer in several college trainings, like Innoversitas. I was helping young people to know exactly how to become an entrepreneur, how to set up a company, the business model from idea generation to implementation. Meanwhile, I had in mind to have a place where students and youngsters can stay and be trained for a community, to work as a team, where you help each other develop. I was searching on the Internet and found Impact HUB Global, the Impact HUB companies and the HUBs around other cities. So I contacted Global, got the information and went through the process. And here I am, one of the Impact HUB Budapest co-founders. 

I wanted to show students how important the impact we do in society is, and actually reflect on our social entrepreneurship. If you’re thinking about doing business, providing a service or just producing something, then think about your society, think about the future, your kids or the environment, the world where we live in. That’s what the HUB is: a space where innovative ideas for social impact are favoured.

My husband always asks me "Why do you do this? Why don't you slow down a little bit? Why do you go everyday?" And it’s because I love it! I really found my place there. I love to go everyday to see how youngsters improve their skills until I see interest in their eyes, the shine in them and the respect for someone who can tell them new things or just open their eyes to another perspective. This is why I do it.

It's very important for me to care about other people. And smile and be happy and share their experiences. This is the positive mindset the world needs. And I think that everything is possible. You need to try, always. If you don't kick the ball, you’ll never score.

Margaret Dathe
Budapest, Hungria
I think it’s very important that you love what you do. If you don't love what you do and what your job is, it's not wise doing it.
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