“Community Development Initiative – Small Business Development Project 4” was initiated and funded by bp and its partners in Georgian Pipeline Company.

February 3 this year, was the deadline for submission of the business idea applications within the second grant competition. In total, more than four hundred applications were received for starting a new business or expanding an existing one. It is worth noting quite high activity of women and young people, in particular, one third of the applicants were women and one fourth – young people under the age of 35. In the field of agricultural production, the largest number of applications was related to greenhouse production, beekeeping, dairy and berry production. The largest number of applications in the field of non-agricultural production and services was related to land cultivation services (so-called agroservice), mills, auto repair workshops, bakeries, etc.

All applications were reviewed and evaluated by the selection committee consisting of the project team and the invited business development expert. The review was conducted according to criteria such as expected sales of the product, income and expenses, sustainability and growth potential, innovativeness, perceived risks, etc. As a result, 223 contestants passed to the next stage of selection – training of writing a business plan. It should be noted that there are twenty existing entrepreneurs among them who want to expand their business and have quite interesting business ideas, namely establishing a bay reception point, production of pasta and wheat germ oil, production of mini tractors, production of wooden containers for cold storage facilities etc.

Currently, the trainings aimed at improving business plan writing skills are held for the beneficiaries who passed the next stage of the competition . The purpose of the trainings is to help the participants to define their target markets and marketing strategy, to draw up production and financial plans and investment budget, etc. We wish success to the training participants and hope that it will help them in developing clear and realistic business plans.