First Hybrid B2B forum Took Place in Georgia
The B2B forum took place in a hybrid format for the first time in Georgia. The hybrid model incorporated a combination of the live in-person expositions with virtual online B2B meetings for the young entrepreneurs who successfully graduated from the Entrepreneurship School in the framework of the EU4Youth project
15 young entrepreneurs who had completed the Entrepreneurship School program in Samegrelo and Shida Kartli regions and who represent IDP and conflict-affected people residing alongside the conflict-affected territories were attending the forum. The school program helped the young innovators to either launch or develop their businesses in several fields, including designing handmade jewelry and accessories, managing a travel agency, expanding an aesthetic center, and establishing a dried fruit enterprise.
At first, the entrepreneurs presented their businesses at the open-air exposition which was virtually aired at the online forum afterward. Further discussion around represented products and cooperation possibilities with the 51 companies was carried out via online B2B meetings. In total, 80 partnerships were established and potential links of cooperation planned.
International experience clearly demonstrated that a low level of youth employment is well balanced and filled with entrepreneurship activities carried out by young people. Unfortunately, we, in Georgia don’t enjoy such opportunities that much. This is the fact proved by many studies. For instance, according to the World Bank (WB), in 2018, in countries similar to Georgia young entrepreneurs made up approximately 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, while in Georgia this index is only 1%. And today we can explicitly say that this event and the project, in general, respond to the above-mentioned challenge. The project itself is unique with its design and methodology. Right from the beginning, we focused on providing the major support for the young entrepreneurs which is consulting services tapped onto their existing skills and individual needs. Later we started helping them in obtaining financial resources and connecting them with potential buyers,” – Lika Kiladze, Chairperson of the Board of Education Development and Employment Center (EDEC) stated at the event.
Nino Samvelidze, the EU Programs Manager, Nino Khokhobaia, the Head of Programmes at the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), and Kristina Kapanadze, the Deputy Head of Youth Agency also addressed the participants.
The event was organized by “Concierge Tbilisi”.
The project “EU4Youth - Enhancing Youth Education, Employment and Participation in Conflict-affected Areas in Georgia and Ukraine” aims to widen education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities for internally displaced persons and conflict-affected youth and encourages their significant participation in the community.
The EU-funded project is implemented by the Education Development and Employment Center (EDEC) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in Georgia.