Crisis as an opportunity for women entrepreneurs

Date: Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Women entrepreneurs discuss anti-crisis plans in groups. Photo: UN Women
Women entrepreneurs discuss anti-crisis plans in groups. Photo: UN Women

Turning a crisis into an opportunity - this phrase has become very relevant during the pandemic, especially for women entrepreneurs, whose activities are more severely affected by today’s fluctuating landscape. For the women in Georgia running small and medium businesses, COVID-19 has made it very important to develop anti-crisis plans and to turn the crisis into an opportunity.

Considering the new reality and emerging needs, and coupled up with companies that are signatories to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and two partner organizations – Women for Tomorrow and the Georgian Farmers’ Association - UN Women held a three-day workshop on anti-crisis planning for women entrepreneurs. It is noteworthy that the meeting offered practical information, and during its closing session, the 30 participants developed these anti-crisis business plans based on their activities.

Giga Paikidze, who is the managing partner of Loialte, a WEPs signatory company, led the session on the development of business ideas and anti-crisis plans. He explained after the workshop: “A crisis creates business opportunities. However, there is a separate challenge about how small and medium businesses will be able to unlock these opportunities and use them to promote their interests. And this was exactly what our goal was - to discuss together with female entrepreneurs how to keep their businesses afloat during the crisis, diversify revenues and optimize costs, develop new business ideas in different directions and create a business plan, among other topics.”

In addition to anti-crisis planning, the participants gained information about public relations, marketing and banking services, as well as attended a session on personal development. Mariam Mirotadze, a 22-year-old entrepreneur engaged in the wine business, is going to apply the acquired knowledge to further develop her business, explaining: “The practical assignment and the business plan that we wrote here strengthened my theoretical knowledge. I was especially inspired by the session on personal development. I have been planning to rebrand my business for a long time, and I am so motivated after these trainings that I will design and launch a new label in September.”

One part of the workshop was dedicated to the programmes and grants offering state assistance to women. Mikheil Khidureli, director of the agency Enterprise Georgia, and his deputy, Tornike Zirakishvili, answered the participants’ questions and heard the challenges that female entrepreneurs are facing in Georgia in regard to accessing financing.

The workshop is part of the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, implemented with the generous financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.