Women entrepreneurs from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan share their successes in a regional exchange

Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Workshop on financial management and savings conducted by an ILO expert for the project beneficiaries from Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Women
Workshop on financial management savings conducted by an ILO expert for the project beneficiaries from Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Women

From 15 to 24 March, UN Women in partnership with CARE Caucasus organized a series of online knowledge-sharing exchanges between women entrepreneurs from Georgia and Azerbaijan and from Georgia and Armenia with the purpose of strengthening their networks and allowing for a dialogue on good practices among entrepreneurs. The regional exchange offered a platform where women could interact, learn from one another and gain new knowledge and inspiration for their own businesses.

The 2021 regional exchange focused on strategic planning and resilience building as key concepts following the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent long-term changes to the markets. Women entrepreneurs were invited to explore new approaches and strategies to ensure sustainability and generate profit despite the obstacles imposed by the pandemic-related restrictions. The themes explored in the scope of the event included the opportunities provided by digital solutions, marketing and sales strategies for the service industry, and financial planning and ideas for savings to ensure the viability of the businesses in times of scarcity.

One of the project beneficiaries, Diana Imedashvili, presented her accomplishments under the WEESC project. Photo: Sopo Maghaldadze
One of the project beneficiaries, Diana Imedashvili, presented her accomplishments under the WEESC project. Photo: Sopo Maghladaze

Small service businesses such as sewing salons, specialized bakeries and beauty studios have witnessed some of the greatest drops in profits under the pandemic. With customers taking a step back and opting to save rather than spend on non-essential goods and services, small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the restrictions. In the scope of the exchange, women entrepreneurs were introduced to useful, adaptive strategies and learned about other successful examples in the region. One of the participants from Azerbaijan shared her impressions: “I was involved in the sewing business and selling bedding sets from home, but the pandemic had a very negative impact, and I no longer have sales. The information and recommendations I received today will help me adapt to the existing situation.”

Exploring digital solutions as an alternative method for attracting customers generated a lot of interest from the participants. Similarly, the information and practical tips shared by the experts on finance and savings received positive feedback across all three countries. As one of the Armenian entrepreneurs stated, “Managing money can be a struggle. Thank you for this practical information and these useful tips.”

The regional exchange was organized as part of UN Women’s project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Austrian Development Cooperation, and the Government of Slovakia.