Meet the Youth Entrepreneurs from Latvia and Lithuania

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For the last week, FIUTS has been fortunate to be able to host the second year of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program with Latvia and Lithuania!

Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Riga, Latvia, and coordinated by FIUTS in Seattle, this program inspires and empowers high school students to engage in a cultural exchange experience and learn ways in which entrepreneurship can strengthen communities and improve people's lives.

The students have recently completed an entrepreneurship program in their home countries during which they developed their own small businesses. Read on to learn more about them and the businesses they created!

Business: HandySac

About the business: We produce sports bags with two pockets. From the top you put in your clothes, and from the side you put in your shoes. They are in separated pockets so they don't get dirty, and the bag is waterproof and has reflectors.

About the participants:

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Name: Santa Socka

From: Madona, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown?: My hometown is really small but beautiful. There are a lot of parks and places to see nature. And I love that there are a lot of events and sport activities:

Interests: I love to dance Latvian folk dance. I am also interested in working with people and helping them. I like to organize events, but I don't know yet if it's my passion. So I think you never know where life will put you.

Dream for the future: I really like to travel and that's my biggest dream - to travel around the world.

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Name: Anete Skele

From: Madona, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? Its rural scenery and the ability to find silence.

Interests: Playing piano and guitar, singing, dancing folk dances, cycling, traveling, performing arts, languages, and biology.

Dream for the future: If I could count all my dreams and expectations, this list would be way too long so I'm just going to say that I just want to feel happy.

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Name: Krista Patricija Leimane

From: Madona, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? In my hometown people are very friendly and our town is very clean.

Interests: Leading camps for kids, playing volleyball, working in my student company, working with people and helping them.

Dream for the future: To find a job that I love and be really good at it, also in my free time to be able to do volunteer work in orphanages.

Business: Peledos

About the business: Our company provides educational services to young curious leaders. Teachers at our high school teach kids at the elementary school about chemistry, economics, and entrepreneurship. There are also workshops on clay crafts, theater, curiosity, and creativity.

Meet the participant representing this business:

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Name: Nojus Setkauskas

From: Kaunas, Lithuania

What do you love about your hometown? I really love the architecture of the interwar period because it's so magical and beautiful.

Interests: Photography, videography, journalism, digital arts, Italian language and culture, the Jazz Age, and swing dancing.

Dream for the future: I would love to make a movie which would change some people's attitude to the world.

Business: Restas

About the business: We provide a place in our school where students can come in their free time to relax and buy some food. Also, we are coordinating events for students, such as inviting successful people to speak about their lives.

Meet the participant representing this business:

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Name: Rokas Budvytis

From: Kaunas, Lithuania

What do you love about your hometown? Beautiful architecture and a lot of green space.

Interests: Business management, watching basketball, discussing history and politics, and going to the gym.

Dreams for the future: Have more responsibility.

Business: Timbi

About the business: We are making electronic heated pads from carbon tape and we put it in gloves for the cold season, sleeping bags for the warm season, and selling it in local shops and worldwide e-shops such as EBay and Amazon.

Meet the participant representing this business:

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Name: Akvilė Ričkutė

From: Vilnius, Lithuania

What do you love about your hometown? It's a very old town, with stories that are in citizens' memories, and with very beautiful places for tourists.

Interests: Sales and marketing, which is related to business but requires creativity and imagination too. I'm a volunteer at the Red Cross Lithuania, Caritas immigrants integration centre, and have worked with Red Noses Clowndoctors

Dream for the future: I really really want to become a real estate agent. I believe that I can communicate with people and sell them things very well.

Business: Unique Latvia

About the business: We produce pumpkin-based food products such as yogurt, ice cream, syrups, and jams. We do it all on our own, from cutting the pumpkin to putting a label on our product. It all started last year but the assortment of our products has grown a lot.

Meet the participants:

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Name: Solvita Zelca

From: Aluksne, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown: I love that it's really green and has a lot of beautiful places to visit and spend time.

Interests: I love to go on long walks, bike rides, basically being outside and also playing the piano. I'm interested in finance, business, and languages.

Dream for the future: I hope to travel and see the world, do a volunteer job, get an education at the university, and help others (it's the one thing that truly makes me happy).

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Name: Rūdolfs Ločmelis

From: Valmiera, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? Nice woods and positive people.

Interests: Playing rugby, being the company owner, learning business.

Dream for the future: Be the owner of a big company.

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Name: Timotejs Mednis

From: Valmiera, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? Lots of nature.

Interests: Riding bikes and scooters, and studying business.

Dream for the future: To create my own company.

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Name: Keitija Eliza Sūna

From: Suntazi, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? I like the people, neighborhood, and the castle where the school is.

Interests: Sports, running, Latvian dancing, learning about accounting, and I have finished art school.

Dream for the future: To be a marketing and design specialist.

Teacher Mentors

We are also fortunate to have four wonderful teachers who have accompanied the students on this program. These teachers have served as mentors for the students' businesses over the last year, and have provided crucial guidance and support during the program.

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Name: Ilze Krastina

From: Kegums, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? I like that it's small and friendly. It's very green and has valuable cultural heritage.

Interests: Education and business administration; English language.

Dream for the future: To fulfill my dearest dreams, both personal and professional ones.

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Name: Iveta Vabule

From: Madona, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown? It's a small, green, and friendly town.

Interests: Economics and business.

Dream for the future: To travel to Australia.

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Name: Agita Šamšele

From: Valmiera, Latvia

What do you love about your hometown: I like to river, the developed business industry, and the clean city.

Interests: I like working with students' companies and farming.

Dreams for the future: Be healthy and creative!

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Name: Edita Kondrašovienė

From: Kaunas, Lithuania

What do you love about your hometown: Small, good traffic, lots of trees, old buildings.

Interests: Teaching economics, business, and German; reading detective novels; and sewing.

Dream for the future: To stay healthy and motivated to go forward.