Strasbourg, 01.10.2020 - The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, made the following statement today:
“As the armed conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh escalates with a growing number of civilian casualties, I mourn the deaths of the many people, including civilians, who are falling victim to the hostilities. No political considerations can justify the horror and suffering of these women, men and children. I implore all sides of the conflict to immediately cease hostilities and implement without delay the interim measures decided by the European Court of Human Rights. A peaceful solution must be found at the negotiating table to prevent a grave humanitarian crisis.”
The Secretary General reiterated her support to the work of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to this end.
She’s Next Empowered by Visa research highlights a focus on the challenges and motivations among women business owners in Georgia
Tbilisi,1 October 2020– Under She’s Next, Empowered by Visa global initiative in Georgia, Visa commissioned a research that analyzed and surveyed female entrepreneurs and business owners to better understand their attitudes, experiences and challenges they face.
She’s Next, Empowered by Visa connects like-minded female entrepreneurs with industry experts for education, inspiration and networking opportunities that help deliver immediate impact for their business. Launched in 2019 in the United States, today She’s Next, Empowered by Visa is expanding globally as a part of Visa’s ongoing commitment to support female entrepreneurs.
The research in Georgia is designed to take the national pulse of female business owners: the goals they aim toward, the challenges they face and motivations that drive them the most.
Key regional findings of the Women entrepreneurs research in Georgia include:
- What drives female entrepreneurs: financial independence (68%) and the desire to make more money (59%), making a lifelong dream come true (21%) are the top three motivators for women in Georgia to start a business.
- Funding is a tremendous hurdle: Main challenges faced by women entrepreneurs when starting their business were capital raising and funding. 50% of women said that they encountered difficulty obtaining the funding they needed to start their business. At the same time 72% of women entrepreneurs financed the business on their own, 45% took a bank loan and 11% received a grant.
- Having a network empowers: 88% of women in Georgia knew another female entrepreneur before deciding to start their own business, and 45% wish they would have received an advice from other female business owners before starting their own business.
- Expanding business: The main area for which women entrepreneurs need additional investment is creation of new products and services, entering new markets (41%).
- Impact of COVID-19: 54% of the female entrepreneurs respond that running business compared to the previous years has become harder. The difficulty faced during the pandemic for the respondents was that they had to close the outlets partially or completely (49%). 44% of respondents mention that sales have dropped as customers have reduced their purchases. Two out of ten respondents experienced failures in the supply of products to consumers (22%).
- Shift to digital: 37% of the respondents are going to switch their business online. For 65% it was hard to answer what opportunities does online shopping channel bring to their business and only 13% responded that the switch will increase sales and competitiveness.
- Educational platforms and tools: 74% of female business owners are interested in additional workshops to grow their business. The most interesting topics for them are payment systems and new technologies; dealing with crisis and stress; effective work in conditions of uncertainty; getting additional funding; developing a brand strategy;
“Running a business requires a lot of hard work, investment and dedication. Scaling She’s Next initiative across the globe, now it’s turns to drive it in Georgia too. Visa is committed to empowering women business owners through a long-term program of education, cutting-edge digital payment technology and a powerful peer network. We will keep championing female business owners as they build, sustain and advance their businesses and local economy”. - said Cristina Doros, Visa Country Manager for the Caucasus region.
Within the 1st wave of #She’sNext educational program Visa hosted 4 webinars with the leading business women, coaches, experts and motivational speakers. Up to 600 Women entrepreneurs and small business owners were able to develop their practical skills and gain knowledge in various aspects of business management, personal development, crisis management strategies, and negotiation skills.
To ensure the connection within the participants of the program local networking community, a Facebook group #She’sNext has been established. After the 1st wave of the program, the online community for female entrepreneurs has reached more than 600 participants.
Detailed information about #She’sNext educational program is available on Visa webpage
About Visa Inc.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visa.com.ge, facebook.com/VisaGeorgiaGE.
 Visa research, conducted by ACT Global in September, 2020 on behalf of Visa to 300 adult, women entrepreneurs in Georgia