12 youth start-up projects were selected for EU grant awards within the framework of the EU4Youth initiative project "Social Entrepreneurship in Armenia and Georgia (SEAG)". In total 68 young registered entities and start-ups participated in the grant competition of the SEAG project launched in December 2020.
The first cohort of the winning youth enterprises are: “Cafune”, “Kodala”, “Knowledge Café”, “Youth Education Employment and Labour Migration Prevention Center”, “Multifunctional Training Center”, “NucArt” and „Julia” operating in the following fields: tourism, HORECA, handicrafts, toy production, education, atelier and mechanization. These enterprises uphold social missions of environment protection, cultural heritage protection, employment, re-socialization of young ex-offenders, education, integration of ethnic minorities, social space, involvement of persons with disabilities, etc.
The grants signing ceremony with these first seven winning young social entrepreneurs took place on June 16th at the venue of one of the winning project, social café “Cafune” in Rustavi. The representatives from the EU Delegation to Georgia, local government, project implementing organisations and other stakeholders attended the event, having an opportunity to share their thoughts and vision on the future of youth social entrepreneurship in Georgia in an open and constructive atmosphere, accompanied by live music.
‘’Social entrepreneurship is a new opportunity for motivated young people to develop existing or establish new sustainable business with a clear social mission. The EU has been supporting young people to develop sustainable business with a clear social mission and today’s winners demonstrate the achievement of this objective,” stated Nino Samvelidze, Project Manager at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia.
“This is a unique chance for them especially in this difficult circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic to develop, prosper and address the social issues in the communities where they live,’’ said Giga Sarukhanishvili, SEAG Project Director.
“The European Union makes a significant contribution to the development of our country, which is very important for Georgia's progress. We distinctly see that EU initiated projects are effective and beneficial for young people. It gives us plenty of opportunities and takes care of the development of various skills of youth. We are very grateful to receive SEAG project support that enables further develop of our social enterprise. This project has given us an excellent chance to increase the impact of our social mission in Rustavi city” underlined Luka Koberidze, founder of Social Café “Cafune”.
The EU-funded project "Social Entrepreneurship in Armenia and Georgia (SEAG)" has been implemented since January 2020 within the framework of the EU4Youth phase 2 initiative, by Mercy Corps Europe in partnership with the Association of Business Consulting Organizations of Georgia (ABCO) and the Armenian NGO Development Principles (DP). Main goal of SEAG project is to strengthen the social entrepreneurial potential of young people aged 18-29 in Armenia and Georgia. The project provides creative young people from Armenia and Georgia with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish sustainable social enterprises, and supports the development of a favourable ecosystem for social enterprises to develop and prosper both countries. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project also provides a unique opportunity for young people to develop an existing or start a new business, establish a purpose-oriented social enterprise, achieve its sustainability and, at the same time, solve existing social problems.
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