To foster mutual learning across borders and contexts, the social start-ups of SEMPRE Accelerators set up a visiting programme. Due to COVID-19, these visits have a limited regional scope: this summer, the social start-ups from neighbouring Germany and Denmark met, and likewise did some of our partners from the Baltics. Today, we want to take you with us on a journey through the visiting programme of our Latvian and Estonian partners.
The SEMPRE Accelerator social start-up Harkujärve Community Centre visits Valmiera and the Stopover Coffee Shop (05 – 08 August 2020):
The Estonian partners from the community centre Harkujärve and project participants from a rehabilitation programme that operates under the roof of the community centre were introduced with the work of the social start-up in Vidzeme, Latvia. During the meeting many ideas regarding the development of the local community in Liepa were discussed. S. Skrastiņa, a representative of the “Sargiet bērnus” association, talked about activities and support that they offer for children, youth and families with children. The participants also visited the “SEMPRE Liepa” future social enterprise as well as two other social enterprises - an initiative of Kocēni municipality about promoting social services and employability (still in the development stage), and the activities of the association “Cerību Spārni” in Sigulda and the practical experience of the social enterprise “Visi var”. During the exchange visit, new ideas for cooperation emerged and directions for development in support of local people, but especially vulnerable groups, in the field of employment. Further, the participants visited the Social Rehabilitation Centre (SRC) “Ratnieki”, which offers access to services for people released from custody. The programme ended in Liepaja, with a visit to an initiative related to yet another SEMPRE Accelerators partner: The Diaconal Centre Liepaja introduced the guests to a project by the local community of “Rucava”. As a conclusion, the participants agreed that this type of visit helps to strengthen SEMPRE Accelerator as a project and to realize common ideas in cooperation.
A Latvian exchange visit in Valmiera (19 – 20 August 2020)
In Valmiera, the SEMPRE Accelerators partners from the Diaconal Centre Liepaja and their social start-up were introduced to the work of the social start-up in Vidzeme, hosted by Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (VUAS). During the visit they attended “Vaidavas” ceramics, visited the co-working space “DARE” and familiarized with the activities of the VUAS Knowledge and Technology centre. Moreover, both the Diaconal Centre Liepaja and VUAS presented their latest activities in their respective social start-ups. A financial expert, J. Patrenko, was invited to hold a presentation about how to attract financial resources for the development of social enterprises. Last but not least, the participants visited the “SEMPRE Liepa” future social enterprise and two more social enterprises, similar to the previous exchange visit (see above).