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 By: Valda Gegere – 26.04.2006

[Latvia] “Initiative“ Has Started

Foundation of an Organisation for the Advancement of Small and Medium-Sized Entrepreneurs

On Saturday, April 1st, the Christian organisation “Initiative for Latvia” has been founded. Its aim is to reassure entrepreneurs, who belong to the Protestant Church, to participate in businesses as self-employed in one’s own country with small and medium-sized businesses, to motivate their social responsibility, to support their further education as well as assisting and advising them.
There is a similar organisation in Germany as well and the cooperation with Christian entrepreneurs in Latvia traces back to their initiative. The German businessmen organised seminars on the current topics from this field for their Latvian colleagues, offered them internships in similar enterprises in Germany, invited them to conferences, and decorated businessmen, who were able to prove within a year, that they were able to use their skills in a completely different field and upon other terms relating to business and, in doing so, to prove their worth.
Motivated by this cooperation, the like-minded Latvians decided to found their own organisation in Latvia. During the first part of the event, the German representatives Albert Rathjen and Heinrich Lesinski led the seminar “Cooperation and Christian Responsibility in the Time of Change”. During the second part, the organisation “Initiative for Latvia” was founded. Businessmen as well as leading figures, people interested in business, and people interested in Christian life design participated in the event. At the foundation, the byelaws were determined and the board of directors was elected.
“Pastors tend to remember the entrepreneurs, if they need something from them. Their service could become more interesting and more dynamic, however. We could help them and organise seminars on current issues as well. There are problems, which seem up-to-date to us pastors and which the entrepreneurs could bear in mind in their practice, e.g.: How do we separate private life from public activity? How do we act ethically and consider Christian principals in the process? At the same time, the entrepreneurs ask us for example, if you can be a businessman as Christian and if both things can be arranged. Does the Christian business life exist at all?” the coordinator of the society, Dean Mārcis Zeiferts ponders. “This is an important realisation that we can pass on to others – you are not alone, there are still others around you, with whom you can share good times and bad. Businessmen wait for a pastor taking an hour or half an hour time for them. That is pastoral counselling as well.”
This organisation offers the good opportunity for entrepreneurs to find their own position in this society. At the same time, the exchange of interests in the coalition of people sharing the same tenor is important.

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