Railway station to be opened in Batumi
Construction of a railway station started many years ago but terminated shortly after will come to an end soon. For the first time this year, a passenger train will arrive in Batumi city of seaside Adjara region.
Opening of the station is expected in May. The building auctioned two years ago meets international standards.
EU4Business project helps set up business clusters for better access to EU market
Up to 100 Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now in a better position to take advantage of the benefits of the free trade agreement between the EU and Georgia.
The EU-supported project ‘SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia’ has helped to establish three business clusters in the country and to lay the groundwork for two more, reaching out to 100 SMEs specialising in furniture, interior design, film production and post-production, ICT, apparel and honey production.
As a result of the 4-year project, these SMEs have received access to leading international expertise to help them identify opportunities for capacity and product development, better competitiveness and integration with the European market.
Cluster member SMEs currently employ more than 1,400 staff members in Georgia.
EU supports Georgia in producing 40,000 medical gowns in response to COVID-19
A Georgian medical textile company produced 40,000 medical gowns in one week, after purchasing 12 additional sewing machines with support from the EU project ‘Clusters 4 Development’.
With a total of 18 sewing machines, the company can now meet the high demand for surgical gowns in Georgia, and actively support the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘Clusters 4 Development’ is funded by the EU and the German government. It supports the development of business clusters in three sectors: apparel, construction materials and tourism.
The project also collaborates with the Georgian government to improve the institutional framework for cluster and business development. The project is implemented under the ‘EU4Business’ initiative.
You can too! How the EU supports women entrepreneurs in Georgia
You can too! How the EU supports women entrepreneurs in Georgia?
- 1. I want to start my own business, but I’m not sure my idea would work. Who can advise me?
The European Union is very active in supporting the development of new businesses, particularly among women and particularly in the regions of Georgia, often with a focus on rural and disadvantaged areas. So don’t think that you need to be in Tbilisi, to have a higher education or an established business in order to access EU support – on the contrary!
The EU supports a number of programmes and business support facilities that provide know how, practical help, and even funding to help you start your business.
Here are some examples:
If you are looking for support in agriculture, the ENPARD programme provides information, training, advice and financial support all over Georgia, with hundreds of thousands of farmers benefitting since 2013. Visit the programme’s interactive map to find regional initiatives, contacts, information centres and cooperatives near you.
The Mayors for Economic Growth programme supports local authorities in developing economic growth and job creation. Among the dozens of local authorities that have signed up in Georgia, three – Bolnisi, Gori and Tbilisi – are running pioneer projects including support for new entrepreneurs with training and business development facilities, ensuring the equal access of women to development opportunities.
- 2. Business advice is all very well, but you need money to develop your business. How can I get funding when I have no money of my own and no business experience?
A number of grants for agricultural projects are available under the ENPARD programme. Follow the calls section on their website to see the list of grant competitions that are available.
While the local development projects funded under the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative do not provide grants, they will help you to access finance. For example, the SPARK business accelerator set up under the project in Tbilisi offers new businesses assistance in preparing a business plan, and puts you in contact with potential investors and sources of finance.
One EU-funded programme offers loans that are specifically tailored to women: Women in Business can provide finance both to start and develop a business. The programme works with local partners Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank and offers preferential terms for women entrepreneurs to finance new business ideas or expand an existing business. Several other projects under the EU4Business initiative also work with local banks to provide loans for SMEs – from micro-finance to major investment loans.
- 3. I already have a business, but I need help to take it to the next step: is there any EU support available for me?
If you already have a business and you are looking to develop, funding (and training) is available through a number of programmes under the EU4Business initiative, which supports private sector development across Georgia.
Apart from providing loans, Women in Business offers training and subsidised advisory services that are specifically tailored to women-led businesses. The programme also offers a personalised online tool – the Business Lens – to assess your business and see what kind of support you can access.
Some EU4Business programmes also offer finance for much larger businesses, but others such as the DCTA Initiative East offer microfinance loans up to €25,000. The European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE) also provides small loans (average loan size €14,300) to the smallest businesses (less than 10 employees) in sectors such as agriculture, industry, trade and services. Click here for the full list of finance programmes under EU4Business, here for projects offering training and business advice, and here for projects supporting access to markets.
Georgian entrepreneurs also have access to the Enterprise Europe Network, which helps Georgian SMEs find business and technology partners across Europe and beyond.
- 4. I’m not sure I want to start a business, but I want to learn new skills: is there something for me from the EU?
Training and skills are a key priority of EU support in Georgia, and the EU provides considerable funding for Vocational Education and Training (VET). The EU recently launched a 150 million GEL programme supporting vocational education and labour market development. The 5-year programme will help 105,000 Georgians find jobs by expanding high quality vocation education, improving labour policies, and supporting entrepreneurship training.
In terms of direct support, the individual EU4Youth programmes – Say YES: Skills for Jobs, Enhancing Youth Education, Employment and Participation in Conflict-affected Areas in Georgia and Ukraine, Fostering Potential for Greater Employability, and Better Skills for Better Future – have a strong focus on skills for under-35s, especially in less advantaged regions of Georgia, providing training, mentoring and internships to help young people find jobs.
For young women under the age of 30, the EU offers exciting opportunities under its Erasmus + youth programmes. You can join the almost 10,000 young Georgians who have already learned new skills and developed valuable experience by participating in youth projects or volunteering for work abroad under the European Solidarity Corps.
- 5. Are there women like me, who started their own business with EU help?
There are lots!
Nata, Manana, Irina and Dali all received grants under the ENPARD programme. Natalia and Irina come from Tbilisi, Manana from Tsalka, and Dali from Upper Alvani. Natalia grows cucumbers, Irina tomatos, Manana runs a tea processing enterprise, and Dali combines honey production with educational courses. They have all developed their business with the help of EU training and grants.
Irina Gloveliand Tekla Mamageishvili both received advisory support as part of the Women in Business programme. For Tekla, the project helped to plan the activities of her eye clinic more strategically and attract financial resources, while Irina received help to put her engineering company’s financial reporting in order, leading to a 7.5% rise in profits.
Manana Chqareuliworked from home as a seamstress. With the help of loans under the EFSE programme, she was able to upgrade her equipment, lease a proper workspace and hire staff to develop her business. Now her company is on its way to becoming a brand in its own right.
Diana Bakradze and Anna Varamashvili benefitted from skills training and internships under a project for ‘Support of vulnerable youth to become productive citizens through learning, training and employment’, an important step to an independent professional life.
Click here for more success stories from ENPARD, here to find out what the city of Bolnisi is doing under the Mayors for Economic Growth project, and here to learn about five Georgian women who have benefited from EU support across a range of areas.
- 6. Whom can I ask for help?
Visit the ENPARD website to find contact information in all the different regions of Georgia, and check the programme’s interactive map to find regional initiatives, contacts, information centres and cooperatives near you.
If you already have a business and are looking to develop it, check out the training and funding opportunities available under EU4Business in Georgia.
For education and youth opportunities, contact the national Erasmus + office in Georgia.
And don’t forget to follow the EU Delegation to Georgia on Facebook for updates and new opportunities.
Giorgi Gakharia: Hospitality is in our DNA, and it is a country where future is born from history and traditions
We are honored to host the Silk Road Forum for the third time in Tbilisi, Georgia. This event has gathered more than 2000 participants from over 60 countries, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated in his speech at the formal reception honoring the delegates of the Silk Road Forum.
As the Head of Government underlined, more than 300 bilateral meetings have already been scheduled, which is remarkable, indeed.
Besides Georgia's investment opportunities, Giorgi Gakharia, in his speech, also singled out the worldwide uniqueness of Georgian hospitality.
"Georgia is not only the best place for investments and doing business. Georgia is a homeland of winemaking and Georgians are number one hosts in the world, because hospitality is in the DNA of our culture.
So, let me, keeping in mind all countries along the Silk Road, raise a toast to Georgia at the crossroad of civilizations, where future is born from history and traditions," Giorgi Gakharia stated.
Prime Minister's Press Office
Priorities of joint activity of the UIET and Singapore business community are outlined
Opportunities of activation of partnership between the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of our country and Singapore companies were discussed during business forum timed to the state visit of Turkmen leader to Singapore.
Turkmen side presented detailed information about the activity of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which was founded by the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in 2008. Today, this is strong business association of 23,000 representatives of private sector, which carry out their activity in many branches of economy.
The Union has Entrepreneurship School, Trade Chamber, Construction Facility Directorate as well as own Rysgal Bank. Important events and current information are reflected in the publication of profile newspaper and on the website of the Union. Branches of the UIET, school and bank are opened in all regions of the country. Political party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, which is represented in National Parliament, has been founded.
The UIET has its representative offices in Beijing, Dubai and Vienna. In addition, trade houses were opened in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Afghanistan and China.
Representatives of private sector take an important place in implementation of social and economic reforms in the country. Private agricultural producers were released from taxation. They received free land in long-term lease as well as beneficial loans. In the result, the share of non-governmental sector of economy in the structure of the GDP, without fuel and energy complex, was 64 percent in 2018.
For ten years, the members of the Union have invested around 5.5 billion US dollars, from which 2 billion to agricultural complex. Completion of these projects created more than 150,000 new working places.
Export volumes of local production are increased steadily; delivery to fruit, vegetable, fish and other food production has been significantly increased.
Activity of entrepreneurs in industrial sector also grows. Abadan Haly Complex for production of carpet and carpet production as well as Paper Factory in Yashlyk are good examples.
Production activity of the members of the Union include chemical industry, which develops based on mineral and raw material resources of the country. Big facilities for production of chemicals like iodine, synthetic washing liquids, disinfectants, table salt, paints, construction adhesives, insulation materials, aeroconcrete blocks and other goods, which are supplies to foreign countries, have been built.
Members of the Union carry out an active work for implementation of the projects of construction of plants for production of potassium fertilizers (potassium chloride and potassium sulphate), mixed fertilizers, technical carbon, ethyl alcohol, develop investment projects for production of caustic and calcined soda, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, sodium sulphate, cement and other chemical production from local natural and mineral resources.
Opening of facilities for production of liquefied gas, carbamide and ammonia, graphite electrodes seem to be perspective direction in chemical industry. Projects in heavy industry, metallurgy and gold production are also financially attractive.
Work for development of electronic and electro technical branches are carried out. The entrepreneurs have started the production of local electronic payment terminals and training computers, tablets and routers.
Recently, Turkmen IT Park, which is aimed at the development of digital infrastructure in the country as well as at taking of innovative products of Turkmenistan to international market, has started its activity. University of Business and Digital Technologies, which is planned to be opened by the Union next year, is to support this project. In this regard, specialists from Singapore were invited to make developments in the sphere of information technologies with future students of new Turkmen university.
Aspects of cooperation in such important direction such transport and logistics have also been discussed. Turkmen Logistic Association has been founded under the UIET aegis. Turkmen transport companies have modern equipment for transportation of oversized and heavy cargos, which allows serving industrial projects in the country and region.
Development of tourism sphere is a priority direction of the activity of the Union. Therefore, such directions of establishment of direct commercial and investment contacts as education, information technologies, chemistry, transport, logistic and tourism have been outlined at business forum.
In this regard, the importance of activation of business exchanges, participation in exhibition and fairs held in two countries, organization of trips of entrepreneurs for study of opportunities to participate in projects has been highlighted.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan