From September 20th to 23rd, as a part of the international project LEADER “On sustainable rural entreprenourship”, Latvian entrepreneurs of the Rural Partnership “Lielupe” and the Partnership of the Liepaja region took part in an exchange of experience and visited the gorgeous lake holiday resourt Lautsia (Finland).

This time there were participants from the Rural Partnership “Lielupe” such as Lolita Duge, the owner of the “Peppermint House” (home-made/ peppermint processing, tea, syrup, cookies, zephyrs, cosmetics and rural tourism),  Association “Liel.barons” (manor house management, tourism and history of fashion), the Farmers Association “Betras” (healthy brucellosis and cranberry candied fruit and syrups under the brand “TePat”, fruit-tree and bush seedlings), physical and mental wellness center (Latvian sauna services and traditions), Inese Saulaja (growing of  vegetables and tomato processing, producing delicious ketchup under the brand “Superdentes”) and the Farm “Liepinas” (honey and honeykeeping produce).

From the Partnership of the Liepaja region we saw Baiba Tikuma (educational apiery “Strops”, rural tourism, honey and beekeeping produce), SIA “ZOOVILLA” (growing of lavander, designer toys “LavenderToys” with lavender flower filling; “LavenderVilla” – guest house conference room, guides and classes, LavenderTaste – home-made lanvender products), SOFIJAS LAIVAS (guest house, boat rental and other water tourism attractions in Kurzeme), SIA “SC GRAND” (seed and nut mixes and natural alder-wood-smoked meat).

Over the course of two days, with the help of the Finnish partners, 26 different venues, companies, and farms were visited and explored, including:

  • family farms that raise beef cattle, dairy cattle, grow potatoes and various vegetables, specialize in agricultural tourism and home production;
  • a historical glassblowing town which is now home to glass designers and a community of glassblowers;
  • a small brewery, at the heart of which is the owners’ endless passion;
  • venues for community and ngo creativity, historical heritage preservation and events;
  • churches, several museums, and historical buildings;
  • places for practising a healthy lifestyle and organizing various activities;
  • home produce makers who make cheeses and ice creams, process meat and bake bread;
  • country-side golf course which offers a chance to enjoy the game and the surroundings in peace and without haste;
  • Häme university for attaining diverse knowledge in subjects like forestry, electronics, international entrepreneurship, etc.;
  • local produce stores and other interesting places and companies.

We got to know the nature and how it can be used, attracting tourists, as well as the traditions in organizing local market events, where the venue was the town school.

It would be difficult to describe all the places we visited but there are some common features – funding by the LEADER project is very important for implementing the desired ideas, the internet and social media are widely used to attract and inform visitors, you can feel the warmth, hospitality, kindness, and openness of the people who share their experience, entrepreneurship, work and love of work, as well as the feeling of being together.

The two days went by quite quickly actually and each of the participants has gained experience in how to improve their work. Contacts have been developed and established with future business partners, who will be part of further individual cooperation – the exchange of experience.

For participation in the project we also invite other entrepreneurs from the regions of Jelgava, Ozolnieki and Liepaja, who would like to find international business partners, exchange their experiences, gain knowledge, develop new products or services, implement joint marketing activities.

More information on the project and its activities can be found at or by personally contacting the Rural Partnership “Lielupe” and the Partnership of the Liepaja Region.




  • LEADER collaboration project “On sustainable rural entreprenourship” 2016-2019 was started to develop 8 small rural LEADER local activism group companies in Estonia (Arenduskoda, East Harju and Green Riverland), in Finland (Linnaseutu, Pirkan Helmi and Sepra), and in Latvia (Lauku partnerība “Lielupe” un Liepājas rajona partnerība).
  • This project has been made possible with the help of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) open project competition Latvian Rural Development Program 2014-2020 event 19.3 “Interterritorial and international collaboration” activities 33 “International collaboration”.
  • The target audience for the project: current and potential rural entrepreneurs, family farms, associations that develop entrepreneurship.
  • The main goal of the project is to get entrepreneurs involved in international collaboration to improve services and exchange in marketing experience and knowledge. There’s a special focus on new entrepreneurs who can participate in entrepreneural exchange programs and do networking between regions.
  • The activities include:
    • local entrepreneur international exchange;
    • individual exchange trips to gain experience;
    • joint marketing activities;
    • developing the home page, including relevant information on the progress of the project and entrepreneurs who are looking for collaboration options.

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