Date: 03/08/2012

Women`s Economic Independence Program - 2011

The program 'Women's Economic Independence in the Post-conflict Zone and Remote Regions of Georgia' intends to empower women in the most vulnerable, poor and remote areas of Georgia. The program is being implemented with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The program will continue for 3 years and will cover the following 4 regions of Georgia: Shida Kartli, Kakheti, Imereti and Racha.

Program activities include the implementation of three main components: recruiting and choosing participant women from the target regions through testing; training of selected women participants in ‘How to Start Own Business"; small grants competition for trained women.

The program is being implemented in partnership with the Dutch organization “Friends of Georgia Association” (SVGG). One of the founders of the association, Giorgi Khutsishvili, leads intensive business trainings for the program's participants.
In 2011 the program covered the town of Akhmeta and nearby villages Kistauri, Zemo Khodasheni, Matani, Alaverdi, Kvemo Alvani, Zemo Alvani, Babanauli in Kakheti region, Shida Kartli villages - Dvani, Ruisi, Gogeti, Flevi and 2 IDP settlements (Akhalsopeli and Mokhisi), the town of Chiatura and villages Katskhi, Berevisa, Tsrukhveti and Perevi in the region of Imereti.

266 women took part in four testing sessions, from which 75 were selected to attend the intensive trainings. In total 71 women were trained in the program, which allowed them to develop business skills and to elaborate profitable business plans (in Khashuri, Akhmeta and Alvani). The business plans submitted were discussed at a public meeting between the WFG project team members and the training participants in order to incorporate women's feedback and opinions into the decision-making process.

As a result of the grants competitions, 50 small businesses were supported in 2011. The grants were awarded in the fields of agriculture and service.

Womens Fund in Georgia regularly conducts monitoring of supported initiatives, both through interviewing and through site visits. Supported businesses are monitored at all stages.