Social entrepreneurship is not a way to profit. It is an opportunity to work for community’s interests and to offer jobs to those who are not able to work a full day shift. Social entrepreneurship accelerator ‘New Door’ in partnership with Social entrepreneurship association of Latvia is organizing an international experience exchange meetup in Riga with partners from Sweden and Ukraine on October 30-31. The purpose of the meeting is to exchange knowledge and experience on local government and social entreprise collaboration development.
“In the last few years social entrepreneurship in Latvia is developing very fast. The support from the government has played an important role in this swift growth – the social entrepreneurship law has been adopted and it has come into force. Due to the law social entrepreneurs can obtain a special status for tax relieve and available financial support for development in the form of grants. We have surpassed our neighbouring countries in this respect and now we have an experience of social enterpreneurship ecosystem development that we can share. In the same time we have a lot to learn and to adjust. We are active partners with Ukraine and with our experience, we are helping to adjust social entrepreneurship environment in there, in the same time, both Latvian and Ukrainian partners have a lot to learn from Swedish experience,” says Diana Lapkis, the head of “New Door” social entrepreneurship accelerator about the upcoming event in Riga.
In the meetup Sweden will be represented by KalmarCo social entrepreneurship platform for collaboration co-founder Nicholas Murigu and the main responsible of small government engagement and investments in social entrepreneurship Thomas Bacstrom. He is also an initiator and developer of ‘Social Impact chain’ in Sweden.
Ukraine will be represented by Anna Gulevska-Chernysh who is one of the social entrepreneurship prime movers in Ukraine. She is also a co-founder of the School of Social Entrepreneurship in Ukraine and the leader of the Social Innovation laboratory ‘SILab’. The government of Ukraine will be represented by Liudmyla Omelchenko, the head of the entrepreneurship development department of Economy and Trade ministry.
In presentation and discussions Latvia will be represented by the Ministry of Welfare, the public political centre ‘PROVIDUS’, the financial institution ‘ALTUM’ and the Riga Municipality Welfare department.
On October 30th all participants will pay a visit of Social entrepreneurs in Latvia: the largest social enterprise in the country – Latvian Samaritan Association and social enterprise which produces watercolour print clothing ‘OWA Fashion’. This enterprise was presented to the Countess of Wessex Sofia while she was visiting Riga. The enterprise was founded by two friends, of which one has special health conditions. The purpose of the project is to prove that serious health limitations and similar circumstances should not be barriers to fulfilling personal and business goals.
On October 31st the delegates will be visiting non-governmental organization ‘Wings of Hope’ (Cerību Spārni). The purpose of the organization is social integration of people with limited abilities and their family members. “Wings of Hope” has opened a store ‘Pogotava’ where participants of the organization can sell their crafts. Furthermore, the delegates will visit Cesis municipality and The new School of Cesis that is organized by children’s parents.
Social enterprises are very important, fast-growing and innovative socially economical company group. The prime purpose of these enterprises is to provide social impact, rather than profit for their owners or shareholders. These companies market products and services through the form of inovative businesses and they use their profits primarily to reach social goals.
About “New Door”
New Door is the first social entrepreneurship accelerator in Latvia. For five years now, it has been able to bring together a knowledgeable local and international team of professional mentors that help people with ideas that can be classified as social business ideas, to develop them up to a creation of a working company. 50 social enterprises have already gone through the New Door accelerator’s 4-6 months program.
About Social Entrepreneurship association of Latvia
Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia (SEAL) is a member organization that promotes the development of social entrepreneurship in Latvia. It brings together like-minded organizations, companies and people who believe that social business has a huge potential in Latvia and is ready to participate in the formation and strengthening of this sector. LSUA was founded in autumn 2015. At present, the association has more than 90 members.