Support Small Business Entrepreneurship and Successful Beneficiaries
The meeting of agricultural machinery service providers was organized in Zemo Skhvilisi within the scope of Community Development Initiative (CDI 5). Entrepreneurs presented their ploughs, seeders, scythes, cultivators and other crop farming machinery and shared experience.
Community Development Initiative (CDI) has stared in 2003 in Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo Kartli with the financial support of BP. Regional Development Association (RDA) is the implementing partner of CDI program for the last six years.
Zaal Khitarishvili – Beneficiary
On the “Machinery Day” Zaal Khitarishvili Zemo Skhvilisi resident presented his mechanical scythe purchased with the support of Community Development Initiative (CDI). He started cooperation with RDA in 2015. He applied for the Small Business Development grant competition, prepared business plan and won CDI financing. He has learned about competition during the village meeting.
“They have explained how I should fill out the form. Later I wrote the business plan and successfully passed interview. I purchased mechanical scythe within CDI funding. Other equipment I bought as the part of my share. I have spent 3650 GEL in total. I already had a tractor and started mowing. With this machinery I am able to mow three hectares per day and it is the main source of my income” – says Zaal Khitarishvili.
Equipment and machinery acquired within the scope of the program
The beneficiaries that have agricultural machinery repairing/remodeling businesses and acquired equipment within the scope of CDI also attended “Machinery Day” event organized by RDA. One of these beneficiaries is Gevond Pogosian. He provides repairing services for agricultural machinery and is able to design and/or rearrange different equipment to combine two separate agricultural operations in one. The combination of processes allow mechanization to provide two services in one run hence speeding up the cultivation and decreasing costs.
“I needed equipment for my business activities: cutters, welding machine, surface polisher, etc. I had part of the tools, however all of them were old and of poor quality. I purchased new ones with CDI’s financial support. I did not have such a good cutters before – now I can cut metal easily, have higher quality output with less time spent on the process. I have designed potato digger, which I think is unique in Georgia. I have designed the scythe as well and quite satisfied with the machine. My share was 1300 GEL whereas CDI granted 2600 GEL.” – says Gevond Pogosian.
The program Community Development Initiative (CDI) is initiated and funded by BP and its partners in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP) and South Caucasus Pipeline Extension (SCPX) companies.
Regional Development Association (RDA) has been implementing CDI since 2011 in 28 communities of Samtskhe-Javakheti region; in 2013, 5 more communities were added. Currently RDA is implementing projects in 4 villages of Adigeni, 8 villages of Borjomi and 21 villages of Akhaltsikhe.
One of the components of the program is support of small business start-ups and scale ups with maximum of 2600 GEL co-financing while 30-40% of the business plan total budget is share of the beneficiary. First stage of the grant competition comprises of the business-idea application submission. Successful business idea entrepreneurs have specially designed Business Plan Writing Training that aims transition of idea into the business plan, which in turn is presented to the selection committee during face-to-face interview. Regional Development Association continues development of funded beneficiaries through various trainings and individual consultations. Beneficiaries, at the same time, share their business performance indicators to RDA team.
On the photo: CDI funded entrepreneurs share experience. Samtskhe-Javakheti, Zemo Skhvilisi, 2016
On the photo: Gevond Pogosian (to the left) presents equipment of his own design during “Machinery Day”. Samtskhe-Javakheti, Zemo Skhvilisi, 2016