GEW Latvia Encourages Entrepreneurs to Share Knowledge and Experiences
GEW event hosted by Swedbank Latvia
Photo Credit: GEW event hosted by Swedbank Latvia
GEN caught up with Lolita Stašāne, Head of Communication and Sustainability at Swedbank Latvia and national host for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Latvia to learn about activities planned, goals with this year’s campaign, and the impact of GEW across the country.

Buke
Cuhadar
21 Oct 2021

With Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2021 right around the corner, national hosts are working hard to bring campaigns to life in 200 countries. In the weeks leading up to GEW (Nov. 8-14), GEN will spotlight some of these campaigns to share how entrepreneurs are being inspired and empowered in different parts of the world.  

GEN caught up with Lolita Stašāne, Head of Communication and Sustainability at Swedbank Latvia and national host for Global Entrepreneurship Week in Latvia to learn about activities planned, goals with this year’s campaign, and the impact of GEW across the country.

GEN: How is the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Latvia coming together to celebrate GEW?  

Lolita Stašāne, GEW Latvia: For GEW, Swedbank partners with the main organizations of the Latvian business ecosystem including the biggest association of entrepreneurs, the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and Development Finance Institution ALTUM. These organizations have joined forces to spread the word through their networks and generate buzz around GEW to facilitate the openness of companies to participate and boost applications, not only from the capital city of Riga but throughout the country. Partner organizations also participate in GEW events, like 'Business Experience Days', as hosts for entrepreneurs, welcoming them at their offices or online and informing them of the business development opportunities they offer. 

GEN: What key activities are taking place in Latvia during GEW? 

Lolita Stašāne, GEW LatviaBusiness Entrepreneurship Days are the flagship activity of GEW. This week-long event brings together Latvian entrepreneurs and experts who are eager to share their business experiences and gain insight from others. Participants represent a wide range of sectors including IT and communications, energy, financial services, insurance, logistics, real estate, wholesale and retail, food, manufacturing, construction, health and social care, and tourism, among others. During GEW 2020, more than 44 activities took place, including six online events that reached more than 90k total views. 

We will also organize three live discussions about sustainability, e-commerce and more. These discussions will be available to everyone on our Facebook page and on the leading news portal, Delfi.  

GEN: What are your goals for GEW 2021?  

Lolita Stašāne, GEW Latvia: Business owners and company management are hard-to-reach audiences due to their busy schedules. Truly valuable content is key. Entrepreneurs are eager to learn from each other but many don't have networking experience and are afraid to share something competitors can use. As such, we aim to continue what has been started in previous years: to encourage entrepreneurs to actively share their knowledge and experience in order to boost the growth, effectiveness and success of businesses; to become the largest B2B experience-sharing movement in Latvia; and to facilitate communication between different players of the industry. 

GEN: Why is Global Entrepreneurship Week important for Latvia’s startup ecosystem? 

Lolita Stašāne, GEW Latvia: Learning from each other's experiences is the fastest way to grow, even though entrepreneurs in Latvia are quite introverted. Surveys conducted by Swedbank have recognized the gap of mutual experience sharing among entrepreneurs. The aim of ‘Business Experience Days’ is to promote the exchange of knowledge between entrepreneurs to support their business development. This is especially essential for companies in early stages. 

GEN: What do you want the world to know about Latvia’s startup ecosystem? What trends, if any, are you noticing?  

Lolita Stašāne, GEW Latvia: The Latvian ecosystem is small, yet vibrant and it consists of highly motivated, multilingual and talented people of various ages and backgrounds. To nurture this growth, all important stakeholders have joined hands together. The current startup scene abounds with a diverse range of modern co-working spaces, various startup accelerators, incubators and a pool of institutional support including business angels and various other investors. In addition to that, almost every university has a dedicated in-house startup and entrepreneurship hub. Therefore, the startup environment is dynamic and rapidly growing. 

A skilled and ambitious talent pool, advantageous geographic location and high-tech digital infrastructure has facilitated the recent meteoric rise of the IT sector. As the nascent IT industry is merging with strong roots in finance, the current innovation trends act as a catalyst for growth and innovation. Fintech is the strongest startup segment in Latvia, with a wide scope of players starting from crypto hardware giants to small payments services. 

To learn more about Global Entrepreneurship Week activities in your region, visit www.gew.co.    

Buke Cuhadar

Vice President for Global Operations | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Buke Cuhadar serves as Vice President of Global Operations for the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a year-round platform of programs and… More