Ambassador Pettit Hosts Luncheon to Promote Women Entrepreneurs

Riga, November 15, 2017 – Ambassador Nancy Pettit hosted a luncheon for Latvian women entrepreneurs on November 15 to highlight the role they play in promoting economic development and shared prosperity. The luncheon was part of the U.S. Embassy’s efforts to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, an annual event that highlights the role of entrepreneurs and innovation in creating jobs, attracting investment, and enhancing prosperity.

U.S. Ambassador Nancy Pettit said that “women have long faced greater challenges and higher hurdles in starting new businesses than their male counterparts,” but noted that “women are overcoming these barriers and creating flourishing businesses that make our lives better, healthier, and more convenient. Around the world, women entrepreneurs are lifting entire families out of poverty and creating jobs and opportunities in their communities.”

President Donald Trump highlighted the importance of “expanding opportunities for women entrepreneurs, including by expanding women’s access to needed capital and networks, because our economy and our communities thrive when women are empowered” in a recent Presidential Proclamation.

Noting the achievements of her Latvian guests, Ambassador Pettit said, “the women gathered here today are great examples of that entrepreneurial spirit. All of you have the power to move worlds and build a better tomorrow. Let’s work together, support each other, and make that happen.”

Guests at the lunch included:

  • Marta Avotniece, a teacher and developer and founder of s’Cool, an educational game-based smartphone application;
  • Alina Dolmate, a partner and brand strategist at Vividly App, a virtual reality tool for real-estate developers, architects, and construction firms; and
  • Jekaterina Novicka, the Chairwoman of the Latvian Startup Association, an umbrella organization of more than 75 members that aims to improve the Latvian startup ecosystem;
  • Maija Ziemele, a student at Liepāja State Gymnasium No. 1 who is a founder of Wild Beard and who won the U.S. Embassy’s Start Strong Start-Up competition last year;
  • Jevgeņija Žiģisova, a young IT specialist and urban activist who is organizing “Let’s Code, girls,” a project in Daugavpils to encourage girls to pursue technology careers.