Strengthening businesses, developing digital economies and building relations between entrepreneurs from the European Union and its Eastern partner countries are at the heart of the discussions at the 4th Eastern Partnership (EaP) Business Forum in Estonia on 26-27 October 2017.
The event brings together more than 450 business leaders, politicians and government officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the EU Member States. It is one of the key side events being held in preparation for the 5th EaP Summit that will take place in Brussels on 24 November 2017.
In Georgia, the EU assists companies with (1) funding, (2) training, and (3) export support to new markets through the EU4Business initiative. Since 2009, 2.1 billion GEL (€711 million) has been provided in total for 63,000 Georgian companies.
What kind of EU support is available for Georgian businesses?
- More access to finance:
- Supporting loans in local currency
- Subsidised finance for export-related investments
- Subsidised finance for buying or upgrading equipment
- Loans for women-led businesses
- Micro credits for setting up or developing a small business
- Stronger business skills:
- Tailored advisory services and technical support to companies – human resources, IT, management structures, business models, etc.
- Training programmes to improve skills of entrepreneurs in key areas
- Tailored training and mentoring for women entrepreneurs
- Better access to new markets:
- Business advice and training for export-oriented companies
- Help for companies to adapt and export to the EU
- Support to agricultural and food industries to take advantage of EU markets
Who has already benefited?
- Vehicle importer “ASP-GEORGIA” received EU funding and advice from the EBRD to improve its business processes. As a result, it increased its turnover by 71% and the number of employees grew by 90%. More.
- Tourist company “Lopota Tour Services” received EU funding to improve its information management system. Now it has more than doubled its staff from 55 to 117. More.
- A medical centre “Medical Holding 23” with EU funding and advice from the EBRD, improved its internal management and became more efficient. Now, the company has the international quality management certificate ISO 9001. More.