Gamified Social Entrepreneurship Educational Approach

In today’s fast-paced and entertaining digital world, it is crucial to reevaluate traditional education methods and make learning more accessible and understandable in both formal and non-formal education. There is a need for innovative approaches to make learning more engaging, effective, and enjoyable, as traditional classroom methods may not always resonate with students and do not offer engaging experience. The changes in the society, especially after recent challenges the world is facing such as Covid-19 pandemic and the wars in Ukraine and Gaza have directly affected the work. Moreover, everyone should have an opportunity to explore their ideas of how society and communities can help one another, irrespective of the obstacles they may face. Entrepreneurship skills are valuable not only for aspiring entrepreneurs, but for anyone seeking to navigate the challenges of the modern world. It is essential to expand awareness of various social challenges and social entrepreneurship can be used as a powerful tool for addressing these issues to a broader audience. Game based learning offers a fresh and interactive way to teach complex subjects, to actively engage with the subject and inspire learners.

Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia together with Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) from Georgia, Tudatos Ifjúságért Alapítvány (TIA) from Hungary, CXJV Conexão Jovem Associação (CJ) from Portugal and Izglītojošo spēļu un metožu asociācija (ISMA) from Latvia have started a cooperation to explore fresh unconventional methods and to create an engaging and intuitive learning experience that can be easily adopted and understood by diverse audiences by using gamification as a tool within the project “ImpactED: Gamified Social Entrepreneurship Educational Approach” that will last until June 2025.

The objective of the cooperation is to explore and demonstrate how gamification can be effectively employed to enhance non- formal education and the learning process, specifically in the context of social entrepreneurship field as well as to contribute to the broader discussion on innovative educational approaches that not only make learning more enjoyable, but also equip learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to address pressing societal challenges through social entrepreneurship. 

The project will implement a series of activities focused on developing innovative gamified educational materials for social entrepreneurship, including designing an interactive social entrepreneurship game, testing, creating guidelines and a video. These activities will actively engage young people to explore entrepreneurial opportunities that address societal issues and become more responsible citizens as well as social entrepreneurs to show their solutions as an example. The main result of the project will be an engaging and innovative educational game that can be used both in formal and non- formal education context, as well as youth training. 

The impact of the cooperation and project results are aimed towards providing young people with sustainable problem-solving skills, empowering young individuals to address social issues effectively in the long term. As a result they will expand their capacities, particularly in critical thinking and problem-solving. This shift from theoretical learning to practical application will enable them to adapt and respond to emerging challenges with resilience and creativity in the future. It will enhance the quality of youth education, promote social entrepreneurship, and foster civic engagement.

 

Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union, European Commission or Agency of International Programs for Youth. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


Guidelines for creating social impact based podcasts

Have you ever thought you need your own podcast but don’t know where to start? How do you identify resources and plan your podcast? Do you need to buy expensive equipment straight away or can you get by with the equipment you have at home? Find out in the How to create a social impact-based podcast guide, which will help you take the first steps towards creating your own podcast!
The guidelines have been developed as part of the project “Podcasting-based social learning environment project”, which aims to inspire and train public and private sector professionals working or interested in defining, managing, measuring and communicating their impact, as well as anyone who wants to use a podcast as a tool to create positive impact and reduce negative impact in society.


Regenerative projects - revitalising disused areas

New European Bauhaus acts as a bridge between the world of science and technology and the world of art and culture to re-think the opportunities green and digital challenges could bring to our lives. Exploring various examples of social economy models and their development can foster understanding the New European Bauhaus principles as well as implementing them in a broader perspective.

Two good practices – The Split Youth Centre in Croatia and the Living Factory in Poland, of urban regeneration were analysed using peer review methodology and they showed some notable examples of community involvement, sustainable living and creative integration. 

The Split Youth Centre and the Living Factory are two projects that align with the principles of the New European Bauhaus and could serve as inspiration for future urban regeneration and community development. These are transformative initiatives that have breathed new life into once-neglected spaces, showcasing the seamless integration of community engagement, sustainable living and creative ingenuity.

 

The Split Youth Centre in Split, Croatia

The Split Youth Centre in Split, Croatia aims to transform disused infrastructure into a functional co-creative space for various activities such as work, culture, creativity, sports and recreation. It seeks to improve the quality of life for local youth, artists, hobbyists, cultural and social activists, and the community by providing diverse programmes and events. The project addresses the need to revitalise unused infrastructure and promote artistic, creative and social engagement among the local community, particularly youth. Collaboration is at the heart of Youth Centre, as 28 public, civic and private organisations join forces to revitalise the neglected space. With hundreds of programmes and activities held throughout the year, more than 2,000 hours annually, the project has undeniably enriched the quality of life within the local community.

It resonates with the principles of the New European Bauhaus initiative, incorporating inclusive decision-making through collaborative governance. As a vibrant centre for creativity and community, it offers valuable inspiration for similar regional projects, proving the profound impact of revitalising spaces and nurturing the human spirit, one programme at a time.

Read more about the good practice – Split Youth Centre

The Living Factory Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland

The Living Factory, situated in Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland, is embarking on a remarkable journey of revitalising the former industrial area, carving out a vibrant centre that thrives on locally and socially rooted entrepreneurship. Grounded in the community’s needs, the Living Factory addresses the region’s pressing issue of economic transformation. With the mining industry’s decline, the project offers hope by fostering local entrepreneurship and generating job opportunities for those impacted by industry changes. 

The Living Factory functions as a business incubator, bringing together social and economic partners to collaborate and create new businesses. The project advocates the potential of cooperatives to create job opportunities for individuals transitioning out of mining and mining-related industries. Comprehensive training programmes, mentoring and vital capital support are offered to budding entrepreneurs to help them realise their dreams.

The Living Factory project reflects the NEB initiative’s emphasis on economic transformation, sustainable living, and cooperation between different sectors.

Read more about the good practice – Living Factory

Representatives of several social economy organisations from Latvia, Italy, Croatia and Belgium analysed these good practices, using peer review. A peer review is a mutual and voluntary learning process between well-qualified equals based on systematic exchange of experiences and evaluation of policies, actions, programmes or institutional arrangements. The presented comment papers and peer review working groups provided valuable insights into important aspects of:

  • Financial sustainability
    • Ensuring Effective and Efficient Use of Public Funds
    • Harnessing Innovative Strategies for Income Generation
    • Leveraging Alternative Funding Sources
  • Stakeholder engagement and collaborative partnerships
    • Diverse Stakeholder Engagement Models
    • Role of Social Economy
    • Strengthening Collaborative Partnerships
  • Effective management and governance
    • Governance Models for Regeneration Projects
    • Capacity building for urban regeneration
    • Sustainability and Impact Management

Read more about these aspects as well as the summary of good practices – The Split Youth Centre in Croatia and the Living Factory in Poland

The social economy missions were organised in the framework of project ‘SEA4NEB’ that aims at promoting social economy models to contribute to the New European Bauhaus and at how they can foster spatial and sectoral clusters, taking an ecological approach to cultural cooperation and territorial development with local authorities. The whole methodology of the project is based on a strong partnership at local level between the local authority and the SE actor, while Diesis Network will act as transnational facilitator and coordinator. 

 

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are, however, solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or EISMEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


Activity report of year 2023

2023 was a very intense, fast-paced and full year! Our scale this year went beyond all frameworks – with the number of events, partners and countries, the diversity and depth of topics – from organising the two-day stage at Conversation Festival “LAMPA”, to international visits and trainings, consulting and running conferences and spending many hours in online meetings.
In 2023, we put a lot of effort into ensuring that social enterprises have an increasingly supportive environment, support mechanisms and opportunities to thrive. The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia continues to develop social entrepreneurship for long-term change in Latvia, working in three main areas – public awareness, capacity building of members and advocacy. Here is a look back at the most important milestones of the past year!

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MOST IMPORTANT EVENTS IN 2023

Social entrepreneurship pitch competition “LET THE GOOD IDEAS GROW“

The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia has organised the social entrepreneurship idea competition “LET THE GOOD IDEAS GROW” for the fifth time. This year the competition was held in cooperation with Luminor bank, as well as the Development Finance Institution ALTUM and the charity shop “Otrā Elpā”. We had two winners, each of whom received EUR 4000 prize. 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 broadcasted live on Delfi.lv.


In 2023, the prizes were awarded to:
🏆 Jury’s vote – “Is it easy to put on trousers?” / Vilber’s adaptive / Ogre region – Zane Berzina
🏆 In the audience voting – “BJMK Rokskola” / BJMK / Jelgava cityZane Rožkalna
🏆 Luminor bank Sympathy Award Winner – Brand “PARTAPIS” / Kristīne Kalēja – textile recycling in design clothing
🏆 ALTUM Sympathy Award Winner – LeatherWorks / Madara Miltoviča – natural leather scrap workshop
🏆 “Otrā Elpa” Sympathy Award Winner – “Remontbufete” / Zane Ruģēna – repair and building materials exchange

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Conference “Be proud. Evaluate. Celebrate!”

In 2023, the social entrepreneurship sector in Latvia officially turned five years old. During this time, a lot has been achieved: the legal framework has been established and strengthened, public awareness of the importance of social entrepreneurship has been raised, public investment has contributed to the development and growth of social enterprises. Today, more than 200 enterprises with social enterprise status are active, but the reality is that there are many more.

📣 On October 12, together with the Ministry of Welfare, we organised a conference dedicated to the five-year anniversary of social entrepreneurship, “Be proud. Evaluate. Celebrate!”.
The Ministry of Welfare, ALTUM and social entrepreneurship support organisations – Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, Reach for Change Latvia and New Door – as well as social entrepreneurs themselves shared their stories about their achievements.

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 “Constellation of Social Entrepreneurs” Stage at the Conversation Festival “LAMPA”

For the first time ever, the Conversation Festival “LAMPA” dedicated its own stage to social entrepreneurship – “The Constellation of Social Entrepreneurs”, which offered a diverse and exciting programme with more than 10 events in various interesting formats throughout the festival! They inspired, informed and provided practical knowledge not only about the daily life of social entrepreneurs, but also focused on 3 main themes – social entrepreneurship, inclusive society and innovation in education.
The two-day stage was organised together with our members, the social enterprise “Constellation Team”, who provided the Constellation Cube – a creative platform/stage where you could try playing musical instruments, sing and do creative tasks in between the events.

We organised 10 events with social entrepreneurs:

  • Ltd “Kano Editions” masterclass “Learning through play and creativity”;
  • Social enterprise “Liberated” and the “Mobility Centre for People with Disabilities” organised a discussion on an inclusive society “Invisible abilities – how to include otherness?”;
  • Discussion by the social enterprise “Barboleta” on “Motivation and innovation in education”;
  • “Mentor Latvia” discussion “YES! Young people start an independent life! How?”;
  • The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia organized charades “Don’t build empty straws!”, which allowed to get to know social enterprises in an interactive way;
  • Social enterprise “Rabarbers” organized “Whining room – support group for parents”;
  • Riga Business School created discussion “When Latvia innovates education, we get to Harvard, Buffalo and MIT!”;
  • Discussion of the social enterprise “Mammamuntetiem.lv” “Who is smarter in family matters – mum or dad?”;
  • A talk by the social enterprise “Ligero” on activating the invisible workforce “Job opportunities for all!”;
  • Interactive discussion “Invisible World: close your eyes and see – education through entertainment in the dark” by the social enterprise “Invisible World”.

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Cycle of Social Entrepreneurship Acitivities
“DEVELOPING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP TOGETHER!”

The most significant advocacy events in 2023 took place during the Ministry of Welfare’s Social Entrepreneurship Activity Cycle “Developing Social Entrepreneurship Together!” funded by the European Social Fund. Strengthening the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Latvia took place from the beginning of the year until November. The activities were implemented by organisations representing the sector – the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, the association “New Door”, “Reach for Change Latvia” and the social enterprise “Visas Iespējas” (All Opportunities). The series of events was aimed at different target audiences – existing and prospective social entrepreneurs, stakeholders in the sector, local authorities, investors and policy makers, young people, business incubators and organisations with the capacity and resources to create an enabling environment for social entrepreneurship.

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VISITS TO ALL MUNICIPALITIES

Between December 2022 and May 2023, the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia met with all 43 Latvian municipalities in individual face-to-face visits to discuss their opportunities to engage in social entrepreneurship development, tools and actions to support the sector, as well as examples of good practice. A total of 317 municipal staff, including chairpersons and executive directors, participated in the face-to-face meetings. Overall, after these visits, SEAL has concluded that organizing meetings and discussions on social entrepreneurship in municipalities is a very important step for the development of the sector. The development of the sector requires the involvement of a wide range of professionals, and by meeting representatives from different sectors, even within the same municipality, discussions and the planning of new interdisciplinary activities were stimulated. It is important to continue working with municipalities, both to follow developments in the field in each region and to maintain up-to-date information exchange due to the turnover of municipal staff.

We have noted that after visits to at least four municipalities, business support competitions have focused specifically on social entrepreneurship, at least four other municipalities have introduced real estate tax exempts for businesses with social enterprise status, at least two municipalities have introduced sales tax exempt, a municipal agency has been tasked with developing social entrepreneurship, and two municipalities have given free use of premises to social enterprises.

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SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP SCHOOL

To provide comprehensive knowledge for starting and running a successful social entrepreneurship, we organised a free e-learning course “Social Entrepreneurship School”. It was attended by people interested in social entrepreneurship, as well as by idea authors and existing social entrepreneurs.

In a series of nine online lectures, experts from different fields provided concise and useful knowledge on topics relevant to social entrepreneurship, such as

  • The basics of social entrepreneurship;
  • Business plan development and reviewing existing plans;
  • Creating and identifying social impact;
  • Financial management;
  • Branding and selling the company;
  • External and visual communication;
  • Digital marketing;
  • Business crisis management;
  • Creativity.

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REGIONAL THINK-TANKS

The social entrepreneurship ecosystem comprises a variety of stakeholders who together create a strong and supportive environment for the development of social enterprises. Strengthening this ecosystem is important as it fosters sustainable and socially impactful entrepreneurship that generates positive impacts for both society and the environment. In order to promote understanding and involvement of all stakeholders in strengthening the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, we bring together in regional Think-tanks opinion leaders, entrepreneurs, representatives of different organisations and municipalities with the will, opportunity and resources to strengthen and develop social entrepreneurship in the region, as well as social entrepreneurs themselves. The aim of the Think-tanks is to understand the role of each stakeholder and to prepare concrete action plans (actions here and now, not visions of the future) to strengthen and develop social entrepreneurship in each region.

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8 MEETINGS WITH INTERESTED ORGANIZATIONS

In the regions, we held meetings with organisations that have the potential to develop social entrepreneurship ideas or are already developing the field, such as academic staff. In this way, we strengthened the knowledge and capacity of existing organisations and informed new audiences about social entrepreneurship, both by inspiring young people and by creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn more about social entrepreneurship. A total of 8 events took place in six cities.

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REGIONAL EVENTS ABOUT SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Together with the Procurement Monitoring Bureau Office and the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS, we organised five workshops on “SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT – benefits, risks, examples, practices” in February and March 2023, attended by a total of 123 participants, who were also offered individual consultations.

The events explained the nature and benefits of socially responsible public procurement for public authorities, the practical and legal aspects of implementation and enforcement, examples of good practice, risks and practical work.
An explanatory guide to socially responsible public procurement was also produced, providing clear and concise information on the stages of procurement implementation, recommendations to be taken into account when setting requirements in public procurement, conditions and examples for different groups of services and goods, as well as for the implementation of public works, as well as examples of good practice from Latvia.

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NETWORKING EVENTS FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

This summer we invited social entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship idea authors, representatives of municipalities and sector support organisations, as well as other interested parties to networking and experience sharing events – visit social enterprises in the regions! It was an opportunity not only to get to know the work and daily life of social entrepreneurs in a practical way, but also to get to know each other, talk, gain inspiration and new knowledge, share experience, build new partnerships and strengthen the sense of belonging to the social entrepreneurship community! Not only the programme of events was inspiring, but also the venues – BMX track, horse pasture, Valmiera Green School, brunch farm, creative bread lab and other interesting places where we met and were inspired together with 89 participants.

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REGIONAL EVENTS FOR WIDER PUBLIC

Our Social Entrepreneurship Ambassadors attended the events and social entrepreneurs shared their stories. To promote social entrepreneurship in different regions, each event featured a local social entrepreneur as well as a speaker from another region. Visitors had the opportunity to have a frank discussion with the social entrepreneurs, revealing their personal sides and insights into business.

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SYNERGY BETWEEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OTHER AREAS

In order to promote the inclusion of the social economy in other planning documents and activities, proposals for the integration of social entrepreneurship/social economy aspects in other planning documents and activities were made, five proposals were submitted to the Ministry of Welfare.


The topics of proposals are:

  1. Proposal for the implementation of the deinstitutionalisation process in cooperation with social enterprises
  2. Proposal for the integration of social entrepreneurship aspects into the waste management process
  3. Proposal for integrating social entrepreneurship aspects into resocialisation
  4. Proposal for the inclusion of social entrepreneurship in the Diaspora Action Plan
  5. Proposal for the development of a social economy strategy in Latvia

The result has been useful materials that have been used in the work with stakeholders and have facilitated cooperation with organisations and companies working in these fields.

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SEAL MEMBER COMMUNITY

The Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia has 143 members, most of whom are social enterprises, but we also have social entrepreneurs and other interested parties – associations, foundations, LTDs without social enterprise status and individuals. During 2023, 14 members joined the community.

Becoming a member of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia gives everyone the opportunity not only to be part of an organisation that defends the interests of social entrepreneurs. It is an opportunity to find like-minded people, build new collaborations, stay informed about the most important developments in the sector, as well as to initiate new projects or thematic working groups.

This year we would like to highlight:

  • We regularly gather key information on various training, competition and funding opportunities. During 2023, we gathered 67 different offers;
  • We organised 11 networking events – some of them were more focused on work integration implementors, but all of them were open for all members with thematic focuses: work life balance, export development, 2 trainings on Meta (Facebook and Instagram) platforms, as well as visits to social entrepreneurs;
  • Five of the members have been nominated for different competitions: the Top 100 Women in Social Entrepreneurship to Agnese Frīdenberga, the Social Economy Award to Gustavs Upmanis from the social enterprise “Visas Iespējas” and Baiba Blomniece-Jurāne from the social enterprise “Barboleta”, the social enterprise “Mobilizing” with the Difftravel initiative, and the social enterprise “Neredzamā pasaule” in the “Disability Award of the Year” organised by the Ombudsman, 3 of which have also won these nominations!
  • During the year, we sent out 18 mailings inviting people to get involved in various SEAL activities, participate in events and competitions organised by others, and apply for funding or development opportunities;
  • We created 16 new podcast episodes with social entrepreneurs;
  • We provided publicity opportunities for members at the Conversation Festival “LAMPA”, and raised the profile of the sector by creating a 2-day stage programme “Constellation of Social Entrepreneurs”.
  • We made it possible to join our joint health insurance scheme – a much-appreciated annual initiative among our members who would otherwise not be able to get a health insurance policy.
  • Each year we make our members’ offers available at various festivals so that everyone can buy the goods and services produced by our entrepreneurs. For summer and Christmas offers we provide special publicity with paid advertising;
  • We offer our members to participate in various international projects and initiatives – in 2023 we organised 2 trainings on podcast as a tool for social impact communication in Tallinn and Riga, we created an exchange visit to Lūznava Manor on the development of the New European Bauhaus Initiative, and we went on exchange visits together to Sicily and Croatia;
  • In addition, we provide free invitations or discounts to various events such as the Sustainability Conference and others.

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ADVOCACY AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL

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

In 2023, a special focus will be on advocacy and the development of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. Among the achievements, we highlight:

  • We have developed 5 proposals to integrate social entrepreneurship into other areas;
  • We issued 7 opinions that have a major impact on issues relevant to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem:
  • Amendments to the Law on Public Benefit Organisations;
  • Conceptual report on “Opportunities to stimulate investment and diversify financing in social enterprises to promote their long-term growth”.
  • Rules for the implementation of Measure 4.3.3 “Support to Social Entrepreneurship” Amendments to the Public Procurement Law
  • Rules on the social target groups of pupils of a private educational establishment and the conclusion of an agreement on the participation of the municipality in the financing of the maintenance costs of the establishment Latvia’s position on the Social Economy Action Plan
  • On the establishment of a competence centre for social innovation
  • In 2023, we started working on the EU Fund Monitors project, where we are involved in sub-committees for monitoring EU funds, together with 5 other organisations. The nomination of Regita Zeila, Director of the Latvian Social Entrepreneurship Association, was approved by the Memorandum Council, nominating her to represent the views of non-governmental organisations in the EU Funds Monitoring Sub-Committee “A More Social Europe”.
  • On the initiative of the Deputy Mayor of Riga, Edvards Ratnieks, in November we participated in a meeting between the Riga City Council and social entrepreneurs, the aim of which was to inform social entrepreneurs about current developments in the field of business support in the Riga City Council. Around 20 social entrepreneurs from Riga took part in the discussion and actively expressed their suggestions for closer cooperation with the Riga City Council, including:
    – the possibility of introducing real estate tax incentives for companies with social enterprise status,
    – the availability of premises and a clear process for obtaining information and applying for them,
    – a single point of contact.
  • We represent the interests of our members in other associations of which we are members – the Civic Alliance-Latvia, as well as in the organisation “Latvian Platform for Development Cooperation”;
  • We met with academics who are developing courses and study programmes on social entrepreneurship, which resulted in a new course at the BA School of Business and Finance.
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ASSOCIATION’S EXPERTISE

Active work in advocacy has led to various recognitions, new collaborations and work as an expert in the field of social entrepreneurship and the social economy.

Last year, the Director of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia was one of the 4 representatives from Latvia to be included in the “Top 100 Women in Social Entrepreneurship”. Agnese Frīdenberga, a senior researcher at the Providus Think-tank and a long-standing member of the SEAL Council, Diana Lapkis, founder of social entrepreneurship accelerator New Door, and Inga Muižniece, founder of social enterprise Sonido and Chairwoman of the SEAL Council, were also included in the top 100 from Latvia.

As experts, we were involved in evaluating competitions, licensing study programmes related to social entrepreneurship, and assessing entrepreneurship activity at national level.

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

This year, the international dimension was also well represented, with various projects providing opportunities for our members to take part in exchanges and developing valuable materials for use in their daily work.

In 2023 we continued the work with 6 projects:

  • We continued our work on the B-WISE project “Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills in Work Integration Social Enterprises (B-WISE)” with 28 partners from 13 countries. The project aims to develop the skills of everyone working in a work integration social enterprise and to develop a Europe-wide strategy to tackle skills shortages in the work integration sector.
  • In 2023, we started engaging social economy actors in the “New European Bauhaus” within the SEA4NEB project. The project aims to combine design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment to help deliver the European Green Deal and connect with the everyday lives of European citizens. The involvement of social entrepreneurs is important as they also work on issues such as regeneration of abandoned spaces through an inclusive, green and local community development approach.
  • The LOCAL-Y-MPACT project, which aimed to promote cooperation between local authorities, social entrepreneurs and NGOs, has reached its final stage. HERE you can see the results developed during the project.
  • As part of the Podcasting based social impact learning environment project, we organised 2 international trainings on podcasting as a tool for social impact communication. In addition, we recorded conversations with social entrepreneurs about the impact they are having, in collaboration with existing podcasts and programmes. Listen to them in Latvian HERE.
    To develop the collaboration between traditional and social entrepreneurs, we joined the Buy Social B2B Europe project. The long-term impact of the project is to develop the concept of social procurement, or buying from social enterprises that put people and planet first.
    The biggest added value of member organisations is often the opportunity to meet other like-minded people to build collaborations. We also provide this opportunity internationally through the Baltic Sea Social Impact Network, so that new collaborations can be established between social entrepreneurs in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden.

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INFORMING THE PUBLIC

For social entrepreneurship to thrive, awareness of the importance of the topic needs to be updated in society. That’s why we organise public lectures and workshops, get involved in events organised by other organisations, provide advice to those interested in social entrepreneurship and send out news bulletins on the latest developments.

In 2023, we have given 7 media interviews and sent out 10 newsletters with the latest opportunities for everyone. We provided 49 consultations to social entrepreneurs to help them understand the best way forward for their ideas. We participated in events organised by other organisations to talk about social entrepreneurship, such as the closing event of the Democracy Academy at the Mežaparks stage, the Democracy Festival in Kuldīga, the conference of the association “Cerību spārni” on social entrepreneurship as an employment opportunity for people with disabilities, etc.
In addition to the annual activities, we organised 5 regional think tanks to discuss the opportunities to get involved in social entrepreneurship, organised an e-learning course “School of Social Entrepreneurship” where 9 lectures were given on different aspects of social entrepreneurship, and collaborated with podcast producers to record episodes with social entrepreneurs to reach new audiences.

Thanks to everyone involved for a busy and productive 2023, and here’s to a successful cooperation in 2024!


The social impact of public procurement - can the EU do more?

The aim of this study is to present the possibilities offered by Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement for the achievement of social goals and to analyse how these possibilities have been transposed into national law and implemented by contracting authorities across the EU. Another aim is to identify obstacles to the use of existing provisions and make recommendations with regards to possible future EU action.
This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Employment and Social affairs (EMPL Committee).

Seven years after its entry into force, it is legitimate to wonder what kind of social impact this Directive might have produced and to what extent SRPP is used in the EU. Until now, there has been no evaluation of this Directive from the European Commission. This study attempts to fill this gap and provide some answers on the state of play of SRPP in the EU.


Best Practices in European Social Entrepreneurship Advocacy

In an era where societal challenges demand innovative and sustainable solutions, social entrepreneurship takes center stage. Lithuanian Social Business Association in collaboration with Parliamentary Forum for Democracy and Social Economy Ukraine have created the report “Advancing Social Impact: Best Practices in European Social Entrepreneurship Advocacy”.

This research unravels the dynamic landscape of social entrepreneurship advocacy across European countries, seeking best practices that fuel the transformative movement. Motivated by the potent role of social entrepreneurship in times of crises, the study delves into strategies, initiatives, and challenges faced by national umbrella organisations and international networks dedicated to promoting social economy and entrepreneurship. Using the methodology such as desk research with in-depth interviews, the comprehensive approach analysis of open resources, website data, publications, and interviews with representatives from key organisations.

The research not only identifies and analyses best practices but also formulates practical recommendations for effective advocacy strategies. Spanning national and international levels, the study connects localized efforts with broader, collaborative initiatives, contributing to the ongoing dialogue on social entrepreneurship. This report serves as a comprehensive catalog for those passionate about promoting social entrepreneurship and advocating for its role in fostering a more sustainable future.


The continuation of Baltic Sea Impact Network

The Baltic Sea Impact Network – a transnational peer-learning network among social entrepreneurs from the Baltic Sea region – is entering its next phase. The network is expanding, as the membership increases from 32 to 50 social entrepreneurs, welcoming new members also from Denmark and Ukraine.

Over the course of 20 months, the members will be guided through a programme of monthly online sessions, alternating between peer learning and expert workshops. In October 2024, all network members will be invited to meet in person in Tallinn, Estonia to deepen their connections and find new collaboration opportunities.

The network allows you to meet people with the same goals. In the field of social entrepreneurship, you can sometimes feel a bit lonely but, in the network, you can find like minded people, who have the same issues.

– Anett Kislov, ResQ Club, member of the Baltic Sea Impact Network Pilot

The Baltic Sea Impact Network is implemented in partnership between Reach for Change Sweden, Reach for Change Latvia, Social Enterprise Estonia, Social Entrepreneurship Association Latvia and the Lithuanian Social Business Association, supported by the Swedish Institute as part of the Baltic Sea Neighbourhood Programme. Each participating organization brings years of experience in supporting social entrepreneurs and has proven its ability to mobilize entrepreneurs and stakeholders at a national level in their respective countries.

The Baltic Sea Impact Network has brought together social entrepreneurs from around the region and has been a platform for building connections with the aim of sharing experience and developing new partnerships. We see the expansion of the Network as a way to strengthen the resilience of the Baltic Sea region by supporting a larger number of social entrepreneurs on their way of creating and scaling positive impact in their respective countries and beyond.

Kristīne Vērpēja, Country Manager for the Baltic region at Reach for Change

The aim is to help the network members learn new skills, connect with like-minded peers from neighboring countries and increase the access of social entrepreneurs to relevant stakeholders.

The project was piloted in 2022, and feedback from the members of the Pilot project has been crucial in adjusting the network model and identifying the priorities for the new phase. The long-term ambition is to formalize the concept of the Network, to invite more funding partners on-board to be able to replicate and expand it across additional markets in the Nordic region and wider Europe.

Learn more about the Baltic Sea Impact Network here.


Get gifts from social entrepreneurs!

This is the right place to look for meaningful gifts – we have gathered the offers for Christmas gifts from our members – from corporate gifts to different experiences, these will be the best gifts for your loved ones! Do good by choosing responsible gifts!

Find the one that is right for you – the offers are divided into thematic sections: ‘Festive mood’, ‘Your events’, ‘Corporate gifts’, ‘Gifts for loved ones’, ‘Health care’, ‘Experience as a gift’, ‘Hobby gift’, ‘Learning and support’, ‘Quality time together’, ‘Environmentally responsible’, as well as the opportunity to do ‘Good deeds’ instead of buying a gift!

Our gift catalogue has a variety of presents from home decor, tableware collections, corporate gifts, event space rental and special offers just for Christmas!

FESTIVE MOOD

CHARITY SHOPS “TUVU” – the best place to find celebration decors

Charity shops “TUVU” – the place for great discoveries! Before the festive season, charity shops’ customers have the opportunity to buy not only clothes, shoes, tableware and household goods, but also gifts for their loved ones and to prepare for the celebrations by buying some special decor to create a festive atmosphere. With such purchases you will create a celebration for another family or person as all profits from the shops go to various charity projects. During Christmas time charity shops are surprising families in need with gifts. As well as continue to work with parents and young people in need, renovating homes in crisis situations, organising camps and events for young people, helping lonely people.

❄️ More info: www.biedribatuvu.lv
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Address of the shops: Pasta iela 51, Jelgava; Aleksandra Čaka iela 71, Rīga

CHARITY SHOPS “OTRĀ ELPA” – everything for celebrations

Christmas is a time of miracles and the charity shops “Otrā elpa” are the right place to look for and find all kinds of Christmas miracles, both to decorate the tree with and to put under the tree. You can also find more festive and casual clothes and shoes, tableware, books, toys and many other everyday essentials. The shops stand for sustainable living and sustainable gifts.
Starting in 2019, profits from the charity shop “Otrā elpa” chain is donated to the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Children’s Clinical University Hospital Organ Donor Programme to build emergency savings, thus providing important support to families with children in need of organ transplants outside Latvia. With every purchase and donation “Otrā elpa” customers give children a chance to live!

❄️ More info: www.otraelpa.lv

Address of the shops: Marijas iela 8, Rīga; Bruņinieku iela 72A, Rīga; Stabu iela 35, Rīga; Brīvības gatve 226, Rīga; Graudu iela 31, Liepāja

CHARITY SHOPS “HOPEN” – unique products you won’t find anywhere else!

The charity shop “HOPEN” is a great place to find Christmas gifts you won’t find anywhere else! Here you will find candle holders, tableware, vases, design items, goods for children. You can find furniture, paintings, lamps, textiles and household goods for home interiors. There is a wide selection of clothing, shoes and accessories. Profits are donated to charity. Shop and donate!

❄️ More info: www.hopen.lv

Address of the shops: Skolas iela 18, Ogre; Viestura iela 7A, Jēkabpils; Mazā Nometņu iela 32, Rīga; Kurzemes prospekts 132a, Rīga

“GLASS POINT” – exquisite decorations for your Christmas tree!

Social enterprise “GLASS POINT” offers glass snowflakes for the festive Christmas tree. The glass snowflakes were designed by artist Anna Varnese, who has managed to catch the moment and fuse the fragile, light and just like snow – icy clear snowflake in glass! The snowflake set contains 10 snowflakes made from recycled glass, namely glass frit. This is powdered glass from broken glass sheets that are no longer usable as a material for creating products, yet are the perfect artistic solution for creating glass snowflakes!

❄️ Pre-order by email: 📧
Address of the studio: Pērnavas iela 33, Rīga

ĀGENSKALNA MARKET – what is a Christmas miracle?

What is a Christmas miracle? Search and find every day* from 27 November to 31 December at Āgenskalns Market! The market has always been a place to meet – with traders, grandparents, neighbours or just passers-by. That is why during the time the market is bursting with fragrant, unexpected, delicious and surprising wonders in all their forms, we invite you to seek them out together and realise that the most precious wonders lie nowhere else than in the time we give to each other. Invite seniors, parents, children or long-lost friends for a date and experience the wonders of Christmas – carol singing, a leisurely dinner, a hunt for the most special gifts…

*Fridays-Sundays themed markets both inside and in the courtyard; throughout the week, in addition to regular traders, special festive pop-up traders and a cultural programme.

❄️More info: www.facebook.com/Atirgus
Address: Nometņu iela 64, Rīga

KALNCIEMA QUARTER – Ceramics pop-up

Latvia produces a wide variety of special ceramics, which can best be seen, appreciated and purchased at the annual event dedicated to ceramics. From 9 to 30 December, Kalnciema Quarter Gallery will host the fourth Latvian contemporary ceramics pop-up fair, bringing together 19 ceramic artists and brands, such as Laima Ceramics, Sidrabceramics, CIPARNICA Talsi ceramics, Oltes ceramics, etc.

 Combine enjoying the festivities and searching for gifts with a visit to the exhibition!

❄️More info: www.facebook.com/Kalnciemaiela
Address: Kalnciema iela 35, Rīga

YOUR EVENTS

BRANKU BRANČOTAVA – a welcoming place for your events!

Celebrations for your team!

Only 39 kilometres from Riga, “Branku Brančotava” is waiting for you in Brankas, Ozolnieki municipality. This is your place to celebrate and work, offering 180 m2 of space divided into two parts. For various events there is a hall that can accommodate up to 150 people. A cherry on top is the glass walls, which give the rooms a light and cosy atmosphere during the day and a romantic feeling in the evenings. “Branku Brančotava” will take care of EVERYTHING, all you have to do is to turn up! All profits go to the charity projects organised by NGO “Tuvu”, which you can find out more about HERE.

❄️More info: www.facebook.com/brankubrancotava
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📞 +371 27722552

CORPORATE GIFTS

SVAIGI.LV – gift baskets from local farms

When you receive a gift, a special story is given to you. It combines the best of Latvian farmers’ products and craftsmen’s work. Behind every product there is a real owner! This year, the gift story also has a special place for dreams. The gift sets can be prepared according to each company’s needs, changing or adding whatever is needed, wrapping them in a gift box, filling them with decorative elements and binding them with ribbon matching the company’s colours. The team will deliver to the office or to each recipient individually.

❄️ More info: https://svaigi.lv/davanas
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📞 +371 24335225

ORNANDUM – tableware print and sustainable promotional items

“Ornandum” invites companies to promote their brand, attract new customers and strengthen employee loyalty with sustainable promotional items and printed tableware that have the added value of quality printing with a design created especially for you.

❄️More info: www.ornandum.lv
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📞+371 28641536

VISI VAR – handicrafts made by socially vulnerable groups

The charity shop “Visi Var” is a social enterprise founded by the NGO “Cerību spārni” to promote employment for people with disabilities, their relatives and socially vulnerable groups. Every single thing that is created is made with great care, with genuine love and gratitude for the opportunity to work and spend time in a meaningful way. So when you buy the products, you are truly supporting an extraordinary person’s dream of an independent life.

In the shop you will find beautiful and useful things for everyday life and for celebrations for yourself or your loved ones – beautiful and high quality clothing for adults and children, as well as a variety of textiles for the home; unique shapes and designs of dishes from ceramics workshops; candles poured with love; various high quality and useful woodworks, as well as the warmest woollen socks and more, and more!

❄️Online shop: visivar.lv

Address of the shop: Institūta iela 5a, Sigulda

GIFTS FOR LOVED ONES

IMANTA ZIEDOŅA FONDS VIEGLI – books, music and souvenirs

Imants Ziedonis Foundation’s “Viegli” e-shop is a convenient, fast and handy place to buy books, music recordings and souvenirs published by the Foundation. As the “Viegli” Foundation is a cultural NGO, by purchasing anything from the Foundation’s e-shop, everyone supports the activities and projects of the Ziedonis Museum and Library, “Ziedonis Class” and “Potato Field Radio”.

❄️Online shop: fondsviegli.lv

SIA TIPTIP.LV – gifts made by seniors and people with special needs

You will find more than 1400 crafts created by Latvian seniors and people with disabilities – knitted, crocheted, leather and wicker products, candles, jewellery, decorations, blankets, paintings, embroidery, Lielvārde belts, dishes, veneer boxes and much more – more than 70 works by different authors. Individual purchases as well as corporate orders are welcome!

❄️Online shop: tiptip.lv 

SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGES – send a card and support

Handwritten greetings are special. This year, they will be appreciated even more than before by family, friends and business partners. You can still buy, write and send a lovely greeting! Take a look at the beautiful Christmas cards created by children from SOS Children’s Villages and artists.

❄️Online shop: sosbernuciemati.lv

DESIGN ELEVATOR – colouring posters

A unique gift that combines creativity, sustainability and social impact.

It is a family-run company from Cēsis, publishing large-size colouring posters who care about the future and the future of your children, as well as about an inclusive society, so products that make a difference in the long term are produced.

🌱 Sustainability: the posters are 100% biodegradable, supporting environmental sustainability.

 🤝 Social impact: 10% of our income goes to civic initiative projects in Ukraine, supporting and making a difference in areas where it is needed most.

 ♿ Inclusion: The part of the production process (packaging) is outsourced to people with mental disabilities at the Pērle Day Centre in Cēsis.

 🎨 Created by artists: The posters are illustrated by both Latvian and Ukrainian artists and have the value of a work of art in their own right.

Posters are made in Latvia

❄️Online shop: www.kanoeditions.com

Use discount code: ZIEMA and get a 20% discount on packaged colouring posters until 31.12.2023. Discount code is combined with discount code for free shipping in the Baltics: BALTICWAY, valid for purchases over 12.00 EUR.

SIA TYPICAL LATVIAN – everything for letter writing

Do you write your loved ones real letters?

Although handwritten letters are the miracle of our time, there is nothing more beautiful than the handwriting of a dear friend on paper, and the memories of the feelings they share. That is why, even though this communication is dying out, Typical Latvian offers letter paper for those who still meet through letters.

The set contains 10 sheets with a blue gloss, reminiscent of snow in winter. The pages are printed on one side. 5 envelopes. The letterheads can be used as festive notes to accompany gifts.

Continuing the tradition of supporting artists with disabilities, this year a special Christmas cards and stationery for those who love to write real greetings have been created.

❄️Online shop: www.satiksanasdarbnicas.lv
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ES VARU – book for the whole family “YOU CAN!”

Support your child on the path to their dreams by giving them a book that will encourage them to discover and explore their talents and help them move towards their goals.

“TU VARI” is:

  • 154 colourful and engaging pages with content that changes daily
  • suitable for readers of different ages – older children and teenagers can do the tasks themselves, kindergarteners can be helped by their parents, teachers and other professionals can use it in social studies and classroom lessons, as well as in non-formal education
  • includes a variety of activities to help children explore their interests, abilities, skills, dreams, etc., as well as creative leisure activities
  • support for building children’s self-esteem – methods that promote a healthy attitude towards mistakes and encourage them to overcome difficulties

The author of the book is Andra Strautiņa – an entrepreneur, business start-up mentor and lecturer who works with different audiences on a daily basis, helping them to implement business ideas, make career choices and learn useful skills for life. Her approach is based on the practice of self-compassion, which helps to overcome the voice of the inner critic and promotes a positive attitude towards oneself.

❄️Online shop: www.esvaru.lv
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ENGINEERING FOR CHILDREN – books for children

The author, Kristīne Jacino, is a PhD in food engineering with many years of experience in the food industry. She is the creator of the “Professor Jacino” brand, founded the social enterprise “Engineering for children” and creates and develops diverse, interactive and entertaining educational projects for children.

“Professor Jacino” books will be a great gift for children:

🎄”Where does the milk come from?”step-by-step of the milk’s journey from the goat to our kitchen,

🎄 “Where does rye bread come from?”How rye bread gets from the cornfield to the kitchen,

🎄”Where do sausages come from?” tells how sausages get to the kitchen.

❄️Online shop: www.professorjacino.com
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4 VĒJI – individually made soap

The social enterprise’s  “4 Vēji” soap is created to support the employment of people with disabilities. The soap comes in different shapes and colours and all use natural additives. It is handmade and a lot of love and craftsmanship is put into each piece. Due to the nature of handmade soap, the weight of the soap is approximate, as soap shapes are available in different variations.

❄️ Buy the soap by contacting “4 Vēji” on Facebook: facebook.com/socialais.uznemums.4veji
More info: www.4veji.lv
📞+371 29345720

DEVIŅI PĒRKONI – Latvian design

“DEVIŅI PĒRKONI” offers contemporary clothing and accessories – the work of Latvian artisans. By shopping here, you will support the creators of these designs and Latvia’s small producers. “DEVIŅI PĒRKONI” helps designers to find their buyers and helps the buyers to find the great products of the artisans!

❄️Online shop: www.9perkoni.lv
📞+371 28810509

HEALTH CARE

PRINTART – posture correcting T-shirt

Take care of yourself and your loved ones with a Correcty posture correcting t-shirt that will give you confidence and help you fight bad posture! The Correcty T-shirt features a special corrective circuit which, when the shoulders are hunched forward, contracts back like a spring more strongly than in other places and reminds you to keep your shoulders straight. Correcty is a passive back exercise, because only the muscles in the stretching form the correct posture! Correcty will help to train your back muscle memory, prevent pain, tightness and incorrect spinal postures, and help you to breathe easier.

❄️More info and online shop: www.correcty.eu

DZĪVĪBAS POGA – care for seniors

“Dzīvības poga” is a remote alert system that keeps you connected to your loved ones in unexpected situations that may require medical attention. The button ensures that qualified personnel are on hand in case of an emergency, for example when a loved one is injured or cannot call for help at all times. Available as a bracelet or pendant, the “Dzīvības poga” is always close by, unlike a telephone.

❄️Online shop: dzivibaspoga.lv/pasutit
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📞+371 20666444

THERAPY CENTRE “SKAŅAS UN MŪZIKA” – give wellness!

Welness as a gift – give from the heart! Give your loved ones the gift of good feelings and pleasant emotions – a relaxing experience, inner peace and rest.
– Music therapy
– Vibroacoustic therapy
– Warm grain therapy
– Visual plastic arts therapy
– Sand play therapy etc
… or perhaps an individual consultation with a psychologist or other specialist?
Choose any treatment/service from the therapy centre’s range for children or adults, in a group or individually.

❄️More info: www.skanasunmuzika.lv
📞+371 20025145, +371 26489329

LIBERATED – insulated raincoats

For many, winter is one of their favourite times of the year, but for people with reduced mobility, it’s full of challenges – uncleared and impassable pavements, muddy wheelchair wheels, wet snow… NGO “Gaismas Laiva” develops raincoats that are practical, waterproof and suitable for all-season winter including. The sleeveless raincoat is comfortable to wear, doesn’t get caught in ruts and has reflective design elements to protect you in twilight weather, making you more visible on the road.

Be safe and protected from moisture to roll forward with purpose! 🎯

🤝 Support us by donating a raincoat to someone who needs it most! If you are a company, organisation or association, contact us and buy our products for your disabled people to make everyday life easier and safer outdoors in a wheelchair!

❄️ Order by email:
More info: gaismaslaiva.com | www.gl-development.lv

LAIMES BĻODA – classes in warm grains

Developmental activities in warm grains aimed at reducing stress in children and young people. It is a shared educational service for the family. The results of parent questionnaires, a scientific study conducted at Daugavpils University and the company’s experience show that after the classes, speech skills improve, sleep and its quality improve, muscle tension and anxiety are reduced, the ability to adapt, cooperate, understand and regulate emotions improves. “Laimes bļoda” offers: Mobile service at the client’s location; Happiness Bowl for rent or purchase; Specialist training; Counselling for parents; Conversations with parents; Gift vouchers for classes in Warm Grains for Christmas presents.

❄️More info: www.laimesbloda.lv
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📞 +371 28374952

EXPERIENCE AS A GIFT!

GLŪDAS MĀJ-SKOLA – creative workshops for children

Christmas workshops for children and groups are now a tradition!
Children from 5-13 years old are invited to join a workshop where they can conjure up presents for their loved ones while enjoying gingerbread cookies, cocoa and hearty work in the Christmas spirit. “Glūdas māj-skola” also offers a day out or a specific activity of your choice. The handmade gifts have a high added value and a sweetness of heart! Sign up by writing on Facebook or calling – 28382308.

❄️Facebook: Glūdas māj-skola
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📞 +371 28382308

CENTRE FOR HUMAN GROWTH “TORŅAKALNS” – Gong Meditation

How should we spend the time of waiting the festive season to find peace within ourselves?
The Centre for Human Growth “Tornakalns” invites you to the gong meditation classes! The gong is a sacred meditative instrument, thousands of years old, that has been used for centuries to heal the mind and body. Immersion in the healing vibrations of the gong helps to achieve deep relaxation, releases control of our mind and perceptions and allows us to become free from blockages on a physical, emotional and psychic level.

If gong meditation is not your thing, but you would like a more growth-enhancing experience, the Centre for Human Growth “Torņakalns” now also offers gift vouchers! The Centre hosts workshops and classes aimed at helping everyone to know themselves better, gain peace and confidence, grow and realise their potential.

 Gift vouchers can be obtained by calling 25636303 or emailing

❄️More info: www.izaugt.lv
Fill in the form HERE

DABAS ZIRGI – a walk with a horse

Where else better to enjoy adventure now than outdoors and in the fresh air! Social enterprise “Dabas zirgi” offers you a nice walk in the forest with one of the friendly horses! You will be able to choose which horse to walk with, cuddle it and feed it with carrots! Remember that the walk is done with the horse by your side!

❄️More info: www.dabaszirgi.lv
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NEREDZAMĀ PASAULE – interactive tours in the dark

Can you remember the last time you wondered about something? When, after visiting a new place, you remembered it and recommended it to your friends because the experience was amazing? You are invited to visit a very unusual interactive space – The Invisible World – “Neredzamā pasaule”- where you cannot see the exhibition, but only feel it. A guide, for whom the lack of light is part of everyday life, will help you through all the interactive rooms and navigate in the dark. In addition to 90-minute individual tours, there are also networking events and 3-hour corporate training sessions for teams. “Neredzamā pasaule” – give this adventure to your friends or colleagues!

❄️More info: www.neredzamapasaule.lv
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OPERETTA THEATRE – performances and concerts

Make yourself and your loved ones happy! An operetta performance or concert is a great gift, a wonderful shared experience for the holidays! Joy will fill your soul, make you feel refreshed and lift your spirits!

✨ “Rosehip. An urban romance in two parts” – Latvia’s first multimedia jukebox musical with Raimonds Pauls’ most beautiful melodies of all time. Dināra Rudāne, Dainis Skutelis, Jolanta Strikaite, Anastasija Dolgonenko, Kārlis Rūtentāls, musical actors-singers, dancers, instrumental ensemble in a colourful, dynamic story of love and forgiveness. 

Premiere on Wednesday, 20 December at 19.00 at VEF Culture Palace.

✨ Operetta Theatre’s New Year’s Eve concert “La Belle Epoque”. Opera diva Sonora Vaice, Anta Jankovska from Italy, Patrīcija Kozlovska, Guntars Runģis, Nauris Indzeris, dancers, the symphony orchestra of the Operetta Theatre conducted by Atvars Lakstīgalas! Festive joy, wonderful, joyful and colourful Christmas music, operetta and opera music, the always beautiful Neapolitan carols and Spanish zarzuelas on 25 and 28 December at the VEF Culture Palace. Tickets at the “Biļešu paradīze” box office and online!

Operetta Theatre is a non-governmental professional musical theatre with a diverse repertoire of musical theatre: operettas, operas, musicals for adults and children, jazz, educational virtual reality programmes for children and the annual International Operetta Festival in Ikšķile.

❄️More info: www.operetesteatris.lv or www.facebook.com/OperetesTeatris
Tickets in «Biļešu paradīzes» ticket office and online

BRANKU BRANČOTAVA – Latvian voices

LATVIAN VOICES in Christmas concert programme ‘SNIEGums’.

The Christmas programme “SNIEGums” by the a cappella group Latvian Voices is both a wintry play on words and the singers’ sincere intention to give the most beautiful musical performance to their listeners. In this programme, the human voice and the acoustics of a room without amplification devices meet – in the darkest concerts of the year, electricity is replaced by candles, and the light really shines through, as the heightened sense of hearing makes the music even more special. Latvian Voices’ six-part chord combinations will reveal both meditative Advent hymns and ritualistic winter solstice songs. There will also be new originals by the band members and, of course, the most heartfelt Christmas melodies, while it will most likely be snowing outside.

Our bartenders will be on hand to serve delicious drinks, while chef Andris Liberts from Branku Brančotava will take care of the hungry. The event will take place INSIDE Branku Brančotava – this time we will let ourselves be carried away by the lively atmosphere and the free interpretation of the space. There will be armchair seating, sofas, armchairs, poufs and standing tables. The bar will be open throughout the concert.

❄️More info: www.facebook.com/brankubrancotava
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📞 +371 27722552

HOBBY GIFT

SCIENCE SCHOOL “LABORATORIUM” – online chemistry, physics and electronics lessons

“Laboratorium” Science School offers systematic classes in chemistry, physics and electronics for children and teenagers: – for chemistry and physics for 2nd-9th graders, – for electronics for 6th-12th graders, – for chemistry for 10th-12th graders.
During the lesson, the teacher explains the theoretical part using a presentation and shows and performs experiments with the children. During the lesson, students can also see other members of the online group, share what they have already done and communicate with each other. It is a real lesson with a two-way connection as well as a sense of satisfaction for the work done!

❄️More info: zinatnesskola.lv
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📞 +371 28804919

Rockschool BJMK – your wings of growth in music

🎵Start a new year with a new hobby!

“BJMK” gives children and young people the opportunity to fill their free time with quality time by learning a musical instrument, and to create an interest and appreciation for music in young people.
Two ways to learn music and instruments at “BJMK”:
1) By attending individual lessons or small group lessons in an interest education format – this offer is available for all ages;
2) By enrolling in the BJMK Rock School and studying a vocational orientation programme alongside general education.

❄️More info: www.bmjk.lv
📧

DANCE SCHOOL “BENEFICE” – dance classes for everyone

“Benefice” Vocational School of Dance has created its own place for YOU to join after school, on weekends, when you want to dance, move…..come to “Benefice”, it IS a place for YOU! There is a place for your professional development in 3 beautiful halls with mirrors, ballet bars, and acrobatic equipment. There’s a special dressing room for you and a place to celebrate, study or relax.

❄️More info: www.benefice.lv
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ZVAIGZNĀJA KOMANDA – music lessons for children

Give your child the chance to learn music!
The social enterprise “Star Constellation Team” offers group and individual lessons – vocal lessons, drum lessons, piano lessons and learning music production using Ableton, DJ school and songwriting!

❄️More info: www.zvaigznajs.lv
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LEARNING AND SUPPORT

BARBOLETA – a balance platform for learning through movement

A great and useful Christmas present!

Barboleta – the smart balance board for children

  • improves language development
  • helps in the learning process
  • improves communication skills
  • train memory and attention,
  • improves motor coordination,
  • improve balance

500+ different games for learning and cognitive development.

Memory and attention training for children aged 3-10.

Come and try Barboleta. We look forward to seeing you every day on the 3rd floor of the Stockmann shopping centre!

❄️Online shop: www.barboletashop.com
📧

SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE “KOPĀ” – services in an inclusive environment

The Support and Development Centre “KOPĀ” provides care for children with autism and other functional disabilities. ABA therapists, audiologist, speech therapist, special educator, Barboleta Method specialist, clinical psychologist are all under one roof!

❄️More info: Facebook
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📞 +371 28384829

INTELLECT DEVELOPMENT CENTRE – classes to improve cognitive abilities

The Intelligence Development Centre offers scientifically proven solutions to improve cognitive abilities in both children and adults using the biofeedback method.

Depending on the age of the child or young person, we carry out cognitive ability tests and discussions with parents before the sessions in order to design a personalised training programme and promote the development of skills and abilities through a variety of tasks. During the sessions, about 15 different skills are promoted and new skills are developed. These are basic skills that will help your child to learn better or to acquire any type of new knowledge.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Large and fine motor exercises;
  • Bilateral exercises;
  • Attention and concentration exercises;
  • Numeracy or literacy exercises;
  • Auditory and visual attention training through games.

❄️More info: www.intelektacentrs.lv
📧

QUALITY TIME TOGETHER

“UPESLĪČI ATPŪTAI” – all inclusive offer

Looking for a great place for a family holiday?

Upeslīči offers an all-inclusive stay in a guest house, using the entire guest house and its spacious grounds as the only guest accommodation.

The offer includes:

  • Marinated meat and vegetables, which you can cook yourself on the grill or a ready-made dinner,
  • heated sauna for you and you can use offered scrub,
  • log fire, right essential oil for you to use in your ritual, and if you want to treat your body, rose petals can be added to the oil,
  • quad bike rides, if the weather is good and the track is passable,
  • a special breakfast for you to enjoy on the veranda,
  • alpacas, rabbits and sheep, you will not only be able to feed them, but to walk with the alpacas,
  • there will also be a small snack table available throughout your stay, a wide selection of teas and a coffee machine with specially roasted coffee.

❄️More info: www.upesliciatputai.lv
📧
📞 +371 28117861

SONIDO – conversation as a gift !

Give the gift of time! One way to greet partners and friends in a meaningful way is to donate to the “Parunāsim” project, giving the gift of conversation to someone who feels lonely. Callers are listened to by Sonido staff with disabilities, sparking open conversations that help, heal and dispel loneliness.

Give the gift of a companion! If you know someone who longs for a conversation every day, but for some reason doesn’t want to call “Parunāsim” line – we can call them ourselves. All you have to do is choose the time and topic that will make them feel most comfortable.

❄️ You can donate through Mobilly
Order gift vouchers by emailing: 📧

CENTRS SEVII – time with Emotional Intelligence Game Books

We invite you to give the most precious gift you have – TIME TOGETHER. For your child, yourself, family and friends, 45 games as methods collected in one great book “esi/ SPĒLES maziem un lieliem”. May the dark evenings become full of laughter, emotions, good thoughts and deeds. Let the family be united, develop mindfulness, empathy, communication and determination. The book gently and freely develops emotional and social intelligence – self-awareness, compassion, the ability to listen to others, resolve conflicts and work as a team.

🔔 esi/ SELF-CONTROL – getting to know and managing myself
🔔 esi/ emotion games – what to do with difficult emotions?
🔔 esi/ emotionally and socially intelligent
🔔 esi/ INSPIRATION

❄️Online shop: www.esicentrs.lv
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ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE

GLASS POINT – bottle cutting set

A great opportunity to surprise your friends and family with design solutions created by recycling glass bottles! The Glass Bottle Cutting Kit is ready to go. Glass Point Studio has all the technical equipment you need, as well as video tips, to make your glass vases, glasses, candle holders or lamps. The creative process will result in handmade Christmas gifts, interior solutions and surprises for friends.

❄️More info: 📧

0 DESIGN – recycled paper and interior

0 Design believes that sustainable design is a story of simplicity and long-term comfort. However, you still have the freedom to choose excellent taste. You still have the freedom to choose for yourself. Buy design items made with care for the environment using recycled paper – send letters on tasteful recycled paper or brighten up your interior with lampshades!

❄️Online shop: www.0design.lv

SWIMBE – swimwear made from recycled fabric

SWIMBE repairs and sews all kinds of textile products using unique fabrics created in Italy from old fishing nets, carpets, PET bottles and other plastic waste. SWIMBE offers everyone the opportunity to order the swimsuit of their dreams – in any colour, design, pattern and size! A swimsuit that is made for your body, your taste and your feelings – unique and unrepeatable! We believe that every person is unique and strives to fill their life with special events, experiences, colours and moods. Diversity is the world’s special asset.

❄️Online shop:www.swimbe.lv
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📞 +371 28808440

GOOD DEEDS

MENTOR LATVIA – give the chance to be there!

Implement your Christmas charity project! Businesses and individuals are invited to support vulnerable young people at Christmas.
By supporting the programme, you will give a young person the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring support throughout the year. This support is truly meaningful for every young person in the mentoring programme and has long-term benefits.
You can support the mentoring programme by donating on the #MentorLatvia platform on the #MentorLatvia website.

❄️More info: www.mentor.lv

HOSPISS LV – support for terminally ill patients

No one wants to plan a serious, incurable illness. It happens suddenly and we rely on the system, on palliative care. The reality is that you end up at home without proper care, hoping for help from your family, if you have any.
There is a certain notion that we would all like to die at home. In our own bed.
But, really? In your own bed, without being able to lift your head, to see through the window?
A special care bed with removable sides, on castors, with a remote control and a special pressure relief pad mattress is a REAL aid in the care of such patients, which unfortunately is not available to everyone.
The donations for such beds and mattresses are collected so that people at the end of life can get them free of charge, without losing the freedoms that remain at the end of life!
Do your part by standing up for the dream of living freely in Latvia!

❄️Support: www.hospiss.lv
More info: Facebook

CAT CARE COMMUNITY – help cats find homes!

The NGO helps homeless cats to find permanent homes. It provides temporary homes or clinic treatment and is actively looking for new owners. You can help by calling the donation line or buying animal-themed clothing, with all profits going to the social cause: www.pukainis.store.

❄️More info: www.catcarecommunity.com and Facebook

CHARITY FOUNDATION “SOFI” – help make charity projects happen!

The Charitable Foundation “Sofi”was established in 2020 and contributes to improving the well-being of wider society. The Foundation supports animal shelters and promotes animal welfare, implements projects to improve children’s health and education, supports socially disadvantaged groups and contributes to environmental clean-up, improving conditions for both people and animals.

❄️Support: www.sofifonds.lv
More info: Facebook


The Impactful Journey of the LOCAL-Y-MPACT Project

In a world where social challenges grow increasingly complex, the synergy between municipalities and grassroots organizations becomes crucial. As these challenges evolve, cooperation becomes the key element for addressing them effectively. The “LOCAL-Y-MPACT” project, engaging five European municipalities,  explored how to team up with community organizations, leading to big, important changes.

Setting the Foundation: Unveiling Opportunities and Challenges

The project kickstarted with a drive to understand, to map, and to create. It resulted in a wealth of resources that form the bedrock of impactful collaborations:

  • Database of Active Organizations: A hub for diverse local entities, fostering not just local but also international collaborations. (Click the organization location you are interested in: Cyprus; Latvia; Lithuania; Portugal; Sweden.)
  • Showcasing Successful Cooperation: Practical examples across pilot municipalities illuminating successful models and offering actionable insights. (Click the organization location you are interested in: Cyprus; Latvia; Lithuania; Portugal; Sweden)

Towards Tangible Action: 5 Useful Steps To Create Cooperation Between Local Governments And Community Organizations

Spanning across Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Portugal, and Cyprus, the insights created a pivotal document, “Tools for Enhancing Cooperation between Local Governments and Community-based Youth Organizations.” It distilled the essence of impactful collaboration into essential steps:

  • Define and articulate a common outcome
  • Establish mutually reinforcing or joint strategies
  • Agree on roles and responsibilities 
  • Establish compatible policies, procedures, and other means to operate across organizational boundaries
  • Develop mechanisms to monitor, evaluate, and report on results.

Toolbox (EN)

(Also available in GR; LV; LT; PT; SE)

Paving the Way Forward: Policy Recommendations for Enhancing Cooperation

Guided by a shared vision of resilient communities, policy recommendations surfaced, designed to empower collaboration between municipalities, youth organizations, and social enterprises:

  1. Streamlining Communication and Procedures: Appointing liaisons to facilitate communication and simplify processes.
  2. Simplifying Grant Procedures: Reducing bureaucracy to foster ease in grant procedures.
  3. Youth and Social Enterprise Participation: Encouraging inclusion and validating contributions.
  4. Implementing Performance Indicators: A pathway to evaluating impactful projects, building trust and impartiality.
  5. Investing in Capacity Building: Nurturing knowledge exchange and fostering entrepreneurial growth.
  6. Supporting Entrepreneurial Ventures: Dedication of budgetary allocations to fund innovative ideas by young entrepreneurs and social enterprises.
  7. Facilitating Ongoing Communication: Ensuring regular idea exchanges and understanding real needs.

Showcasing Collaborative Success:

The report accentuates successful collaborative initiatives where youth groups, community organizations, and social enterprises work hand in hand with local authorities, delivering impactful initiatives and positive outcomes. Detailed examples from each partner country provide a snapshot of effective collaboration.

Policy Recommendations (EN)

(Also available in GR; LV; LT; PT; SE)

These policy recommendations and success stories reflect the transformative potential of partnerships between communities, empowering stakeholders and contributing positively to the communities across Europe.

Empowering Collaboration: Roadmap for Establishment of Collaboration

In response to contemporary social challenges, the focus shifted towards sustainable and collaborative solutions, represented by the “Roadmap for Establishment of Collaboration/Partnership between Municipalities and Youth Organizations/Social Enterprises”:

  • Roadmap Guidebook: Serving as an instructional manual, the roadmap offers a practical guide for organizations, municipalities, and stakeholders interested in fostering partnerships.

Guidebook (EN)

(Also available in GR; LV; LT; PT; SE)

  • Checklist Templates: two types of checklist templates tailored for municipalities and youth organizations/social enterprises, facilitating a structured approach into three key steps for efficient collaboration.

Checklists for Municipalities

(Also available in GR; LV; LT; PT; SE)

Checklists for Organizations

(Also available in GR; LV; LT; PT; SE)

“LOCAL-Y-MPACT” In Conclusion: 

The “LOCAL-Y-MPACT” project stands as a testament to the transformative potential of partnerships. It empowers stakeholders, enriches localities, and paves the way for resilient communities through collaborative endeavors. From understanding challenges to offering actionable tools and recommendations, this project has forged a path toward a future where collaborative action fuels societal growth and well-being.


The above mentioned outputs were created in the context of the project “Enhancing youth capacity in Municipalities and encouraging mutual cooperation using social entrepreneurship as a tool, LOCAL-Y-MPACT” The objective of the project “LOCAL-Y-MPACT” is to strengthen the cooperation between community based youth organisations and social enterprises and local municipalities, and promoting social entrepreneurship as an effective tool for reducing economic inequality, promoting social inclusion and integration, creating resilient society and fostering active participation within local communities.


Unlocking the power of Socially Responsible Public Procurement

We want to hear from you!

In a bold stride toward a socially responsible and sustainable future, the European Commission is spearheading the ‘Training and Awareness-raising Activities on Socially Responsible Public Procurement’ project across all EU 27 Member States. This initiative is a pivotal step in achieving the twin objectives of raising awareness of public buyers on the benefits of socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) and empowering social economy enterprises (SEEs) with opportunities for expanded market access.

On behalf of the European Commission, we are conducting a thorough analysis of communication needs with a primary focus on public authorities and social economy actors. This analysis seeks to understand their current preferred communication channels, tools, and platforms.

Your opportunity to make a difference!

In the spirit of inclusivity, the project invites contributions from the public sector, the social economy, and legal experts. Share your insights through a survey designed to gather information on communication trends and practices across the EU. Your input is crucial in shaping the forthcoming communication campaign in Latvia for this impactful endeavour.

Contribute now! 

Your brief participation, taking no more than 10 minutes, will contribute to the collective effort to advance socially responsible public procurement. The survey remains open until December 31st, offering a unique chance to make your voice heard in the journey towards a more sustainable and socially conscious future.

Let’s come together to shape the future of public procurement for the better!