Four Latvians make it to Europe’s Top 100 Women in Social Entrepreneurship!

March 8, 2023

For the third time, Euclid Network (the European Social Entrepreneurship Network), which brings together 100 000 organisations in 21 countries, has created a European-wide top list of women in social entrepreneurship. This year, four women from Latvia are among the 100 European leaders in social entrepreneurship!

From over 900 nominations, the jury selected 100 women with outstanding leadership skills and a commitment to do more, inspiring other women to reach their potential in social entrepreneurship by their example. The women nominated have successfully implemented social projects with a positive social impact on a wide range of scales, contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The prestigious list from Latvia includes Regita Zeiļa, Director of Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, Agnese Frīdenberga, Main Researcher at the Centre for Public Policy “PROVIDUS”, Diāna Lapkis, founder and CEO of social entrepreneurship accelerator NEW DOOR, and Inga Muižniece, founder and CEO of social enterprise – call centre “Sonido”, who has been included in the list repeatedly.

Regita Zeiļa, Director of Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, has been working in the social entrepreneurship sector since 2017, since then she has established a network of social entrepreneurship ambassadors, conducted research in 2019 that resulted in a database of potential social entrepreneurs in 10 Latvian municipalities, and in 2020, at just 24 years of age, she became the director of association. In 2022, her active work in advocacy for social enterprises resulted in the inclusion of social entrepreneurship development in the government declaration, making it a national priority.

Agnese Frīdenberga, together with the PROVIDUS team, initiated research on social entrepreneurship by conducting the study “Latvia on the Road to Social Entrepreneurship” in 2012. In the following years, she was involved in the founding of the Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia, the development of the Social Enterprise Law, and is currently active in the Council of the Latvian Social Entrepreneurship Association, the Social Enterprise Commission of the Ministry of Welfare, researching the role of socially responsible public procurement and informing about its opportunities.

Diana Lapkis is co-founder and CEO of the international social entrepreneurship and innovation platform New Door and the first social entrepreneurship accelerator in the Baltic States. She is also an active consultant in the fields of social entrepreneurship, social innovation and corporate social responsibility, as well as a mentor for social entrepreneurs and a member of the Social Enterprise Commission of the Ministry of Welfare.

Inga Muižniece is the owner of work integration social enterprise “Sonido” and creates job opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition to her commercial activities, Inga Muižniece has also launched an unusual social project “Let’s Talk” – a telephone line for people suffering from loneliness. It is a story of a step closer to an inclusive society and work integration, which has also been recognised with the “Disabled People of the Year Award 2020” in the category “Promoter of Employment”. Sonido’s social project “Let’s Talk” was created in autumn 2018 to give people who feel lonely the opportunity to call someone and be listened to. Since then, the 26564564 line has received almost 21 000 calls.

The European Top 100 is designed to celebrate women in social entrepreneurship. These are challenging times, not only in Latvia but also around the world, and it is often women who offer innovative approaches to solving societal problems, including and not forgetting the interests of different groups in society.

See the full list here: