In New Member Interview, NEWS

EN is thrilled to announce its newest addition to the member board: Social Entrepreneurship Association of Latvia (SEAL).

Mission and Activities

With 120 members, SEAL is the leader organisation for organisations, enterprises and individuals who believe that social entrepreneurship in Latvia has huge potential and who are ready to participate in the development and strengthening of the sector.

SEAL was founded in 2015, when five different organisations – pioneers of social entrepreneurship in Latvia – decided to come together and to give life to an only and unique Association. These five organisations (Foundation for Open Society DOTS; PROVIDUS; the Latvian Samaritan Association; ‘Otra Elpa’; social business accelerator ‘New Door’) had done a great deal in the field of research and promotion of social entrepreneurship even before the creation of SEAL, and with their work they have proved that social entrepreneurship in Latvia is necessary and possible. SEAL’s main mission, according to the Executive Director Regita Zeiļa: “is to create and enable the social enterprise ecosystem in Latvia, first, and then world-wide” by operating in three main directions:

  • Advocacy: SEAL advocates for social enterprises’ interest at local, regional and national level. The Association works closely with the National Parliament, local municipalities, and the Ministry of Welfare towards creating a support system for social enterprises.
  • Improvement of the capacity of members development of the experience and knowledge-sharing platform: SEAL helps their members to achieve better their goals by providing joint activities, fast and effective information exchange, up-to-date information on finance and cooperation opportunities, and counselling support.
  • Informing society about social entrepreneurship: SEAL organises meetings, workshops, large-scale events and forums to provide the public with educational material on social innovation.

Becoming a SEAL Member

What is great about SEAL is that they unite everyone who is interested in the social innovation ecosystem, that means that everyone can become a member: enterprises, organisations, support organisations, individuals. Possible members only need to describe their connections and manifest their interest into the social entrepreneurship sector.

Being an umbrella organisation, the only criteria we ask to become a member is the will to join! Being our member means having the possibility to be part of a discussion group, to know people, to exchange good practises, to feel part of a community, to do business by doing good and, last but not least, to have a voice at the local, regional and national level.

SEAL’s Barriers and Plans for the Future

For the next five years, SEAL wants to increase the way social entrepreneurship is seen and make sure that the sector is recognised as an important part the economy. They want to keep advocating and providing support mechanisms, skills and knowledge to foster the sector and to help social entrepreneurs increase their impact.

According to SEAL’s Executive director, three are the biggest barriers they are facing: the lack of recognition, the lack of social entrepreneurship data, and the lack of cooperation between large enterprises and social enterprises.

That is why organisations like SEAL and EN are important: we need to empower social entrepreneurs and to help them thrive. Let them become the normality and not the exception.

SEAL and Euclid Network

SEAL’s decision to become a member of Euclid Network  was mainly driven by the different activities that EN is carrying out, especially by the European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM).

We feel a bit forgotten here in Latvia”, says Regita “EN has different strategic partnerships both at EU and global level and that can help us thrive the social enterprise ecosystem in Latvia and to gain better visibility and recognition. We are so happy to be on board on such a great European Network as EN is, it’s a great thing for all of us.

Want to join Euclid Network?

If you would like to find out more about how you can become a member of the Euclid Network please contact the team!

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