Ventas Balss: Small enterprises are supported as well
An article published in Ventas Balss on February 7, 2012.
More and more work places are created in Ventspils Business Incubator, and a lot of ideas nursed there has changed into goods that are available not only in the shop shelves of Ventspils but even of Russia, Europe, and of course the Baltic States. Besides, new work places have been created not only for technology and IT geniuses but also for people earning their living by use of hands prowess.
Ventspils Business Incubator celebrates its sixth anniversary this week. A smart few new enterprises can be counted over these years, and a lot of them have already left the Incubator becoming independent enterprises. In the exhibition Kurzeme industrial design most products were created exactly in the Ventspils Business Incubator approving formation of a system over these years in which development of the small enterprises is being supported due to cooperation of the Freeport of Ventspils Authority, municipality, the University College, and the Ventspils High Technology Park.
However nothing happens in a day, and if once one could tell only theory saying that enthusiastic, new businessmen and fanatic taking their first steps are working in the Incubator then now results are talking by themselves. 50 enterprises are currently working in the Incubator and 119 work places has being created; and more and more already knows – if you have a business idea, there is a place in Ventspils where it is able to receive support for its implementation.
One of the enterprises ensuring work places for almost 20 sewers is Textile 4U. Currently it has settle in the manufacturing building of the Ventspils High Technology Park on street Kaiju. Manager of the enterprise Edijs Brauners who came to Ventspils with his family from Riga because of children-friendly environment and also opportunities given by the Business Incubator reveals that the enterprise is already thinking about expansion and recruiting new employees.
Although basically women underwear is being produced after order of a company Lauma Lingerie already now direct business relations are established and goods are exported to Russia. Besides, Brauners in few next months plans to launch manufacturing of women and child clothing, and currently design collection is being created.
But another new entrepreneur Artis Treimanis, getting his first experience and inspiration at Ventspils enterprise represented by his father Diana Sveces, in a very short term by support of the Business incubator has attained that the simple but original set of candle making has captured recognition of clients.
Also the biggest Baltic trade chains have admitted it as good and given shelves of their shops. The set of candle making currently is being made in Dobele but in the nearest future the product incubated in Ventspils will also be produced here.
Although information technologies are supportable sector of the first-priority in the Ventspils Business Incubator any good idea except agriculture and food industry can apply for business start-up funding. However establishers of the Incubator including representatives of the University College and Technology Park, also deputies Jānis Vucāns and Dana Reizniece-Ozola are aware of importance of information technologies.
Despite announcements that there are too many programming enterprises in the Ventspils Business Incubator it is not without a reason. IT specialists invariably are on the very top of most demanded occupations in the world for number of years. Even car industry is currently manufacturing computers on wheels. And apart from sector almost every producing enterprise in this technology era in a way is a programming enterprise because technologically developed manufacturing lines work effectively due to the successful and smart programming.
Several successful programming enterprises are also operating at the Ventspils Business Incubator; one of them is Latvisoft. Due to this IT students of the Ventspils University College already during the studying time can start to earn and after graduation take a pose of an employee not a job-seeker.
Help for business beginners
Aivars Lembergs, Board Chairman of the Freeport of Ventspils Authority
– Business Incubator was established with support of Ventspils municipality in order to create a place where an entrepreneur could make the first steps in business. Besides, important is not only advisory and administrative support of the Incubator but also financial support. For a merchant even if he or she has a very genuine business idea without start capital it can stay only on the paper; and the Business Incubator is the place where one can receive support also for that start capital. However not every idea may turn into business, and in order not to waste resources involvement must be made in ideas with potential by assessing them. Municipality is also involved – in commission of granting support from the Incubator also representative of the municipality and Freeport is working.
Basically the Business Incubator is an instrument that helps to promote economic and social development of the region by creating new enterprises which are already independent financially and economically when leaving the Incubator and creates new work places reducing number of unemployed, fostering public activity and – what is essentially – fostering commercialisation of ideas created in the University College’s environment. Not for no purpose, the Ventspils Business Incubator is located at the University College.
It must be admitted that at the beginning when idea bout the Incubator was developed here, Ventspils was a pioneer in Latvia on this score. However, when planning a funding of the European Union for the project of the Incubator, the Ministry of Economics during government of Kalvītis and even three years before that did not want or was unwilling to understand and take into consideration a suggestion to envisage support for those enterprises that must start producing at the moment when a product is already developed.
It can not be done in the premises of the incubator but if it happens outside those premises, support can not be granted. When starting to develop incubators there were no such problems; however currently, when many ideas have already reached producing, this issue has become topical also in the Ventspils Business Incubator. At the moment we are trying to find various solutions and one of them – production-office building built by the foundation Ventspils High Technology Park with support of the Freeport is being used; however the building is already now completely exploited.
Therefore at the moment we are actively trying to convince the government that such support to enterprises of the Business Incubator should be envisaged in the next budget planning period of the European Union.
Photo: Ventas Balss