Latgale Entrepreneurship Centre (LEC) has been functioning in Latgale Planning Region since 2013. The aim of LEC is to provide informative and advisory activities for the support of entrepreneurship in Latgale region. Over the years, LEC has developed strong collaboration with various public authorities and institutions that ensure entrepreneurship support services in the region.
LEC activity area covers all the municipalities of Latgale Planning Region with two offices located in Daugavpils and Rēzekne. LEC advisors are available for entrepreneurs on everyday basis via phone, e-mail and personal consultations.
In 2021 LEC continued to focus on activities for the improvement of business environment, rising the competitiveness of existing enterprises, motivating and encouraging doubters to start a business. It is worth mentioning that the LEC service package is modified every year according to the changes in the business environment and economic policies in Latvia and Latgale region. Also, the compilation of statistical data is made by LEC specialists and published on the website lpr.gov.lv.
The range of LEC services can be divided into several categories:
- Informative events
- Activities for competitiveness improvement
- Motivational activities
- Informative support
Business incubators (BI) administrated by Investment and Development Agency of Latvia have been functioning in Latgale since 2016, and LEC as a member of BI Advisory board (Rēzekne and Daugavpils) makes a decision during the selection of applicants for incubation.
Key results of LEC activities in 2021
- Consulting entrepreneurs in person and via e-mail about business development, reorganization, diversification and entrepreneurship support opportunities – 248.
- Consulting potential investors about finding and developing the necessary infrastructure for the development of their manufacturing and services – 10.
- Providing basic information for future and existing entrepreneurs about business support institutions and their services in the region – permanently.
- Participation in the exhibitions EXPO2020 (UAE), GITEX (UAE) and Latvian fairs was organized in order to inform about LPR services, provide current information on entrepreneurship as well as build relationships with potential local and foreign partners.
- Business environment improvement activities go hand to hand with continuous monitoring of current situation that is why business environment reports for each municipality (21) have been updated and later (4th quarter) have been modified according to the new territorial division of 9 municipalities (after territorial reform). The information about support activities offered by municipalities has been updated.
- Significant informative support to regional entrepreneurs is provided by the United national and municipal network of client service centres (CSC), consequently 11 visits to regional CSCs were organized to inform the CSC specialists about LEC activities and services.
- Latgale Entrepreneurship Centre has been organizing a competition “Latgale Region Entrepreneurs Annual Award” since 2014 to honor the best enterprises of Latgale region. The aim of the competition is to determine and award the entrepreneurs of Latgale Planning Region for their fair and active work in different industries and development of business environment in Latgale. The competition also influences the visibility of entrepreneurs from Latgale Planning Region, promoting in the media local examples of good business practices. In 2021 entrepreneurs pretended to the prizes in the following nominations: Craftsman/Home producer of the year, New tourism services entrepreneur of the year, Socially responsible enterprise, Innovation of the year, New businessman of the year, The most enterprising remigrant of the year. Seven winners out of 66 candidates to the titles were awarded during the online event “Latgales diena” on November 4, 2021.
- In the framework of the initiative “LEC Business Month”, different events for the students from regional schools have been organized since 2013 with the aim to dispel myths and create awareness of the entrepreneurship. The motto of the events series is “Fulfill your dream about business”. In 2021 the event was organized online and 130 youngsters from all the municipalities of Latgale region were invited to find out the difference between business and entrepreneurship, ask the questions and try themselves as entrepreneurs.
- LEC takes an active part in the events organized by other institutions where presents LEC services, actual information about entrepreneurship in Latgale region and the available support.
- LEC organizes educational activities for municipal business specialists about attracting investors, support activities for entrepreneurship, experience of other regions/countries in this field. Three events were organized in 2021.
- LEC staff participates in supervisory commissions of the EU structural funds, cross border cooperation programmes and rural development programme.
- In June-July 2021, LEC in cooperation with Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments (LALRG) was involved in the improvement of construction industry regulation and came to a compromise in General building regulations about a differentiated approach to environmental requirements for new and reconstructed objects depending on the size of the merchant.
- LEC administers ESPON national contact point.
- Informative support to LEC activities is provided: regular updating of information on the homepage lpr.gov.lv, LEC social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), drafting and sending out press releases, newsletters.
- LEC is responsible for the small grant scheme “Support for business ideas in Latgale” (EEA Grants programme “Local development, poverty reduction and cultural cooperation”) implementation. The first call for project proposals of the small grant scheme was announced on June 17, 2021, with the deadline on September 21, 2021. Eight out of sixteen submitted project proposals have been resulted in signing the agreement with applicants who present such industries as timber processing, IT and tourism. Entrepreneurs are planning to improve their businesses and create at least one new job with the help of co-funding up to 10 000 EUR (55% aid intensity rate). The second call was announced in April 1, 2022 with the deadline on June 1, 2022.