Joint study visit Lithuania Latvia

The study visit in Vilnius, hosted by Active Youth Association, started with getting to know the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and a brief presentation of all the represented countries.

While visiting IOM, the main focus was oriented towards currently running programs for Lithuanians that live abroad but seek to return to their home countries due to the financial stability exhibited during the past few years and more importantly, towards the notion of establishing meaningful connections between the UN migration agency and initiatives aiming to encourage entrepreneurship but also foreigners or returning Lithuanians.

The day proceeded with a visit to the Tech Park “Start Up Valey” where more than 70 companies are accommodated forming a gate for synergies and low-cost office spaces for the Balkan area and Eastern Europe as well. The day visit concluded with a constructive discussion with Caritas Lithuania providing their expertise on social integration issues, on the challenges for refugee children attending national schools and on the existing aid programs.

During the second day of the meetings, the partners met to discuss the more technical bits of this project stage, the allocation of work packages and useful techniques on addressing issues with organisations. Finally, the visit concluded with an analysis of the indicators (jobs created, number targets, etc.) and the next steps of the project prior to the study visit in Riga.

Moving on to Latvia, the partners met at the ‘Shelter Safe House’ conference room and had the chance to familiarize with the organisation’s vision, activities and training modules such as mentoring, business idea positioning, creation of a business plan, etc.

Next stop of the visit was the Immigration Office and the analytical study of three start up examples. Following this, the partners were given the opportunity to learn about the ‘Shelter Safe House’ work and how they managed to secure state-paid rehabilitation services to those in need.

Amongst the topics that were discussed until the end of the visit were the socio-political entrepreneurship context in Latvia and the national legislation applying to social enterprises. The day concluded with the reporting methodologies amongst the project team and the timeframe for the creation and launch of the project’s platfotm.