Context according to the answers of the questionnaire
Latvian province Latgale is described as poorer than the rest of the country, with an emigration problematic, to the capital Riga or abroad. It has basic services and infrastructures, culture and sports.
Rezekne town Ilukse in neighbouring Celia seem to have better infrastructures. Daugapills seems to be deserted because of high rent prices and public transport prices to join the rural areas. Its’ main economic activities are (nature) tourism, manufacturing, wood and metalworking, crafts, agriculture, beauty. Offer is described as poor (furniture or fully fledged supermarkets ex.) – but purchasing power is also low.
It has linguistic, cultural and economic relationships with Belarus, Russia, Lithuania and Poland (but there seems to be Lithuanian protectionism).
Opportunities and threats
Dynamic amongst population :
New generation, over 30, open to new ideas: looks for support for a business idea Citizens involved in LEADER local strategy Rezekne : has active citizens and entrepreneurs Daugavpils/lagtale : generous, expressive, reconciled with current state
Business need for ideas and expertise: Companies do not know how to attract a marketing specialist Prerequisite of good business idea Lack of examples to create a strong brand Need for higher-value added projects and services
Other business oriented projects (for synergy) LIAA business incubators – Implementation of LEADER approach / mutually coordinated activities Municipal and regional grant scheme Grants from European funds but national funding has diminished: only for projects with high export capacity
Difficult socio economical context / lack of infrastructure : Political and economic instability- Tax & bureaucratic burdens Lack of money to invest Finding suitable premises, access roads, internet connection.
Need for skilled workforce: part of population inactive and lowly skilled, exodus young and qualified, relative low quality of education, skepticism, inertia, not positive about future, unwillingness to collaborate »
Having an incubator seems interesting to help create an entrepreneurial dynamic, give good business ideas and help build strategies to create higher added value products and services and business projects for Latvia.
There seems to be little qualified workforce and entrepreneurial background. Specific training programs adapted to local context seem thus to be a prerequisite. The analysis of successful or unsuccessful projects on other Latvian incubators could be a starting point. Little purchasing power domestic market will probably make locally oriented projects more difficult.
Labour costs being low, export-oriented products or services should have a competitive advantage. Interesting sectors could be (green) tourism, locally made beauty products, woodworking, crafts, higher value-added niches in agriculture.
For the incubator to be successful, other leverages of the economy should best be also developed such as: grants for students and schools (invest in middle class), subsidized on-the job training, subsidized monthly public transport tickets, create new jobs, make city attractive for investors, develop infrastructures…