I had the pleasure to present at the conference “Challenges for the new Cohesion Policy 2014-2010” in Riga, February 4-6, organized by the Regional Studies Association, Latvian EU Presidency and the University of Latvia. The conference was very inspiring and outstandingly well-organized. It started with a visit to OlainFarm, a successful Latvian pharmaceutical company, which has benefited from EU structural investment into its R&D capacity and exports as far as to Peru and Indonesia. The next two days were packed with presentations, and, as an RSA representative joked, this was one of the unique conferences where policymakers not only make an opening speech, but also stay throughout and even present.
In September, I had a chance to go to London again – this time to attend an inspiring seminar on promoting women′s entrepreneurship, which was organized by the European Commission and the UK government (summary). In addition to lots of new ideas, I found new Twitter accounts to follow, as the government agencies involved in this seminar, as well as the entrepreneurs who made speeches seem to be quite active on Twitter. One regret that I had was that there was some essentialization of women (women-run business reportedly being more community-oriented and less profit-driven). This appears to be backed by data, but it is always good to explain how these trends come about. Continue reading