USAID’s YES-Georgia program supports Georgia’s economic development by working with aspiring businesswomen to help them take the entrepreneurial plunge, demonstrating the type of commitment that is crucial to turning the tide for disadvantaged women. In terms of Georgia’s journey to ultimate self-reliance, these efforts are critical steps in the right direction.
Over the last two years, USAID YES-Georgia has been focusing on providing training in business skills development, mentorship, and access to legal and accounting services. The program aims to empower local women and nourish their business acumen by offering abundant opportunities that are designed to help.
Winemaking is just one example, although the program covers other sectors too. With USAID YES-Georgia’s assistance, many women have either started up family businesses or joined forces with other women to engage in wine tourism.
Sopio Samteladze and Shorena Pataridze have successfully revived their family winemaking tradition. Sofia told the Entrepreneur: “Viticulture has long been a tradition in our family. With USAID YES-Georgia’s help, I managed to bottle our family wine and offer it to other people. Today, we produce four types of wine: Khvanchkara, Tetra / Tkbili, Alexandrouli, and Tsulukidze Tetra. The project taught me how to plan a business properly, calculate the risks, and get it right.”
Mariam Merebashvili runs a successful winemaking business in Georgia’s charming Kartli region. Mariam told the Entrepreneur: “In recent years, we have revived our centuries-old cellar and created a space that is very popular with tourists. We produce typical Kartli wines, such as Chinuri, Goruli Mtsvane, and Tavkveri. Soon, we plan to cultivate a unique Shavkapito vineyard and launch an ethnic restaurant, offering Kartlian and Ossetian cuisine.”
All these Georgian businesswomen take care of the vineyards all by themselves, produce various kinds of wine, from powerful reds to delicate whites, and make sure it reaches others too.
By 2024, USAID YES-Georgia aims to provide mentoring and networking opportunities to over 2,500 women entrepreneurs.
By Elene Dzebisashvili