Leading Progress for Women and Equality in the Republic of Georgia
Founded only last year, the Georgian Women Business Association (GWBA) hasn’t wasted any time in working for progress.
With already 45 members, and nine diverse board members, they co-organized a conference in March with 200 local and foreign business women, and hosted 20 Lithuanian business women in November. Based in the capital, Tbilisi, they’ve held several networking meetings, business forums, B2B meetings, training sessions and masterclasses. They have also lobbied government on behalf of business women and gender parity, worked to increase public awareness and lead numerous charitable activities.
GWBA’s President Nina Kochiashvili has worked in the energy sector since 2004. She shared that during the past eleven years, she has encountered many challenges including ones around knowledge, low self-confidence, lack of information, and especially communication. “These were the main reasons for me to gather women, establish the association and help ladies to speak up!”
Natia Meparishvili, GWBA Vice President, became involved in GWBA because she wanted to help make a change for the better using her experience and contacts. With more than ten years of experience working in the private and public sectors, Natia has held top positions at different companies, has two MBAs and just finished getting her PhD.
“We are working to improve the social and economic situation of Georgian women, to support their involvement in business, raise their skills, promote talented women and create new partnership between business women inside and outside the country,” Meparishvili said.
While GWBA represents Georgian women in general, it’s focus is primarily on women entrepreneurs and especially those involved in SMEs.
President Kochiashvili and Vice President Meparishvili said that the main challenges facing GWBA members today are not very different from the challenges faced by men. These include challenges with marketing their business’s products and services and business management ‘know how.’ GBWA covers these topics and others like exporting, delivery to local markets, sustainable growth as well as risk, financial and legal problems.
In addition to focusing on women entrepreneurs, GWBA also works to support and motivate students, pregnant women, housewives below poverty line, teenage mothers, other mothers in need, vulnerable children, elderly women, women excluded from work force because of their disabilities, women’s disease prevention, and the social integration of women who have been in prison. There are numerous ways GWBA members can get involved to help other women in different walks of life.
President Kochiashvili sees positive developments for not only businessmen, but also for women in the Republic of Georgia. GWBA is proud to be a part of ongoing efforts to lift up them up.
GWBA offers member benefits beyond the Association’s many programs, conferences and magazine. They have negotiated with companies that will offer GWBA members exclusive discounts on products and services one can use for both personal and professional use.
Interested in joining? GWBA accepts men or women, youth, corporate or individuals. The cost to individuals members is 90 Lari per year ($45 USD), youth 25 Lari Per year ($12.5 USD), and corporate members – 1000 Lari Per year ($500 USD). You can register here.