Kekava County municipality was established on July 1, 2009 as a result of administrative reform merging previously three independent municipalities - Balozi city, Daugmale and Ķekava parishes. Population growth in the last 10 years is up to 12%, 59% of its population are in the working age, 25% - under age of 18, defining education as one of the main priorities and also challenges for the municipality.
Kekava is a new municipality in URBACT -, and one of the most economically active settlements in Latvia. More than 2300 companies are registered in Kekava with different sizes and profiles. The municipality is ranked as the 2nd in Latvia regarding foreign investment in companies which makes Kekava an ideal partner of the network.
Entrepreneurship in Ķekava County is based on potentials of geographical and transport infrastructure location creating high added value, recognizable and competitive products. Economic development of the county is formed by balanced development of logistics, agricultural, production and tourism services areas.
One of the aims of the Kekava County within the URBACT programme project “Cities4CSR” is defining the CSR strategy based on needs and challenges of involved stakeholders and promoting the values of CSR – to strengthen entrepreneurship culture, create better conditions for society and channelize local companies’ increased CSR efforts to better meet local needs. Moreover, the municipality’s new brand and slogan “Augam!” represents the idea of responsible and sustainable lifestyle, including such values as growth, development, nature friendly, perfect living place for families and achievements. Therefore, green environment and green mobility are essential areas which are being planned to be developed also within the project “Cities4CSR”.
The municipality has a Sustainable Development Strategy 2030, including an Action Plan and an Investment Plan, and an Entrepreneurship Development Roadmap for years 2018-2020 which form the local policy framework in which a ‘CSR facilitation’ strategy should be specified since the municipality has already recognized the opportunity to use CSR directions to better tackle ever increasing local needs. Kekava has already started to implement some actions with regards to CSR, however the lack of a systematic approach is rather visible and this is why Kekava is keen on learning in this field.
One of the good practices of Kekava County which could be shared to the project’s “Cities4CSR” network is in the citizen engagement and participatory budgeting wherein the municipality organizes budget “think tanks” to engage the society in the planning of municipality’s annual budget by submitting their suggestions on budget planning.