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ASB-Hilfsmissionen in Guatemala
Georgia | ASB Foreign Aid

Support for businesses | Georgia

The project “Economic empowerment of internally displaced persons and host communities in Georgia” aimed to help internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities become more self-sufficient. The project aimed to address four key challenges in particular: lack of income opportunities, high unemployment rate, limited access to financial resources and lack of professional training, as well as business training.

The project

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    Project title: Economic empowerment of internally displaced persons and host communities in Georgia

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    Project region: Samegrelo, Gali, Ochamchire

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    Project volume: $ 372,456

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    Duration: 2 years (24/09/2018 - 23/09/2020)

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    Target group: Internally displaced persons (IDPs); returnees; host communities

Poverty and unemployment remain key challenges for the population of Georgia. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, relative poverty has remained almost constant despite economic growth (from 21.3% in 2007 to 20.1% in 2015). Unemployment also remains high (11.8% in 2016). There are many internally displaced persons in the targeted regions of the project, whose nationwide poverty rate is around 5% higher than that of the total population.

How the ASB is helping in Georgia

Start-up and business support


The ASB provided financial support to internally displaced persons, returnees and residents of host cities to enable them to set up businesses. Zugdidi was one of the cities that the ASB supported with the project. The ASB held 25 meetings with a total of 577 participants to mobilise the target groups. 352 applications were received for a business ideas competition, from which 97 candidates were selected to receive training courses on business plan development and social competence from the ASB.

In addition, a small grant was awarded, from which 100 candidates were selected to receive financial support. The selection was made on the basis of motivation, interest and the information in the business plans. The chosen individuals received intensive coaching during the first four months of the implementation of the business plan and, if the applicants chose to accept, advice at a later stage after the founding of the business.

Establishment of a livelihood development centre


One of the most important activities was the setting-up of a livelihood development centre (LDC) in Zugdidi. These LDCs advise internally displaced persons (IDPs) and community members on how to find a job or become self-employed. They also offer financial support to entrepreneurs. The building for the livelihood development centre in Zugdidi was renovated and fully furnished. In addition, employees with the relevant experience and competence were hired. 

At the same time, the entrepreneurs were advised in order to increase the effectiveness of the various ongoing projects. The entrepreneurs were referred to the relevant service providers and linked up with these. A total of 423 potential entrepreneurs were supported. 

Building social and economic ties


Small (micro) grants were made available to selected beneficiaries from Abkhazia. The small entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs were selected by the Abkhazian partner organisation and a representative of the livelihood development centre in Gali. The selection process had certain important criteria that were to be considered, such as how realistic the business plan is and how viable, financially profitable and sustainable it would be to implement. The selection process also took into account aspects such as motivation and potential for building long-term relations with Georgian partners. The ASB also organised visits to Abkhazia in the unoccupied part of Georgia. These tours were intended to build economic relations between Abkhazian and Georgian small entrepreneurs.

All participants in the tour received non-cash benefits for the business, which were valued at an average of 500 dollars. These tours promoted cooperation and the establishment of social and economic ties between Abkhazian and Georgian small entrepreneurs and micro-entrepreneurs, which in itself is one of the best mechanisms for building trust.

Business training for women


60 women attend a two-day business training course and learn how to draw up a business plan. The participants are provided with theoretical materials on the principles of effective management. In order to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in practice, a series of practical exercises, to be completed as individuals and as group work, are made available to the training participants.

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