From Small Beginnings
Dali Chilachava fled from her home village in Abkhazia in 1993 when the first conflict broke up. Now she lives in Samegrelo, a region of Georgia that shelters more than 80,000 displaced.
- 3,000 people in 350 villages and small towns of Georgia received micro-loans with the assistance of the EU/UNDP programme.
- More than 3,500 attended business training and consultation.
- Micro loans from 300 to 2,000 Euros were issued in the areas of agriculture, trade and services.
Dali’s family struggled from extreme poverty for 12 years until they found their rescue in growing lilies for sale.
With their first loan of Euro 300 Dali and her husband improved the production of flowers in their greenhouse. They plan to get another loan to buy land and build a cold storage.
“We started four years ago with one little stem and now we have a greenhouse. It is a stable income for our family,” says Dali.
Microfinance is one of the ways to remedy the economy in the regions affected by conflicts and to assist the displaced and local residents to rebuild their lives.
With funds from the European Union, UNDP runs the microfinance programme in three regions of Georgia that suffered most from the armed conflict in 2008 – in Shida Kartli, Samegrelo and Mtskheta-Mtianeti.
UNDP teamed up with seven local microfinance institutions to assist the displaced, women entrepreneurs and start-up businesses. Micro loans from 300 to 2,000 Euros were issued in the areas of agriculture, trade and services.
More than three thousand people in 350 villages and towns of Georgia received micro-loans. More than 3,500 attended business training and consultations.
75 percent of the beneficiaries never had such an opportunity before. With this first success in business, they could move forward to better life.
Tea Babutsidze, a displaced from South Ossetia, now lives in Gori. Her home village, Tamarasheni, was almost completely destroyed during the conflict.
With her first loan of Euro 300 Tea opened a small office to provide services for businesses. Online tax declarations, telephone bills, photocopy and drafting documents – a handful of Tea’s customers keep her busy and ensure steady, though modest income.
“I feel more confident about future. I know that I can achieve something if I really want to. My business is small but it is getting on very well. I am sure I will find ways how to make it successful,” Tea says.
Bakeries, fishing farms, greenhouses and tiny shops – small businesses that had a good start with the help of the EU/UNDP programme are set to grow and provide income, hope and confidence to many families in Georgia.