Lithuania: An international community
Like other Baltic countries, Lithuania received quite a positive outlook for its ecosystem by international observers such as Jon Bradford of TechStars. For nine years there is a business plan competition called Verslauk! which is run by a man called Mindaugas Busila. We spoke to him about the current state of entrepreneurship in Lithuania.
esi: Who are you, what do you do and what makes you an expert on your start-upcountry?
Mindaugas: My name is Mindaugas Busila and I run Verslauk! It is a national Lithuanian business start-up competition. During eight years of operation we helped to start 81 companies, which created more than 200 jobs. Verslauk! is the oldest start-up competition in Lithuania. During eight years I’ve seen how fast our start-upers got up from the ground
esi: What is cool about your start-upcountry, what inspires you and keeps you thriving?
Mindaugas: We have a great team and great people around us who want to start-up. Beside this we have a really wide support from business community and Vilnius city municipality. It is really inspiring to have constant support from people and organizations around us. Unemployment of young people increased drastically so young people instead of looking for a job want to start their own businesses more often. For nine years I have worked with young entrepreneurs and I am happy to see that conditions are improving. Last year Lithuania rose to 17th place in the worldwide Doing business ranking – this is amazing for a small country.
esi: What makes you shake your head about your start-upcountry, what needs to be improved?
Mindaugas: We think that community or the moral support for young businessmen should improve. What we consider to be really important are good examples and leaders in the community who take leaders’ position. Those leaders are the mirror of the society. We need to grow better leaders for our future. Bureaucratic hurdles are a problem everywhere but it is more of a psychological issue for start-upers. Of course we need to improve the conditions, especially for small businesses – but we see already really good progress in this respect. Beside this Lithuania is becoming a global country and our people start their businesses everywhere in the World and that makes starting up easier.
esi: What’s some cool fact we are likely not to know about your start-upcountry?
Mindaugas: Lithuania is a highly educated country which has many successful people all around the World. Lithuanian owned start-up Getjar.com is the third biggest app store in the world. Lithuania has one of the fastest internet connections in the world. Lithuania is a rather global nation: 3 million people live in Lithuania and 3 million more live all around the World. Lithuania is 17th in Doing business ranking in the world and 8th in Europe. This is an amazing step forward keeping in mind that 23 years ago Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union and had planned economy. Lithuania is among the fastest growing economies in Europe.
esi: Thank you for the interview.
About the interviewpartner:
Mindaugas Busila is managing director at the national Start-up competition Verslauk.