Riga, November 6, 2014 – The U.S. Embassy will celebrate the power of entrepreneurship and innovation as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2014. Under the theme of “Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from the Start,” the Embassy is organizing a range of events scheduled November 3-23. GEW is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth, and expand human welfare. During November, GEW inspires people around the world to explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. GEW complements the U.S. government’s larger effort to continue to deepen our business and trade ties with Latvia and the EU, both bilaterally and through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a unique and globally important trade agreement whose high and unified standards will significantly lower barriers to trade – especially challenging for small and medium enterprises – and open new export opportunities.
As an anchor to the U.S. Embassy’s GEW activities, social entrepreneur Robbie Vitrano will visit Latvia for ten days to deliver a series of lectures, seminars and workshops. An experienced entrepreneur, Robbie Vitrano has started a range of companies, two of which have been named among the most innovative in the world by Fast Company Magazine. After Hurricane Katrina, which flooded 80 percent of New Orleans in 2005, Robbie Vitrano focused on the social aspects of business and encouraged other businesses of the city to do the same.
In addition to Mr. Vitrano’s visit, the U.S. Embassy is sponsoring and participating in a full range of activities for GEW. These include events such as:
- Creativity Counts workshops (November 3-7): In partnership with the International School of Latvia, the Embassy will conduct a series of workshops on innovation at elementary schools around Latvia to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
- Women’s Business Tour (November 12): Chargé d’Affaires Sharon Hudson-Dean will visit a number of women-owned Latvian businesses in Riga.
- Entrepreneurship Seminar (November 13): Together with the Small and Medium Companies of Latvia Forum, the U.S. Embassy will become a “business incubator for a day” and host a seminar bringing top local and U.S. businesspeople to lead a full-day interactive event for promising Latvian entrepreneurs from local SMEs.
- SMEs Youth Boot Camp (November 14): The U.S. Embassy will host Latvian high school and university students for an interactive event involving local and U.S. businesspeople and highlighting the importance of creativity and leadership.
- Mazā biznesa diena/Small Business Saturday (November 15): The Embassy is partnering with the Small and Medium Companies of Latvia Forum to participate in the second annual Mazā biznesa diena celebrating the power of small business to drive economic development.
- Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) Riga Women’s Entrepreneurs Day (November 19): Deputy Chief of Mission Connie Phlipot will deliver opening remarks at SSE Riga’s seminar celebrating women entrepreneurs.
- Opening of the new TechHub Riga workspace (November 21): Chargé d’Affaires Sharon Hudson-Dean will deliver remarks at the opening of the new workspace.