Talent Loan

30 December 2010

’If we trust a potential talent, we should support their start with a considerable amount. Later, as they realise their potential, the loan will be payed back to society.’ – says Volksbank Hungary CEO L. Balázs.

The National Talent Support Council of Hungary has worked out the concept of Talent Loan to support and finance young talents. Talent Loan draws on the concept of the successful Student Loan scheme, which has been available for students in the higher education system in Hungary for many years by now. A similar financial construction can be worked out for talented young persons generally. The scope of using the loan would be very flexible. It may be spent to pay tuition fee, to finance courses abroad or to provide reasonable educational conditions. An example from sports: if someone has been a winner several times, he/she can get sponsored more easily - but who will sponsor his/her very first world event? The real task is to finance this, which cannot be afforded by the family of many talented youth. This issue of initial investment can be solved with the Talent Loan. A special form of the Talent Loan will be developed to meet the needs of extraordinary talents – who often need extraordinary amounts of financial support (e.g. for a top level violinist to be able to purchase a quality instrument), but have very high chances to pay all this back later on.

’We start from that fact that enterprises have a kind of embryonic stage, when they must be supported, since they have not yet reached their market completely; in the same way, the unfolding phase of the talents can have an embryonic stage, when they are unable to finance themselves. But talent carries a promise like a vine-root for a wine-grower. Winegrowers also need faith; they must believe that the wine-root will turn productive in four years’ time, the wine will mellow into high quality wine - and the work and money invested will be recovered in eight years’ . It takes time to realise the potential of a talent leading to social and economic value: from the recognition of the talent, through the unfolding stage to employment. One might be an artist, a scientist or a blue-collar worker, i.e. a talent who emerged from vocational education; when this person has grown ripe, he/she will see the fruits of his/her labour. This ‘vintage’, in economic sense, is the income, from which the talent can pay back his/her loan. It is important to give a loan and not a present so that the selected talent should feel responsible for it. If we trust a potential talent, we should support his/her start with a considerable amount. We advance the fulfillment of this person, and later, when he/she turns productive, he/she should pay the loan back to society. I believe that you can find the means to finance something that can contribute to a working system.’ – concludes dr. László Balázs, CEO of Volksbank, Hungary, head of the working group on Talent Loan