Within the Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Program, the project participants attended the intensive training sessions at the Boot Camp

On July 31-August 5, 2019, in the framework of the Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Program, the authors of 17 entrepreneurial ideas were invited to the one week Boot Camp in Bazaleti where they attended the intensive training sessions and worked on turning their own ideas into the business projects. In the framework of the Boot Camp, young startuppers and representatives from state and non-state organizations were invited to share their knowledge and experience with youth and to discuss the dos and dont’s while launching a startup. The Regional youth Entrepreneurship Program is being implemented by Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) under the scope of the USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia.

At the Boot Camp, the participants of the project learned about the steps they must take while launching a new startup. First, they have got acquainted with the business model Canvas which is a strategic management and a startup template for developing new or documenting existing business models. Afterwards, based on that knowledge, they have worked on improving their own business projects. Within the event, training sessions were conducted about the different issues related to business. Dealing with Customers and Partners, Distribution Channels, Marketing and Social Media, Financial Planning and Forecasting – these are the topics of the sessions led by the trainers instructed within the ToT by Tea Mkheidze, the master trainer.

One of the main components of the camp was the meetings with young startuppers. Zura Pertaia, the found of Gogra.ge, agriculture and technology startup, spoke about the business development of Gogra.ge and about the mistakes done within his other startups. Moreover, Nikoloz Gogochuri, the founder of VRex, another Georgian startup offering to experience virtual tourist realities, spoke about the difference between SMEs and Startups and explained who can/cannot be called an entrepreneur. Afterwards, he has pitched his already implemented business and gave an example of how to present a business project idea to a jury.

Within the other training days, the project participants had an opportunity to get information about financial issues and funding opportunities. Beso Trapaidze, the financial consultant helped them in filling out the main financial documents, also with financial planning and forecasting. Besides, the representatives of Creative Georgia and Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (ARDA) spoke about the funding opportunities Georgian Government offers startups. As for the National Bank of Georgia, the representatives of the organization have conducted a training session aiming to inform youth about the financial organizations and their services. Moreover, the participants of the project found out how to become more confident in dealing with various financial organizations and got information about their rights and responsibilities in order to make the right financial decisions in the seeking process of funding.

The Boot Camp turned out to be very practical as the participants of the project gained new skills and knowledge from the business simulations and other kind of practical exercises conducted by the mentors and invited guests. Moreover, they would have separate time to work on improving their business ideas based on the learned topics during a training day. In conclusion, each author of a business idea has drowned out the outline of a business project and learnt how to pitch his/her idea to the jury.

At this stage of the project, the participants are working on completing their business project ideas and preparing the pitch in order to make the relevant application in August 2019. In September 2019, authors of all the 17 business ideas will present their projects to the jury which will select only 3 winner projects which will be awarded the grants: 10 000 GEL, 8 000 Gel, and 6 000 GEL.

Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Program is being implemented in 9 target municipalities: Zugdidi, Borjomi, Aspindza, Adigeni, Ninotsminda, Marneuli, Bolnisi, Kaspi, and Gori. The project participants were required to present their business ideas related to agriculture, tourism, innovations/technologies or creative industries. The project is being implemented by RDFG, within the USAID Zrda Activity in Georgia and is supported by Enterprise Georgia, Creative Georgia, Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency, National Tourism Administration, Agricultural and Rural Development Agency, Crystal, National Bank of Georgia and TBC Startuper.