EmpowerHERship: Lithuania’s Commitment to Women in Business

In the spotlight: Some enterprising Women Entrepreneurs from Lithuania

#EmpowerHER #GenderEqualityInLithuania

A nation known for its dynamic business environment, Lithuania showcases an interesting dichotomy in entrepreneurship. While the country’s self-employment rate was slightly below the European Union average in 2016, it boasts one of the highest Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activities rates in the EU. This paradox exemplifies Lithuania’s unique entrepreneurial landscape.

Gender equality has emerged as a pivotal issue in promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment. Lithuania’s Progress Strategy, “Lithuania 2030,” underscores the importance of fostering an environment where all citizens, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to initiate and successfully develop their businesses. This vision aligns perfectly with the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2015-2021, which places a strong emphasis on enhancing entrepreneurial opportunities for women, particularly in rural areas.

Under this program, numerous initiatives have been launched to empower women with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to thrive as entrepreneurs. These efforts include boosting financial literacy and other entrepreneurship competences, effectively equipping women to enter the business world. Recent policy developments have further underscored Lithuania’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship, particularly among underrepresented groups.

#WomenEntrepreneurs #LithuaniaBusiness #EmpoweringWomen

Let us now delve into the thriving world of women entrepreneurs in Lithuania, exploring the challenges they face, the government initiatives designed to support them, and their remarkable contributions to the nation’s entrepreneurial landscape.

> Jurga Rimkė, Founder & Director, Intra Vertes

Jurga Rimkė is the Director and owner of Intra Vertes, specializing in the regulation of food and non-food supplements, chemicals, cosmetics, biocidal products, and medical devices.

She also actively promotes women in business as the leader of the Lithuanian Business Women’s Network in the Vilnius region and serves as the Vice President of the Vilnius Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Crafts.

> Inga Skirmantienė, Co-Owner & Director, Eko Sesės

Inga Skirmantienė is a Co-owner and Director of the family-owned business – “Eko Sesės,” specializing in outdoor furniture and terrace accessories. Her small team is dedicated to customers and, pays special attention to each customer, setting an example of building strong customer relationships.

> Leva Redikaitė, Director, Baltic Recycling Group

Leva Redikaitė is the director of Baltic Recycling Group, with 8 years of experience in environmental consulting and audits. Her company provides various environmental services, including GPAIS administration and environmental audits.

> Vilma Daugėlienė, Founder – Vitlio Licėjus and Vitlio Darželis

Vilma Daugėlienė is a leader totally dedicated to responding to the rapidly changing world, especially in the field of children’s education. She founded Vitlio Licėjus and Vitlio Darželis, which offers private preschool, pre-primary, primary, and secondary education services in Vilnius.

> Milda Mitkutė, Co-founder, Vinted

Vinted is considered to be Europe’s largest fashion marketplace and Lithuania’s first unicorn, which has Milda Mitkutė among its co-founders. This is her unique story. In 2008, Milda Mitkutė ( 21years old) had way too much unworn clothes in her closet. 13 years later, the young entrepreneur is one of two co-founders of the first Lithuanian tech unicorn. Vinted today is Europe’s biggest second-hand clothing C2C marketplace.

What started with a simple idea and just as a hobby, this purpose-driven company works for a total of 13 markets today, and has a staggering community of about 38 million active users.

> Akvilė Meškauskaite-Dobrajs, Sandra Pangonytė. Co-Founders, The Knotty Ones

The Knotty Ones is a sustainable clothing brand deeply rooted in the Lithuanian heritage craft of knitting. Co-founded in 2014 Akvilė Meškauskaite-Dobrajs, Sandra Pangonytė, the startup provides job opportunities to talented, independently employed female artisans in rural Lithuania. The artisans work at their convenience, have spare time for their hobbies, and uniquely combine work with motherhood, while financially supporting their families in less privileged regions of the country.

One of the key factors contributing to the success of “The Knotty Ones” – is its loyalty to values based in sustainability and social responsibility. The production is mostly done locally, as it is based on Baltic knitting traditions, even though 90% of the garments are sold to foreign markets, such as the USA, UK, Australia, Germany and other Western countries.

One thing is truly special. “The Knotty Ones” only works with ethical suppliers like local family-run wool farms from around the globe, which source natural and high- quality yarns, and all the production is animal cruelty-free.

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