Female entrepreneurs empowering one another
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2019
Female entrepreneurs from western Georgia who were brought together through a UN Women project are now initiating business partnerships with one another, thus strengthening their own activities.
UN Women, in partnership with the Georgian Farmers’ Association, selected 50 female entrepreneurs and held capacity-building trainings for them in 2018. Some of the women also received grants for developing their own activities. The women involved in the project gathered at the hotel Casa Calda in Kutaisi from 21 to 23 February 2019, and they shared their experiences with one another. It is noteworthy that the owner of Casa Calda is Tatia Khurtsidze, one of the participants of the initiative, who expanded her hotel with the grant received from the project.
The female entrepreneurs also talked about potential partnerships, within the frameworks of their own activities, to strengthen one another’s businesses. For example, Keti Tomeishvili has a cucumber greenhouse farm in the village of Mtisdziri (located in the Imereti region). Keti and Tatia have already agreed that Keti’s farm will supply Tatia’s hotel with vegetables. However, this is not the only plan for their cooperation, as Keti explains: “I want to develop agritourism in the near future and to set up a wine cellar. I do not have a hotel of my own, and this is why I have decided to offer the accommodation at Casa Calda to my visitors. The more frequently we form such partnerships, the more we will be able to empower each other first, and then many other women as well.”
Keti will also supply her products to another project participant, Natia Sakhelashvili. Natia and her husband have a diner called “White House Burgers”, and she notes that now they are aiming to expand their business: “Other than Keti, I also spoke to another project participant, Shorena Chijavadze, who has a garment enterprise. We agreed that she will make uniforms for our staff, as well as make accessories for decorating the new space.”
The meeting participants communicated their needs to the representatives of UN Women and the Georgian Farmers’ Association; these points have informed the plans of action for this year.
The initiative is one of the activities under the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment”, implemented with the generous financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.