GBDC Caucasia is established in 2002 by alumni and lecturers of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. The establishment of GBDC Caucasia was technically assisted by Saint Mary’s University Business Development Center, CA and financial aid of Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The goal of GBDC Caucasia is providing affordable business consulting services to Micro businesses, entrepreneurs and SMEs mainly in rural areas of Georgia and assist employment market to meet demand for young professionals.
Human resource capacities of GBDC are students, alumni and lecturers of various universities, vocational colleges and business schools, together with invited experts representing private, public and NGO sector, who are directly involved in provision of GBDC services.
Students, professors and lecturers of Tbilisi State University and partner universities, alumni of GBDC Caucasia 2002 – 2016 business development programs(employees, experts and entrepreneurs representing private, state and non-government organizations) and invited local and international industry experts – present team of GBDC Caucasia which is managing private sector and industry development projects. Currently GBDC Caucasia offices in Tbilisi, Akhaltsikhe and Batumi are employing 10 permanent staff, 10 part time students and more than 50 GBDC Caucasia alumni and invited experts to implement current projects
Business development trainings and Business support and incubation/coaching services for Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurial youth originated from agricultural, tourism and ICT industries;
Training in business development skills and followed by recruitment of students and unemployed vulnerable youth in GBDC projects and beyond(private, public and NGO sector).
Event management and PR services for MSMEs through Job and Education Fairs.
During 15 years of existence GBDC Caucasia took part in business development of various regions of Georgia including capital, Tbilisi.
In 2002 – 2004 GBDC has successfully implemented SME Management Training Program for South Caucasus, funded by CIDA, what has been followed by training of 2000 farmers under WFP funding and technical assistance of World Vision.
In 2007 - 2008 GBDC Caucasia launched two independent offices in West Georgia - GBDC Caucasia Batumi Office and in South Georgia – GBDC Caucasia Akhaltsikhe Office under the technical support of local State Universities (Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University and Akhaltsikhe State University) and financial aid of USAID SME Project, OSCE and Millennium Challenge Georgia.
Since 2011 GBDC Caucasia Akhaltsikhe Office is funded by French Farmer Association FERT, the project continues until 2020.
Since 2011 GBDC Caucasia is part of International Network of Business Incubators – infoDev, GBDC Caucasia was first institution in Georgia that promoted development of mobile application concepts in 2011 – 2013 under Mobile Tbilisi project.
2015 within EU - ENPARD Funded Project “Enpowered Rural Women” few informal farmer clubs were established in various municipalities of Samegrelo, Kakheti, Shida Kartli, Mtskheta Mtianeti and Kvemo Kartli.
In 2016 GBDC Caucasia assisted development of Dusheti Farmer Club under NGO status which is currently part of EU funded DCFTA awareness raising project.
In 2016-2017 GBDC Caucasia established commercial entity LTD GBDC and used it to implement ENPARD funded capacity development project of Agricultural Cooperatives in Georgia. The main goal of LTD GBDC establishment is attraction of commercial incomes for further sustainability of GBDC Caucasia and its affiliated institutions.
In 2005 - 2011, GBDC Caucasia managed organization of Job and Education Fairs, Vocational Trade Markets, Business Development Supporting Festival PONTO and Cultural Heritage Preservation and indigenous people craft business supporting festival Art Gene. In 2006 GBDC Caucasia Education and Job Placement Fair hosted 5000 students and 300 students who participated in business development activities + 100 students registered for the event were employed by participant companies of fair. Job and Education Fairs, Construction Trade Markets and Business Knowledge Fairs for Students, Vocational Jobs seekers and IDP Youth in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 have been organized by GBDC Caucasia, totally 7 events, in Tbilisi, Batumi, Akhaltsikhe, Kutaisi and Tserovani with assistance of Students of State Universities in Tbilisi and Regions, sponsored by Commercial Banks, Private Companies and International Donors. Introducing to businesses the potential job seekers – students from various educational bodies and introducing the students with training and internship opportunities locally to satisfy the job placement criteria required by local businesses, NGOs and state or civil society organizations, finally assisting recruitment of students in fair participant companies or assisting to develop business plans to start their own business, assisting recruitment of construction trade workers and assisting in raising small business grants in favor of youth managed SMEs. Business Plan competition/presentations for investors and commercial banks took place.
GBDC Caucasia is strongly follows social corporate responsibility attitude. The Alumni students of GBDC projects are transferring their knowledge and experience to new comers and investing their time and funds to support continuous so called Student Consulting Services under Student Resource Incubator permanent program. Since 2008, after conflict with Russia several events and actions were implemented by GBDC to support employment of IDP youth.
In 2012 GBDC Caucasia together with Young Lawyers Association Education Center assisted several university student governance bodies for cooperation and networking.
GBDC Caucasia programs’ alumni are continuing cooperation with center and play role of freelance consultants for newcomer students who are trained in business skills and later are involved in consulting projects.
GBDC Caucasia attracts local large size companies to sponsor business development programs which enable students to have free access to GBDC Caucasia student internship programs in both business sector and targeted sector development.
Assistance to agribusiness, rural economy, tourism and information technologies are motor processes for development of GBDC capacities, renewable energy and innovation sectors have been also targeted by GBDC Caucasia.
The type of consulting projects include: Entrepreneurs’ and Farmers’ assistance programs, training of students in business skills and farther recruitment in consulting projects, business planning, management consulting and pilot virtual business incubation in favor of start-ups and existing companies, business development and employment events’ management.
Partners: Partner Universities: Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Akhaltsikhe State University, Saint Marys University, Halifax
Major International Donors: CIDA, USAID, EU, OSCE, World Bank, FERT
International Partners: Saint Marys University Business Development Center, Oxfam, CNFA, World Vision, Deloitte
Local Partners: Association Women in Business, Union of Art Gene, Beekeepers Association Matchakhela, TSU Business Incubator; ABCO;
Current Clients: Agricultural Cooperatives in beekeeping, potato growing, cattle breeding, dairy production, berries, flowers, wine makers in various municipalities of Georgia; Machakehela LTD – Honey production;
Former Clients: tourism SMEs in Samtskhe Javakheti; berry production micro business in Batumi; Cooperative Dinastia – Fruit Production(IDP business), Silk Road Travel, Cristal – micro finance institution, Singular Group – Mobile Application Development, Sol Con Energy Leader Cement, TBC Bank, Bank Republic, Elit Electronic
GBDC Future Strategy
In 2014 – 2024 GBDC aims to assist establishment of new rural SMEs, expansion of operations of existing rural businesses and their readiness to face new market challenges related to perspective of integration of Georgia to European Union and joining of European economic zone through DCFTA instrument
The guarantee of success to mentioned activities is improvement of GBDC capacity:
• Increase number of GBDC board members, especially of women, Increase capacities of GBDC to access agricultural market data, renewing of technical base(office, computers, working environment) of GBDC, recruitment of new staff with long – term contracts, improving management consulting skills of existing GBDC employees and mobilization of GBDC alumni to guarantee the expertise for implementation of business consulting projects(Alumni – former students who took part in GBDC consulting projects and today are successful entrepreneurs or employees of organization and continue close cooperation with GBDC.
• Renewing the team of trainers, consultants and industry experts, signing new long-term contracts for future cooperation;
• Conducting awareness campaigns in universities, potential investors, donors and state funds about progress of GBDC activities and success of its clients;
• Permanent supply of SMEs with trained youth and offer of GBDC alumni expertise;
• Increase scale and improve GBDC events - Job Placement and Education Fairs, business plan competitions, agricultural, ICT and innovation promotion fairs and cultural events;
• Development of new online consulting platform of GBDC, assisting showcasing the progress and transparency of current rural SME business, mainly agricultural businesses