Latvia to launch female empowerment project in Africa

On October 18, Latvian diaspora experts and Riga Business School lecturers and professors together
with African partners will launch the country's first development cooperation project in Africa, which it is hoped" will open up new horizons and cooperation opportunities" for the countries involved.

With support from the Namibian Embassy in Helsinki and the Zambian Embassies in Stockholm and Rome, a female empowerment project will be set in motion. Officially titled "Girls' and Women's Empowerment through Entrepreneurship in Africa", it has the catchier alternative title of "She Rebuilds the World".

According to organizers: "The main objectives of the project are tripartite: firstly, within the framework of the project, more than a hundred young African aspiring female entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to learn, brainstorm and ideate [sic] business opportunities, and by the end of the program in May 2023 - to create business plans or, possibly, even form start-ups.

"Secondly, Latvian experts will organize workshops for representatives of Namibian and Zambian public administration and trade enhancement and development organizations and NGOs to discuss and share best practices on how to create national business environments supportive of entrepreneurship, inclusiveness, and female leadership.

"Thirdly, stressing the importance of international networks - the project participants, young entrepreneurs, will be given the opportunity to create their own international North-South networks. This shall help the participants of the program to collaborate on social entrepreneurship and business ideas in the future: both through social network tools and by establishing personal contacts during entrepreneurial bootcamps and studies in Riga Business School program next year."

 

, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy, the lead of the project and #esiLV
Board Member, said: 

Prof. Ieva Jākobsone Bellomi

"I grew up during the Soviet era – without freedoms and with limited resources, so today I take every opportunity to learn and strengthen my social network to achieve my dreams. We young Latvian women have participated in the reconstruction of our country – from a command economy to a modern, democratic society in which freedoms and opportunities are in abundance. With this project connecting different worlds, we are keen to raise entrepreneurial ambitions in Africa by combining a training bootcamp for aspiring female entrepreneurs and sharing our developmental experience with our colleagues, economic and trade policy experts and professionals in Zambia and Namibia."

From October 18 to October 21, Riga Business School lecturers and professors, with the support
of #esiLV professionals, will conduct entrepreneurial bootcamps in Windhoek (Namibia) and Lusaka
(Zambia). In parallel, #esiLV global trade development and female empowerment experts will meet their
counterparts to discuss and share experiences on "inclusive, gender diversity supportive political and social
policies to create dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystems".

At the beginning of November, an online conference will be organized for those interested in Latvia, the Baltic States and the Nordic countries on cooperation opportunities in Namibia and Zambia, in education and science, social and NGO sectors, as well as in business and trade.

The project will continue next year with a Riga Business School four month certificate training program where African aspiring female entrepreneurs will learn and work together with a multinational cohort of Riga Business School students. The project will come to an end in May 2023.

The project is implemented with the support of the Latvian  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with funding granted within the framework of development cooperation projects administered by the Ministry.

"We are convinced that the project will not only make a significant contribution to the promotion of the capacity of women's entrepreneurship in Namibia and Zambia but will also serve as a springboard for wider activities implemented by Latvia on the African continent," said Andris Pelšs, State Secretary of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs.

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