Entrepreneurial Lithuania, an initiative encouraging people‘s entrepreneurship (2010)
The two-day Entrepreneurial Lithuania event was aimed both at experienced businessmen and beginners.
Lithuanian business environment is regulated by numerous acts of legislation, its policy of business development and governance is embodied by many institutions, and the business conditions are constantly shifting – starting with taxing and ending with all kinds of requirements.
Even though the state and European Union offer different instruments to stimulate entrepreneurship in the country, both businessmen-beginners and those who have experience often need to receive more concentrated, conveniently and comprehensibly presented information about the possibilities provided by EU and Lithuania, and about the business environment and its regulation. After Lithuania has joined the initiative for encouraging small and medium business, European SME Week
2010, which took place throughout the Europe in May – June 2010, ministries of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Lithuania have decided to unite the community of beginners and experienced businessmen and to create possibilities to get information on getting started a business in Lithuania – all in one place, – as well as to encourage people, who intend on creating their own enterprise, to develop their private business activities and to materialize their ideas. At the same time the goal was to form a positive public opinion towards entrepreneurship in general. It was the first state institutions’ initiative of this kind in the country. VRP | Hill & Knowlton took the challenge to come up with the right format of the initiative, to implement it and make it all happen on quite a short term – only three months.
It was decided to organize a two-day event Entrepreneurial Lithuania, during which participants, mostly the beginners in the business game, would get as much practical use and concrete information on starting a business in Lithuania and the EU help for beginners as possible. Such an event would create an environment for a dialog between the state and business, as well as among those parties and the future creators of new businesses. There experienced businessmen and representatives of organizations in charge would help the novices in the field to get a good grip on shifting business conditions, to find out and about EU support instruments and possibilities provided by them. The event presents a great opportunity for newcomers and old-timers, as well as public sector representatives to meet, communicate, share their experience and ideas, to start valuable contacts with potential investors and partners. The basic idea is oriented to small, young business, or to the people with abundance of ideas and lack of experience or occasions to implement them.
VRP | Hill & Knowlton have implemented all the required preparatory and organisational work: the agency has created a concept and a program for an event Entrepreneurial Lithuania, invited the speakers, coordinated the location’s arrangement, and provided the communication of the event. The agency came up with the idea of two parallel spaces, where the event would take place, the exposition and the conference space. The first one was occupied by consultation stations and stands of representatives of different ministries and other institutions responsible for business development and employment in the country, such as Labour Exchange, business information centres or the Centre of Registers, also of entrepreneurial initiatives and banks offering packets for young businesses. Here participants were consulted on choosing the form of activities, on establishing an enterprise, also on law and tax topics, and they got the information about the EU or state support options. The guests were introduced to visual instructions of ordering the right certificates on internet, getting the firm registered, using the EU databases with the information on foreign partners.
The conference program consisted of several parts. The first one was dedicated to the business primer: during two days the reports have thoroughly presented all the stages of establishing a business – from its idea, creativity and self-motivation to the registration of a company. The second part of the conference offered inspiring success stories and experience cases, presented by businessmen themselves. The third part was dedicated to the business society and introduced the news in tax and public tenders, changes of acts of legislation, e-services designed for business, new possibilities of entrepreneurship in Lithuania and abroad, as well as other relevant topics.
During both days of the event there was a farmers’ market taking place and offering agricultural products.
The event Entrepreneurial Lithuania, organised in just three months period, drawn a great public attention: in two days (27th-28th of May 2010) over 3 000 people have attended. Visitors were queuing at most of the consultation stands; the business newcomers and professionals were active in the conference and discussions.
Entrepreneurial Lithuania has taken place in Vilnius, the exposition centre Litexpo. Participants were asked to evaluate the event by filling special questionnaires, in which most of the visitors expressed their wish to visit more such events, taking place not only in the capital city, but also in other towns of the country. With respect to that, the responsible institutions plan to carry on with the initiative and to organize the Entrepreneurial Lithuania tour in all the regions of Lithuania.