CENN Holds Online B2B Meetings to Support Businesses in Keda Municipality

Rural development strategy that encourages economic diversification, and has a bottom-up approach, which puts the local communities at the heart of decision making has a great potential for inclusive and sustainable development.

On December 19, CENN and the Tbilisi Startup Bureau held online Business2Business (B2B) meetings with local entrepreneurs from the Keda Municipality, as part of the Keda Leader and Digital Caucasus projects. The aim of the event was to support entrepreneurs working in the tourism and agriculture sector in Keda, to establish new business relations, expand partnerships, promote diversification, and foster investment and innovation.

The local business representatives that participated in the meeting are the beneficiaires of the EU (ENPARD) supported project Keda LEADER which sees rural development through bottom-up strategic planning. The entrepreneurs spoke with leading companies and experts in the field of tourism and agriculture, established new connections, and received important advice for their business operations. Among the purposes of the event was the strengthening of cooperation between entrepreneurs.

The speakers and leading companies were mobilsed by the Digital Caucasus project after conducting a needs analysis. The project is being implemented by CENN and its partners in Armenia and Azerbaijan via a grant awarded by USAID’s E&E Bureau, Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) Project, aims to ensure the digital transformation of SMEs (small and mid-sized enterprises) for smart economic growth in the Caucasus tourism sector.

The Digital Caucasus project promotes the online presence of the Caucasus region by creating a Caucasus Tourist Destination Portal, targeted at creating and sustaining strategic partnerships between regional and local authorities in the target areas and national administrations active in the fields of tourism.

Ana Petriashvili, CENN Project Officer, presented the core goal of the meetings: “The aim of the event is to further increase Keda Municipality’s development potential through increasing visibility and the collaboration needed to sustain already existing businesses and projects. Rural and agricultural policies should build on the identity and tendencies of rural areas through the implementation of integrated strategies and multi-sectorial approaches.”

The event was attended by 18 small and medium-sized businesses from the hospitality, winemaking and beekeeping sectors. Entrepreneurs had an opportunity to conduct business negotiations with potential business partners and discuss prospects for cooperation. They were introduced with successful examples of businesses and projects in the framework of Georgia’s rural development.

Nodar Kereselidze, National Project Manager for Improving Rural Development in Georgia (an ENPARD-supported program), spoke of the importance of revitalizing rural areas and boosting the country’s potential in agriculture and rural development by improving the livelihoods of communities and creating employment opportunities. “We believe that an effective approach to rural development should involve the interrelation of social, economic, environmental and political factors,” he said. “Our support for this cause already involves many grants programs; in the near future, we plan to introduce the Green Grant in order to contribute to environmental conservation in the country. We work to address the structural and systemic challenges that hamper rural development in Georgia, and ensure that more diverse rural services are delivered to the population in an efficient, effective and sustainable way.”

The online B2B event presented ample opportunities for the industry representatives, and local entrepreneurs to discuss recommendations to foster innovative business models that can support sustainable growth and job creation in Georgia’s rural areas. The event explored the existing opportunities to develop supportive rural business environments and make collaboration a key to success in the field of rural entrepreneurship.

The meetings were organized within the framework of the EU ENPARD Program and the grant awarded by USAID's Europe and Eurasia Bureau for Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) project.


24 December 2020 19:35