Women entrepreneurs get matched with mentors in Georgia

Date: Sunday, December 2, 2018

“This is the first time I have participated in any mentoring programme… I joined this programme because its focus is on women’s empowerment,” remarked Tamar Jologua, one of the 21 mentors in UN Women’s new mentoring programme.

Before meeting the mentees, the mentors practiced mentoring techniques in pairs
Before meeting the mentees, the mentors practiced mentoring techniques in pairs; Photo: Teona Dalakishvili

With a background in business administration and eight years of experience in her honey production company in the Samegrelo region, she looks forward to sharing her theoretical and practical experiences with the mentee matched with her.

In preparation for her new role, from 30 November to 2 December 2018, Tamar participated in a three-day training in mentoring approaches and skills in Tbilisi. During the three days, the mentors also met and sat down with their mentees to identify the goals on which they would jointly focus over the coming six months. Through regular working meetings, the mentors will support the growth and development of their mentees and help them achieve their career goals.

The entrepreneurs in the pilot programme work in a variety of sectors that range from jewellery and accessories’ production to running a guesthouse. Based on their applications, the mentors and mentees were carefully matched according to their business experience, interests and geographic locations.

Tamuna Begiashvili, who started her event decorating business in Tbilisi with two friends two years ago, joined the programme as a mentee: “I heard about the mentoring programme through a friend… I hope to receive new contacts and learn how to present my business better.”

All 22 mentees in the programme are women, but the programme’s 16 female mentors are joined by five men. The importance of mobilizing male mentors has received increasing attention since Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg launched the initiative #MentorHer, calling on men’s engagement in mentoring women. One of the male mentors in the UN Women programme in Georgia is Goga Saatashvili, who already has experience in supporting start-ups. He decided to participate in this mentorship programme to deepen his mentoring experience further: ”I am glad to take part in supporting women to expand their businesses… It will be useful for both me and them.”

UN Women’s mentorship support in Georgia is part of the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia” (JAWE), generously supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project’s mentorship component is implemented in collaboration with the Creative Development Center, a non-profit organization based in Tbilisi.