Inspiring Confidence and Solutions in the Women of Georgia
I was able to accompany Rania on her speaking engagements in Georgia, with my colleague from the Public Affairs section, Molly Rydzynski. This trip gave me an unbelievable lifetime experience, one which has made a big impact on my life.
We traveled to the cities of Akhaltsikhe, Kutaisi, Gori and Tbilisi, to speak to university students, Georgian entrepreneurs and women who want to start a business. Everywhere we went, our discussions were always very lively and interesting. Rania gave the audiences examples and stories relevant to their perspectives; each speech and her advice was so inspiring, giving hope and strength to women in Georgian society.
As a student myself, I found it interesting that boys joined female students at the sessions. In one session, there were about 30 males and only three females! To me this means that the boys also have a strong interest in succeeding in business. Most of the questions asked were about Rania’s career achievements and its development. After these meetings, it was evident the girls were really motivated too, as they declared that they had a strong desire to follow their goals and be successful too.
In our meetings with businesswomen, we heard the same problems in each region. They had successful businesses in their communities, but they wanted to expand. But since they can’t afford to grow their businesses on their own, they ask for a loan from banks. But, according to them, the loan rate for entrepreneurs is too high and not viable. They separately tried to meet with the bank representatives, but that did not work. The main advice Rania gave them was to meet with bank representatives as a group, a network, and not alone as each entrepreneur had done. They liked the idea very much and are eager to help each other to solve their shared problems.
We encountered an interesting situation with a business women association from Abkhazia (breakaway region of Georgia). They are already a network, but they also want to make a financial contribution from each business to help each other. But the law requires formulation of a different kind of organization to make these types of contributions. During their discussions with Rania, they came up with the idea to consult with local government to explore different structures or options.
“I am not afraid of failure, and disappointment can’t defeat me.”
I found all of these types of meetings very helpful. Through my life experiences, I have learned that there is nothing you can’t do, you just need to find the strength in yourself to do it. One of Rania’s main messages for was “Be Confident.” This is very important and I realize now that I need to work on myself much more. I am not afraid of failure, and disappointment can’t defeat me, because I believe in tomorrow and in new possibilities. I am ready for the challenge. My dream and desire to be a professional in my field gives me the strength and motivation to be much more organized and dedicated to work. As I also want to be a future entrepreneur, I think that I will follow tips from Rania, which are well discussed in her book Undeterred.
I would like to end by telling readers:
Pursue your dreams and don’t wait until someone does something on your behalf. This is never going to happen. Just be yourself and do whatever is your calling. Believe me the result of your work will be much bigger and much more appreciated. I want us to believe in ourselves and to make even a little positive change with our work so we can make a greater impact on the whole world.
I want us to believe in ourselves and to make even a little positive change with our work so we can make a greater impact on the whole world.
View more photos from the trip on The Way Women Work’s Facebook page.