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Economically successful regions tend to be those with high levels of both entrepreneurship and innovation. Whilst this may be increasingly recognized, the nature of the processes and mechanisms involved are less clear. In this context, the conference will investigate the relationships between entrepreneurship (in its different forms), innovation and regional development. At the same time, regional development has a social as well as an economic dimension. As a consequence, the conference welcomes contributions that deal with social inclusion as well as economic development issues.

The aim is to explore these issues both theoretically and practically. Good practice public policy should be underpinned by sound theory, whilst at the same time conceptual development can benefit from practitioner experience. As a consequence, contributions from practitioners and policy makers as well as academics are encouraged, since one of the aims of the conference is to promote dialogue between these different groups. The focus will be on new member states of the European Union but experience from other countries is welcome if there are lessons which countries in the New Europe can benefit from being exposed to.

Held for the first time in Ventspils, this conference is organized in cooperation with the University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, SSE Riga and ISM University of Management and Economics. The aim is to promote entrepreneurship research in the Baltic countries and beyond in the context of the New Europe.


The conference committee welcomes any contribution that will advance our understanding of the role of the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation in a regional context. However, we are particularly keen to receive papers that address one or more of the following themes,

• SMEs and innovation systems, with particular reference to regions of low population and business density
• Entrepreneurship in the informal economy
• Linkages between foreign direct investment and SME development
• Comparing different approaches to the promotion of economic development in peripheral regions
• The role of local government
• Migration and regional development
• High growth SMEs and regional development
• Entrepreneurship and social inclusion
• Social entrepreneurship and regional development

Please send full abstracts of between 400-500 words by April 12, 2013 to the conference secretary Liene Liepina, e-mail: liene.liepina@venta.lv

Feedback on the abstracts will be given by April 19.

Completed papers must be submitted to the conference secretary by 30 June to be included in the conference proceedings


Please fill online registration form.

Edited book

Authors of selected conference papers will be invited to develop their paper for inclusion in a book on Entrepreneurship: Innovation and Regional Development in the New Europe, edited by David Smallbone, Arnis Sauka and Markku Virtanen, published by internationally recognized publishing house.

Conference host

The conference host is the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development (CEIRD) at Ventspils University College. This is a new research centre located in Ventspils University College, with strong support from Ventspils City Municipality.

More about CEIRD: www.old.venta.lv/en/research/centre-for-entrepreneurship-innovation-and-regional-development

Conference is organized in cooperation with European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (www.ecsb.org)



Scientific committee:

Prof. David Smallbone. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia; Kingston University, U.K. Chair of the scientific committee.
Prof. Tonis Mets. Centre for Entrepreneurship, Tartu University, Estonia.
Asoc. Prof. Modestas Gelbuda. ISM University of Economics and Management, Lithuania. 
Dr. Anders Paalzow. Centre for Sustainable Business, Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Latvia.
Asoc. prof. Anna Pobol. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia; Belarussian State University.
Asoc. prof. Arnis Sauka. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia.
Prof. Urve Venesaar. Tallinn University of Technology, School of Economics and Business Administration, Estonia.

Organizing committee:

Liene Liepina. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia. Conference secretary.
Prof. Markku Virtanen. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia; Aalto University, Finland. Egita Udodova. CEIRD at Ventspils University College, Latvia.

Participation fee

Participation fee is 40.0 EUR
Participation fee includes lunches, gala dinner and conference materials.
Conference organizers will also provide a support for traveling to Riga international airport- Ventspils- Riga international airport

Method of payment – money transfer to our bank account.
Receiver of money: Ventspils University College
Name of the bank: Valsts kase
Account No. (IBAN): LV47TREL9150181036000
Purpose of payment: 21399, Registration fee for the conference.
Accommodation and transportation

We have preliminary booked hotel for the participants of conference in Ventspils: please seewww.hotelocventspils.lv To secure your place, please contact hotel administration via e-mail viesnica@ocventspils.lvor phone +37163628032. Please use booking code: VEA_CEIRD when booking your room.

Since July is high season in Ventspils due to its location on the coast of the Baltic sea, we strongly recommend to book your place in the hotel as soon as possible. The price of the room in the hotel costs approximately 40-50 EUR, depending on the size of the room. Participants are responsible for their own hotel costs.

Bus connection will be provided by the orgabnziers of the conference both from the Riga International Airport to Ventspils, and from the hotel to conference venue.

How to get to Ventspils

To get to Ventspils you should first travel to Riga, the capital city of Latvia, Riga International Airport.
Riga International Airport is located 13 kilometres from the city centre. Taxi should cost approximately 10 LVL (15 EUR), we recommend to take green Airbaltic taxi.

There are also regular bus connections from the airport to the city centre: please take bus No 22 http://www.riga-airport.com/en.

Ventspils www.visitventspils.com/en/ located 180 km from Riga. The most convenient way to get to Ventspils is by bus from Riga Bus Station. Please see the bus schedule on http://www.autoosta.lv/main.php?lng=eng and allow approximately 2.5-3 hours for the trip. Transportation from Riga to Ventspils is also possible by car http://www.carrent.lv/en/

More detailed information, including information on accommodation in Ventspils and conference venue will follow.

Information and address for correspondence:

Questions regarding the conference should be addressed to the secretariat (e-mail: liene.liepina@venta.lv ).
Phone: +371 63629657; +37126551927 contact person: Liene Liepina
Fax: +371 63629660
Ventspils Augstskola
(Ventspils University College)
Inzenieru iela 101
LV-3601, Ventspils