In support of women entrepreneurs’ tech start-ups
Mariam Gogoreliani, 30, is an auditor and a certified appraiser by profession. She works as a consulting manager and, at the same time, manages her own start-up, “Multi”. The idea of the start-up arose from her profession and from the desire to automate inventory. She started thinking about a technical solution, and last year she managed to turn her idea into reality, creating an innovative piece of software.
Mariam is now taking an intensive course and is learning the techniques of developing her own start-up, attracting investments and entering international markets. The course is part of the rapid economic growth programme Georgian Women in Technology, implemented by the Silicon Valley accelerator US Market Access Center (USMAC) in partnership with the USAID Economic Security Program.
The initiative, which aims to help Georgian women’s start-ups develop and succeed in global markets, launched in 2020. A total of 12 finalists were selected to participate, seven of whom won scholarships and are taking part in a six-month online training course as of February 2021. Mariam is one of the seven and is participating in the programme with the support of UN Women.
The training course includes practical and theoretical trainings. Intensive lectures for the women-led start-ups are conducted by experts in the field. In addition, the participants receive support and guidance from the leaders of the top international companies and investors in the world’s most innovative tech ecosystem - Silicon Valley. The finalists will also attend the Startup Grind Global Tech Conference, which will be held virtually from Tbilisi.
Mariam hopes that this knowledge will be helpful for her future development and will enable her to enter international markets and attract investments more easily. “Now that we, the start-ups, are at the development stage,” she remarked, “we will use the experience gained here to move forward. At the same time, we met other international start-ups participating in the course and established friendly and potential business partnerships with them.”
In Georgia, gender segregation is found in professions and businesses too. One of the high-paying sectors where there is an obvious shortage of women is information technology. An increase in women’s participation in this field will not only help them realize their potential but will also be positively reflected in their income growth and the realization of innovative inventions.
In order to reduce gender inequality in the field of technology, UN Women implemented a variety of initiatives in 2019 and 2020 within the framework of the project “A Joint Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Georgia”, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The initiatives included coaching women from western Georgia in social media marketing and web programming, taking care of the development of their skills and capabilities, and assisting successful participants with finding paid internships or launching start-ups. Cooperation with the Georgian Women in Technology programme and support for Mariam Gogoreliani’s studies are part of this effort.