More than 20 active mommies have taken part in a master class which the Citadele Bank organised for young mothers who wish to launch a business. This once again shows that women are an important target audience when it comes to this process. The master class was organised under the framework of the “Mama Business” competition.
“Now that the economy is recovering, banks in our country have become more active again in issuing loans, and most of them are received by businesspeople,” says the director of the Citadele Corporate Services Directorate, Agnese Paegle. “Real estate prices are low, and many businesspeople are buying facilities for their enterprises in place of leasing them. Others have successfully found new export opportunities, and they choose to seek bank guarantees or lines of credit to develop their businesses in partnership with other countries.”
Before providing financing, banks look at whether the businessperson can explain why the relevant project is necessary. The focus is on whether the person understands and can make use of the business plan, on the company’s annual report, and on other financial documents. It is also important to know whether the businessperson can explain forecasts concerning the company’s revenues and expenditures. Experience is important, and businesspeople should have an education in the area in which they work. They should also have basic knowledge about the economy, because a good idea is not always enough. There must also be ambition and an understanding of how the project can be successfully implemented.
Rita Stikāne won the 2011 “Mama Business” competition, and she says that “you can be successful at business only if you do what you enjoy. Nothing educates you better than your own experience. I began my first business – the BeBe kindergarten – back when my daughter was born 10 years ago. I am a teacher, and at that time I was a student. Those who were around me were very sceptical about the idea, but the result has been very good.” In strengthening one business, Rita wanted to try out the manufacturing of products, so she began to manufacture thermal underwear under the label “Termokid.” “A businesswoman must always monitor the situation and come up with new solutions,” she says. “Women with children even have advantages in the business world, because they best know what kinds of products to manufacture so that they are friendly to children and convenient for mamas.”
The “Mama Business” competition is open to women who, while expecting a child or having given birth a short time before, have launched their business operations. Applications will be accepted until December 31, and they can be found at any Citadele branch or at www.mansmazais.lv. The winner will receive a prize of LVL 1,000 from the Citadele Bank. The magazine Mans Mazais will publish interviews with the six best project submitters, and all of the participants will be able to present their business project and sell their products at the “Mama Bazaar” event for free in May 2013.
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