Localising SDG5 in Georgia: Women’s economic empowerment in rural municipalities
Eleven women from two Georgian target municipalities – Oni and Senaki – received a grant for the purchase of industrial equipment worth €2,000 to start a new business or expand an existing one. This project implemented by CEMR-PLATFORMA member NALAG (the National Association of Local Authorities of Georgia) is aiming to support small businesses initiated by women living in rural municipalities.
Given that the preparation of a business plan requires specific skills, training and consultations were held within the project. One of the main conditions for receiving the grant was to develop a business idea with a financial contribution of at least 10%. In addition to start-ups, the program focused on projects that would reduce rural to urban migration, create additional jobs in municipalities, as well as develop tourism, agriculture and other areas.
At the very first stage of the project implementation, an evaluation commission was set up, composed by representatives and experts from legislative and executive authorities and various non-governmental organisations, including: the EaP Programme project officer at PLATFORMA Bella Tskhelishvili, the Chairperson of the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia; the Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia; experts from UN and CoE, etc.
In accordance with the decision of the members of the evaluation commission, 11 winners were finally identified, including 4 from Senaki municipality and 7 from Oni self-governing unit.
According to Natia Gvinashvili, NALAG Deputy Chief Executive Officer and CEMR Expert on gender equality, there are many barriers to overcome the social and economic situation in the face of the pandemic, although this program has also given incentives to inexperienced women in business and to launch start-ups.
“For me, as a representative of the self-governing umbrella organisation, which coordinates the process of localisation of gender policy within the mandate of the association, one of the top priorities is to encourage women and girls living in the rural municipalities, because strong women contribute to the well-being of families, communities and the whole country”, she said.
The grant competition, which aims to empower women economically, is supported by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) under the Good Governance for Local Development in the South Caucasus (GGLD) program.