There are many Latvian entrepreneurs in Europe, but often they will be in their own bubble. One Latvian would not know that there is another who would benefit from cooperation.
“Latvians are creative, extravagant, versatile”, “Latvians are brave”, “I live in Sweden and really feel great support from Latvians”, “Latvians are able to adapt quickly because they are survivors”, “Latvians are targeted and optimistic”, “Latvians are welcoming”, “enthusiastic” – these are just a few of the descriptions written in chat by the participants in the event, when asked to describe Latvians in one sentence.
“We see stereotypes of Latvians as (often) grumpy, cold, suspicious,” said Edīte Brauela, spokeswoman for the organizers. “These prejudices are often just a phrase that has been established over time, and everybody is beginning to think it is true. I'd say the Latvian is like a coconut – when you get through that hard shell, everything inside is clean, light, fragrant and delicious!.”
Many were interested and very eager – the virtual room was crowded with seventy-five entrepreneurs of the most diverse profiles, from business consultants to artists, to information technology (IT) specialists.
The participants themselves seemed surprised by the fact that there were so many Latvians operating in a wide variety of sectors in Europe. The organizers say that there has actually been a lot more interest, but unfortunately the capacity of the virtual platform is limited. In the future, it will be of great interest to look for other solutions, one of which will include creating virtual smaller-scale meetings. For the time being, it has been decided to hold the next meeting in two months, on 18 March, although many of the participants expressed their willingness to meet again once a month.
Under the auspices of the “latviesi.com” site, a Latvian business map is launched – it will be easy to find Latvian businesses in Europe. The movement is given a name that can also be used as a hashtag — #PercLV. “This means buying not only products produced in Latvia that are easily ordered and delivered anywhere in Europe today, but also products and services produced and offered by a determined Latvian in your present country of residence”, said one of the organizers, Ilze Spīgule-Buijtenvega.
The network is organized by the “Economic Cooperation and Investments for Latvia” (#esiLV), formed as a community of entrepreneurs and industry professionals and organizations operating abroad for the exchange of experience and the development of business partnerships. The event is organized with the financial support of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency.