Project Business library
Project “Establishment of business support library cross border network”
On 26 April 2012, an agreement on the implementation of the project “Establishment of business support library cross border network” LLIV-253 was concluded. The total project amount is EUR 829,394.46. The project includes the Counties of Bauska and Rundāle in Latvia and Regions of Pasvalys, Pakruojis and Birzai in Lithuania.
The objective of the project is to ensure the development of competitive entrepreneurship in the cross-border territory by creating a convenient access to entrepreneurship advancement instruments in rural territories.
The sub-objectives of the project envision the establishment of entrepreneurship support libraries on the basis of the existing public libraries by ensuring physical and virtual access to the established centres of entrepreneurship resources and advancing the development of entrepreneurial ideas and innovative thinking by involving youth and potential and existing entrepreneurs in the activities.
The network of the currently established public libraries densely covers the territory of all municipalities involved in the project. Implementation of the project envisions the development of a Cross-border Network of the Business Support Libraries consisting of five main support libraries in the regional centres and 118 local support libraries that will carry out the functions of servicing the entrepreneurship support network.
The project is generally focused on solving problems which are common to Latvia and Lithuania. The main problems of the cross-border regions involved in the project are shortage of viable business ideas, insufficiency of efficient business promotion instruments in the municipalities and, in most cases, concentration of business support centres around towns. To solve these problems, the public libraries have been selected to be the main support bases for the promotion of entrepreneurship since they are open to everyone, they are available and already provide a significant amount of resources required for the development of entrepreneurship.
In the framework of the project, the partners have renovated and modernised the existing libraries in Svitene, Rītausmas, Pasvalys, and Pakruojis. Moreover, the technical designs for construction of new libraries in Bauska and Birzai are in progress. The stock of libraries is being supplemented with economics books. In the library of Rītausmas, the accessibility has been improved by constructing an elevator. More comfortable working places have been created and equipped in several libraries for the visitors (students, new and potential entrepreneurs, etc.). The municipalities may take pride in modern, interactive and more user-friendly websites. Thanks to the establishment of the one-stop agencies and the development of e-services, the services provided by the municipalities have become more accessible to both the entrepreneurs and the residents of rural territories and towns. Also the experience exchange trips for entrepreneurs, organisation of entrepreneurship days, contests of business ideas, summer camp for youth and other activities have taken place in the framework of the project.
The developed strategy of the business support network of libraries is a medium-term strategy for the period of 2014–2020 which aims to assist in gathering of information about the creative potential of the residents of territories involved in the project, to improve their entrepreneurial skills, and to create opportunities for turning innovations into viable solutions.
The VISION of the business support network of libraries is to ensure the development of a business environment in the entire region by becoming a regionally recognised mechanism for the advancement of entrepreneurship activities.
The MISSION of the businessp support network of libraries is as follows:
• To become the main dialogue platform amongst Latvian and Lithuanian entrepreneurs;
• To become the local centre of the provision of entrepreneurship-related education and distribution of information and experience;
• To ensure the involvement in a cross-border intersectoral activity.
The strategy has defined five main directions of action the implementation of which would require an elaboration of activities by each library and support network.
Main directions of action:
1. Creation of an innovative environment of an business support centre in the libraries;
2. Education of the society about the exiting and potential opportunities of entrepreneurship;
3. Assistance to different target groups in finding the ways to develop both the existing and potential areas of entrepreneurship;
4. Ensuring quality services of business support in the libraries;
5. Development of the potential and the opportunities of the network of business support libraries.
In accordance with the defined directions of action, the libraries, within their capacities, are concentrating the entrepreneurship support activities towards different target groups of the society: existing entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, performers of distance-work, self-employed entities, unemployed, pupils, students, and teachers.
The elaborated strategy is the starting point of the common collaboration of the network of business support libraries, which is united by the focus on the common goal of becoming significant initiators of entrepreneurship advancement activities both in the regions involved in the project and beyond. Regular meetings of the project partners after the project implementation will ensure continuous process of implementation and collaboration.