EU Supports Local Entrepreneurs in Keda Municipality

In January 2017, the EU supported the establishment of the Keda Local Action Group, also known as Keda LAG, in Keda municipality through the Keda LEADER project. The project is currently one of the EU’s 12 pilot projects implemented within the ENPARD program in several Georgian municipalities. Implementing the ENPARD activities in Keda is made possible by the EU’s partner organizations: CENN, the Institute of Democracy, CSRDG and an Austrian partner, ÖIR.

As a result of intensive community mobilization, the EU’s partner organizations supported the establishment of the Keda Local Action Group (LAG), a local organization that unifies active and highly motivated locals from the municipality to ensure bottom-up development of the municipality. The Keda LAG developed the Local Development Strategy (LDS) for the municipality, seeing locals identifying strategic areas for development, with a focus on:

- Development of agricultural value chains;

- Diversification of rural economic activities;

- Support for education, culture, and sport;

- Protection of the environment, including disaster risk reduction and management of natural resources.

Shortly after developing the strategy, the Keda LAG, together with CENN and the Institute of Democracy, announced the first grants competition calling for rural development initiatives that would support the implementation of the strategic objectives included in the LDS. In total, 306 business ideas were submitted by Keda locals, and of these 109 proceeded to the next stage, in which the project team assisted prospective entrepreneurs to develop detailed business plans. During the last stage, Keda LAG announced 27 winning ideas that will be funded through the financial support provided by ENPARD.

Some of the funded projects include a project for lessons to craft a Chiboni (a traditional Ajaran instrument) and establishing guest houses and organic gardens that will provide a farm-to-table experience. The agricultural projects include winemaking with a special emphasis on the traditional Chkhaveri vine, strawberry greenhouses and fish farms.

One of the EU beneficiaries, Davit Ardzenadze, has an idea to provide a so-called “glamping”, or “glamorous camping” experience, in Keda. His hotel will provide a service that combines the comfort of a hotel with the excitement of camping.

“Since I started working on the project, my daily routine has changed and life became more exciting. I’m following my dream and doing what makes me happy,” Ardzenadze says. “People in Keda now see the possibilities of rural development of the region and opportunities for self-employment.”

The EU continues to support rural development through the ENPARD project in Keda. The second grants competition has already been announced and more local business ideas are expected by the end of August. In the meantime, Keda LAG and CENN have also launched a summer campaign, “Visit Keda,” which encourages tourists and guests to visit the municipality.

Photo: Davit Ardzenadze and his neighbor Shakro Ardzenadze on Davit's family land in the village of Dandalo. This day David learned that his "glamping" business project was selected to be funded under the EU's ENPARD project

01 August 2019 17:51