As you will see from the articles based on interviews with company directors, there are many similarities between the 50 companies in this 2017 issue. All of them have accomplished a great deal in their own fields and generated substantial growth in terms of both revenue and profit. Their investment in innovation and R&D makes them drivers of economic growth.

In addition to similarities, diversity was another important consideration, and therefore the 50 companies presented show great variety both in terms of size and sector. In each case, company directors shared their stories with great enthusiasm and rightful pride.

Nearly half of the GDP generated by the Hungarian private sector comes from predominantly Hungarian-owned SMEs with a long-standing history. It should come as no surprise therefore that the majority of the top 50 companies in this year’s issue are family-owned small and medium-sized enterprises. Thankfully, they have managed to address the challenges posed by intergenerational succession by involving talented young members of the family or external professionals.

In 2016, as part of its new strategy, the Budapest Stock Exchange set itself the goal of supporting Hungarian medium-sized enterprises with its own resources. For this reason, we are particularly delighted to have four of the BÉT50 participating in the ELITE Programme launched jointly with the London Stock Exchange in April this year.

We believe that providing SMEs access to the capital market is crucial for sustainable economic growth founded on innovation. For this reason we are launching our new platform, the BSE Xtend market this year, calibrated to the needs of medium-sized businesses and designed to promote their growth. The government also supports the entry of SMEs into the capital markets, firstly through capital investments via the National Stock Exchange Development Fund and secondly through grants provided as part of the GINOP programme to increase the funding capacity of SMEs with outstanding growth potential and help them enter international markets and the stock exchange.

I would like to thank our cooperators EY and Figyelő for their help in producing our publication, as well as all company directors and professional organisations for agreeing to feature in this issue. I hope this year’s BÉT50 stories will prove a great inspiration to our readers.