Czech Republic and UNIDO helped create economic perspectives for small and marginalized producers in rural Georgia

Between January 2022 and December 2023, UNIDO implemented a project in support of rural MSMEs in the region of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti in Georgia. Before the project initiation, UNIDO, with funding from the Czech Republic, had mapped typical food/terroir products in Georgia and identified significant concentrations of MSMEs throughout the country. Successful completion of the project prompted the Czech Republic to continue its collaboration with UNIDO on the valorization of typical food products with a focus on honey in Mukhuri area of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region, due to the agglomeration of beekeepers and biocultural potential. 

Considering the cultural heritage of the Mukhuri area, reinforced by its rich biodiversity, UNIDO helped facilitate biocultural heritage tourism through an integrated cluster approach and supported MSMEs to string together a basket of goods and services to diversify the economy. Ultimately, the project brought the producers together under one cluster, whilst also promoting women’s economic empowerment and preservation of authentic culture for the local community. 

Some key milestones achieved during the project are:

  • Established Mukhuri Cluster to promote collective activities and joint advocacy 

  • Increased an aptitude for business and commerce amongst beneficiaries through training programmes on business skills development, cluster organization, e-marketing, geographical indications, hospitality and production diversification.

  • Helped MSMEs in Mukhuri diversify their income streams and amplify economic gains

  • Created a territorial brand by capitalizing on the cluster’s biocultural heritage potential

  • Helped MSMEs develop Mukhuri’s touristic appeal and increased tourism inflow

  • Helped MSMEs leverage total investments worth more than 50 thousand USD

  • Empowered women in Mukhuri to be more involved in commercial and economic activities.

The activities were conducted in the framework of the project “Increasing the Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Region through a Cluster Development Approach”, funded by the Czech Republic and implemented by UNIDO. 

For further information contact Mr. Fabio Russo (f.russo [at] (f[dot]russo[at]unido[dot]org)) and Mr. Giorgi Todua, (g.todua [at] (g[dot]todua[at]unido[dot]org))