In 2017, the British Council Latvia started co-operation with the Social Entrepreneurship of Latvia to promote this topic throughout Latvia.
During these two years, a special Social Entrepreneurship Ambassador Network has been established, bringing together more than 40 active people from the regions of Latvia.
Thanks to the support of the British Council, it is possible not only to organise training activities to educate ambassadors on social entrepreneurship topics, developing them as leaders of the local community in the field of social entrepreneurship, but also to support various events in the regions, in partnership with municipalities and NGOs. The active work of the ambassadors has encouraged the local governments to invite the social entrepreneurship activists in local life. Spreading of information about the social entrepreneurship has contributed to the positive impact of communication. In addition, the work of social entrepreneurship ambassadors has raised awareness of the social entrepreneurship in the regions, and their advice to the local community has contributed to the creation of new social enterprises.
Thanks to the active work of ambassadors in Daugavpils, the first 48-hour Social Innovation Hackathon took place in October 2018, with the main prize – 1000 euro worth business consultation provided by the British Council Latvia. A special coincidence that one of the winning team members was social entrepreneurship ambassador from Daugavpils Oļesja Soboļevska, which only confirms that the project has indeed made a significant contribution to the promotion of the skills and competencies of the ambassadors and to turning up of new social entrepreneurship ideas. Right now, Oļesja, together with her team is actively working on their idea to implement it in life. A similar event is planned also for autumn 2019, this time in Kurzeme.
The various social entrepreneurship events have directly reached the audience of more than 2000 people in two years. More than 60 000 people have been reached indirectly by communication activities.
In co-operation of Social Entrepreneurship Association in Latvia and the British Council Latvia, the Social Entrepreneurship Forum was organised both in 2018 and in 2019, bringing together around 200 participants, lecturers, as well as lecturers from abroad. The Social Entrepreneurship Forum is the biggest event of the year in this sector, as everyone has the opportunity to meet in one place, acquire not only useful knowledge but also new contacts, moreover, in 2019 there were practical master classes seeking solutions for future entrepreneurship development.
Both in summer 2018 and in summer 2019, Ambassadors’ Academies took place, where, over a three - day period, participants learn useful skills, unite, and develop new collaborations to create real social enterprise ideas. Lecturers of the Summer Ambassador Academy are industry professionals ready to challenge the participants to look at their ideas from new perspective, find new ideas.
In order to facilitate access to the materials on social entrepreneurship, the overall project has resulted in the development of Association’s website both in English and Russian, video interviews with number of social entrepreneurs, as well as organisation of webinars easily accessible to everyone. With the support of the British Council, this year a catalogue of social entrepreneurship in Latvia will be published for the third time, providing not only the current news, but also information on companies.
In 2019, the events organised by the social entrepreneurship ambassadors will continue in the regions, sharing the experience in local communities as well as exploring opportunities for new projects.