Activity report of year 2022

January 3, 2023

We have had an eventful and emotionally difficult year. Global events have required us to rethink our priorities and adapt our activities to help those who need it the most. But 2022 was the year when more than any other years we have seen the dedication, sincerity and ability of social entrepreneurs to mobilise for a greater good.
That is why Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia (SEAL) has worked continuously to ensure that social enterprises have an increasingly favourable environment, support mechanisms and opportunities to grow. We continue to develop social entrepreneurship in Latvia for a long-term impact by working in three main areas – public awareness, capacity building, and advocacy. Take a look at the highlights of the past year!

Most important events in 2022

Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia in cooperation with Luminor bank implemented a free of charge social entrepreneurship development programme “IMPACT ACADEMY” for the first time in Latvia. Companies, associations and business idea authors who were already active in social entrepreneurship and wanted to develop their organisation or idea took part in the programme.

Social entrepreneurship pitch competition “LET THE GOOD IDEAS GROW” has become a tradition, it was organised for the fourth year in a row. This year the competition was held in cooperation with Luminor bank, selecting two winners, each of whom received EUR 2000 in prize money. Each year, the competition is open to existing and aspiring social entrepreneurs from all over Latvia who need funding to implement a new social entrepreneurship idea or an existing project. The final of “LET THE GOOD IDEAS GROW” was broadcast live on news portal
The 2022 awards went to:
🏆 Jury – the association “Gaismas laiva” project “Created for Movement”
🏆 Audience vote – the Youth centre TUVU in Brankas
🏆 ALTUM Sympathy Award – Ilze Šarna, Mobile Duck Herd
🏆 Rimi Latvia sympathy award – Kristīne Jacino, Jacinobooks


Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia works in advocacy both nationally and internationally. Local priorities include creating a favourable environment for the development of social enterprises, establishing and developing meaningful support mechanisms for social entrepreneurship, and adopting regulations for social entrepreneurs.
International priorities include participation in projects and activities organised by international social entrepreneurship network organisations.

The highlights of 2022:

  • On the recommendation of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, Ukrainian civilians have been identified as a group of people at risk of social exclusion under the Social Enterprise Law. Social enterprises create significant social impact by employing target groups or improving the quality of life of groups whose lives are affected by problems of major importance to society. The new changes foresee that one of the target groups may also include Ukrainian civilians.
  • For the first time, a social entrepreneurship grant competition was held in close partnership of five municipalities situated around Riga – Marupe, Sigulda, Kekava, Olaine and Ropazi. The association was involved in the organisation of the competition, participating in the jury and evaluating the best social entrepreneurship ideas.
  • In autumn 2022, Regita Zeiļa, the director of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, and Inga Muižniece, head of the social enterprise Sonido and SEAL council member, met with representatives of political parties to identify planned activities at national level, as well as to discuss recommendations and real actions to be taken to develop social entrepreneurship environment. As a result, the development of social entrepreneurship was included as a national priority in the Government’s declaration.

SEAL is active in advocacy not only at national level, but also at European level. SEAL is a member of several international social entrepreneurship networks – ENSIE, EUCLID and DIESIS, which enables it to advocate on a wider scale.
In 2022 for the first time in Latvia, the European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM) was conducted to gather data on the social entrepreneurship area in Latvia. SEAL collected data from Latvian entrepreneurs in cooperation with the Ministry of Welfare and the social entrepreneurship accelerator New Door and Reach for Change, and produced a report on the compilation of the data.

Among the major international events, the European Economic and Social Committee’s annual civil society conference “Civil Society Days” was held in Brussels. Regita Zeila, director of SEAL, was invited as one of the high-level panel experts to share her experience on social entrepreneurship, social impact and building strong communities.

Developing the member community

Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia has 146 members. The biggest part of the members are social enterprises, part of the members are social entrepreneurs and other interested parties – associations, foundations, limited liability companies without social enterprise status and individuals. 19 new members joined the community during 2022.

Becoming a member of SEAL provides an opportunity to become a part of an organisation that defends the interests of social entrepreneurs, as well as to meet like-minded people, build new collaborations, stay informed about the most important developments in the sector and more to initiate new projects or thematic working groups.

The highlights of 2022:

  • 13 face-to-face networking events for members on various topics – networking for work integration social enterprises, networking for enterprises working in the education sector, and meetings with a focus on social impact management.
  • Our members had the opportunity to participate in the Conversation Festival “LAMPA” as speakers free of charge, gaining extensive publicity opportunities. 3 social entrepreneurs shared their stories of failure titled “We wanted to save the world – oh well we didn’t!” – social enterprise “Intelekta attīstības centrs”, “4 Vēji” and “Nature Horses”.
  • 22 free of charge individual consultations with various experts on how members can adapt and develop their offer in the tourism sector were provided. The consultations were led by professionals in the field, each on their own topic, ranging from offer development to marketing.
  • This year we published both smaller and larger summaries of offers from our members on social media. The two largest of these are the Christmas gift offer and the Summer gift offer. Smaller summaries for the spring and autumn school holidays, the 18th November celebrations, company news, volunteering opportunities, as well as periodic job vacancies were also produced.
  • We organised various special opportunities for members – participation in international projects in Georgia, France, Estonia and Serbia. We provided the opportunity to sell their goods free of charge at Agenskalns Christmas Market. We arranged exclusive entrance tickets or discounts to events on a daily basis.

Public awareness

It is essential to raise the awareness of the importance of the topic to the wider society for social entrepreneurship to thrive. That is why SEAL organises public lectures and workshops, gets involved in events organised by other organisations, provides advice to those interested in social entrepreneurship and sends out newsletters on the latest developments.

The highlights of 2022:

  • Conference “Integration of ex-prisoners into society and the labour market” and information on social entrepreneurship as an effective tool for re-socialisation
  • Lectures on social entrepreneurship in schools and universities – Rezekne State Polish Gymnasium, Riga Secondary School No. 64 and Banking University
  • Participation in a discussion on environmental accessibility and social entrepreneurship in Liepāja, as well as their opportunities for improving environmental accessibility, organised by the association “Radi Vidi Pats”
  • Lecture on the importance of youth involvement in social entrepreneurship at the event “Young people and social entrepreneurship – informative event and discussion” organised by the Centre for Social Innovation
  • Workshop for active organisations and citizens of Talsi region on cooperation with municipalities and social enterprises
  • Informative event “Social Entrepreneurship in Limbazi Region”
  • Practical orientation seminar “All about and around social entrepreneurship” at Dobele Adult Education and Entrepreneurship Support Centre
  • Presentations to Local Action Groups on the current issues of social entrepreneurship and its inclusion in the strategies of Local Action Groups
  • Participation in the Public Integration Foundation discussion “Gender Equality. Opportunity for business growth?”
  • Participation in the discussion on Social Impact Management (Venue – Riga, European Union House)
  • Presentation at the largest CEO conference “EBIT”

We have created 3 podcast series with social entrepreneurs:

  • Elīna Novada, representing the social enterprise “Svaigi”, shared her experience of running, the importance of social enterprise status, creating social impact and the challenges of promoting healthy lifestyles,
  • Diāna Elekse, representing the social enterprise “Ulubele”, spoke about the social impact created, which can be measured in the warm stories of adoption and shelter visitors,
  • Arnis Vējš, representing the social enterprise “4 vēji”, talked about the satisfaction that comes from involving people with mental disabilities in the labour market and what qualities an entrepreneur must have to be able to do this.

We organised a meeting with academics who teach courses on social entrepreneurship at universities in Latvia. There are already two study programmes dedicated to social entrepreneurship in Latvia and many more courses for business and management students, as well as for social workers, which provide an early introduction to the field. During the meeting we discussed challenges and opportunities for development, learning materials and objectives. We summarised the study opportunities in a single article.

International cooperation

The international dimension has also been well represented this year, with various projects both providing opportunities for our members to participate in exchanges and developing valuable materials for use in their daily work.

The highlights of 2022:

  • The International Social Entrepreneurship Conference was held in Serbia;
  • LOCAL-Y-MPACT partner countries – Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Portugal and Cyprus – and their representative organisations organised an exchange visit in Latvia, Talsi, and Portugal, Braga, to learn from each other about good practices in cooperation between NGOs, social enterprises and local authorities;
  • France, the Council Member of SEAL Inga Muižniece learned about the principles of work integration social enterprises and local regulations for their operation;
  • Estonia, the final event of the BALTIC-YOUTH-IMPACT project – a training on social impact management using the tools developed during the project;
  • This year, in cooperation with the Georgian Social Enterprise Alliance and the Georgian Regional Institute for Sustainability Development, we explored ways to promote social entrepreneurship in the tourism sector within the project “Development of Social Entrepreneurs in the Tourism Sector”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. As part of the project, SEAL’s members had the opportunity to travel to Georgia and learn from the experience of local businesses.

During the international projects SEAL has developed training materials that will be useful for both social enterprises and NGOs to take the first steps in managing social impact and building partnerships with other organisations, businesses and local governments.

Thank you for your cooperation and see you in 2023!