Promoting products on various internet platforms and social media channels has become a common practice for both regular businesses and social enterprises. While these methods may work very well for marketing and sales purposes, real-life meeting and networking events offer a completely different experience – entrepreneurs and producers are able to share their experiences and customers can not only look at the pictures of the products but also touch, smell and also taste them.

On April 13th 50 social entrepreneurs from Latvia and Estonia gathered for the first time to share their experience and promote cross-border entrepreneurship within social and creative industries. All these entrepreneurs share the goal to reduce the existing social and environmental issues and search for innovative solutions.

The market was organized in Kalnciema Quarter in Riga in the framework of the project Social&Creative. Entrepreneurs offered a chance to buy their products and learn such interesting ideas like how to support the cultural life of your local community by engaging in glass jewelry business, how to integrate people from the risk groups in the job market, how to reduce costs of production by using recycled materials or how to contribute to development of your local park by producing olive oil. Social entrepreneurs offered the chance to buy bags, accessories, and toys produced of recycled materials, Estonian ethnic jewelry and clothes as well as many other goods that are created with a purpose to solve a certain challenge in the society. Moreover, entrepreneurs shared their experience on starting a business within the field of graphic design, advertising and production of innovative toys. Representatives from social business BlindArt and food producer Smalkais muslis gave lectures on social entrepreneurship for all the market visitors who were interested to learn more about such topic. BlindArt provides an opportunity for blind and visually impaired people to work and create, therefore encouraging them to develop their talents and create products with added value. Smalkais muslis is the first crushed muesli in Latvia – a very healthy product that contains a lot of fiber and only natural sugar from fruit and berries and can be used as a breakfast meal or instead of flour for baking purposes.

This market served as a very good platform for local Riga inhabitants to get to know the local and also Estonian social and creative entrepreneurs and their products as well as learn about social entrepreneurship in the lectures that took place during the day. Collaboration and networking of Latvian and Estonian social and creative entrepreneurs will continue also in other market fairs in Estonia during the summer of 2019.

Photo: Kaspars Grosbergs

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