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Ani Kvaratskhelia

Women Do Not Risk to Start a Business in Georgia

Commersant had an interview with the head of the Business Development Agency Ani Kvaratskhelia, as she talked about most vital issues happening in Georgia’s business sector.

What does  your Agency do ? 

Business Support Agency was established at  the Ministry of Economy in 2014 and focuses on business support, the success of Georgian businessmen, their excess to international markets and attraction of  additional capital.

The agency is working on several fronts, and mainly responds to the challenges facing by the country’s  economy and business . At the same time, we provide technical assistance and advice to entrepreneurs who are in need.

We also have export direction which is also very important especially in a currency shortage.

In all directions a variety of programs that promote private sector growth and competitiveness have been launched.

With regard to the increasing availability of finance for business, “Produce  in Georgia” program is working actively in this regard.

 What criteria must the company comply in order to take part in your projects?

First of all it should be the company involved in  processing  and manufacturing. When the bank gives a loan, we automatically receive a notification from the bank, then we start to get acquainted with the business plan.

If we recognize the project interesting, the company gets in our program and in 3 days the bank received the relevant information. As you know, one of the points of the program provides for partial coverage of percent by the state for bank loans taken by companies.

 The program was launched  2 years  and a total of  205 enterprises have already been financed. The total investment amounted to GEL 430 million.

We also have a direction associated with a film industry, which has great prospects in Georgia. We are confident that the country has all the opportunities to achieve significant progress in this direction. A diversity of the natural landscape, which can be used for shooting movies, gives us the grounds for this, besides we have developed a mechanism of partial reimbursement of the costs to  foreign film companies, we also offer them the provision of all necessary documentation  necessary for shooting movies.

Our Agency also  supports  micro- business, which provides for the issuance of micro grants in the amount from GEL 5 to 15 thousand. Within this component, we have assisted more than 3 000 micro- entrepreneurs. By the end of the year additional 1 500 micro enterprises  will be financed.

This is a very successful project, as 50 000 people have already addressed our Agency.

Are women engaged in business? 

Women take part in  the industrial part of the program  to a lesser extent, and this is due to the fact that women in Georgia  don’t risk  to start their own business.

Among the beneficiaries of the program “Produce in Georgia” women account for no more than 4-5%. As for the micro-business , we prefer women. In this project, women account for 30%.