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The EU helping women to succeed

Year/Date: 07/03/2018


The EU supports a wide range of initiatives to promote gender equality, access to opportunity and education throughout the neighbourhood. To help mark International Women's Day 2018, we introduce you to some inspiring young entrepreneurs benefiting from the cooperation. 

Baia and Gvantsa: The Georgian winemakers turning a family tradition into a successful business 

'Winemaking had always been our family business, but we used to make it for ourselves and not for commercial purposes,' says Baia Abuladze, a 24-year old winemaker from Obcha village in the Bagdati Municipality. 'Then it became an interesting job for the younger members of the family and we took steps to turn our family’s tradition into a business.'

That business was Baia’s Wine. Launched in 2015, Baia’s products are already being sold not only in Georgia, but also in the EU. She runs the company with her sister Gvantsa, and the products they manufacture are famous wine brands in Imereti region: 'Tsolikouri', 'Tsitska', 'Krakhuna', 'Otskhanuri Sapere.' Baia’s plans to also revive the production from a ‘lost’ vine that is not used in agriculture any more and has only been preserved in vitro.

Baia has received entrepreneurial support from the EU in the areas of informal education, the improvement of contacts, sales and the promotion of products. 'I gave a presentation at the EU-supported conference for women-entrepreneurs and established some interesting contacts. The event was organised in Brussels by the WEgate platform supported by the European Commission,' she explains. Baia also took part in the Women's Entrepreneurship Laboratory in Ukraine, organised by the European Training Foundation, where she learned about the types of assistance offered to women in different countries and the ways they succeed in enhancing their business.

While Baia has been with the company since its inception, Gvantsa joined later and brought a wealth of new experience thanks to the year she spent with the European Voluntary Service programme in Sweden. 'Gvantsa has joined us with new and innovative ideas,' Baia says. 'She not only manages our wine production, but is also involved in tourism development. She registered us on TripAdvisor, and Airbnb. My sister has introduced the European experience and knowledge she gained into our environment.'

Read the feature article by EU Neighbours here.

The ETF Supporting Women's Entrepreneurship

In many countries, women continue to be under-represented in the workforce. Entrepreneurship is one way to help more women into employment and gain financial independence. Being your own boss provides greater flexibility and better work-life balance, but getting started can be a challenge. Access to skills development, training, finance, business support and mentors is key.

Through the Small Business Act for Europe assessments, the ETF works with partner countries to understand, holistically, the situation on women’s entrepreneurship and plan for future actions. Identifying barriers, social, economic, political, educational, etc., helps with the development of future policy support tools including improved access to training and finance.

The ETF identifies good practice in training in women’s entrepreneurship, such as the training programme in Armenia, helping survivors of gender-based violence to gain the knowledge, skills and support structures to start their own business or find employment. It also hosts international development workshops like the Women's Entrepreneurship Laboratory - which brings new energy to the drive in the Eastern Partnership - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

Learn more about the ETF's work in the area of Women's Entrepreneurship (in English, French and Russian) on the ETF YouTube channel here


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