The Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) are organising the National Women’s Business Forum at the Euphoria Hotel in Batumi on 8 March 2018, with the support of EU4Business.
Up to 300 participants – 180 women entrepreneurs from all regions of Georgia, 18 public, private and civil society organisations that support women’s entrepreneurship in Georgia, national, regional and local government decision-makers – will gather in Batumi to highlight success stories and discuss challenges, discover and learn about opportunities, match funds to needs and improve communication.
The first Women’s Business Forum of Ajara was held on 31 January 2017 and introduced women to new business opportunities, inspiring and motivating them. The number of applications submitted from Ajara to the state programme Produce in Georgia increased by 38% in the following year. Women entrepreneurs started applying for low interest rate loans with the support of the Bank of Georgia and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Rural women’s awareness on grant projects is higher now, which is reflected in the increased number of women starting up the business.
The Forum aims to facilitate the development of small and medium-sized businesses, highlight the contribution of women to the business community, motivate young and women entrepreneurs to implement new ideas, give an opportunity to private and non-governmental sectors to promote their projects and stimulate women’s involvement, increase women’s and youth access to finance, give them the opportunity to make new business linkages and promote businesses, which itself is a step forward to the economic growth of the country.
The main topic of the Forum is women’s economic empowerment, financing opportunities for women start-ups and experience sharing. Successful examples shared by women entrepreneurs from Georgia and neighbouring countries, will give participants more knowledge about existing grant projects and loans and how to expand the business. Private and governmental organisations implementing grant projects will introduce financial opportunities via info desks. Panel discussions will be held between the participants and financing organisations, which will help to establish close linkages.
The Forum is organised by the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Ajara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the Association of Businesswomen of Ajara (ABWA).
The main facilitator of the Women’s Business Forum is the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through the Mercy Corps Georgia implemented Alliances Caucasus Programme (ALCP).
The Forum is supported by: the EU4Business project “SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia”, funded by the EU and implemented by GIZ; the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Ajara; the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); Caritas Czech Republic in Georgia, the Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN).