Diversity Venture Takes Successful Start

UNDP and Norway Empower LGBTQI+ Entrepreneurs in Georgia

July 3, 2023
Marko Soldic, Nick Beresford , Lela Akiashvili
Photo: UNDP/Nino Zedginidze

Twenty-five young and promising entrepreneurs have embarked on a transformative journey with “Diversity Venture”, a groundbreaking business training course designed to provide comprehensive business development opportunities for startup entrepreneurs from the LGBTQI+ communities in Georgia. Supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Norway, this initiative aims to foster diversity, inclusion, and economic empowerment for marginalized groups.

“Diversity Venture” draws inspiration from successful business training models and offers participants a 360-degree approach to achieving their entrepreneurial goals. The programme encompasses four key elements: theoretical knowledge, coaching, practical training, and networking opportunities. By combining these essential components, the initiative equips LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to thrive in the competitive business landscape.

"We firmly believe in the power of entrepreneurship to drive positive change. Norway is proud to support the “Diversity Venture” programme, which creates a platform for LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs in Georgia to unlock their talents and contribute to sustainable economic development. By harnessing their creativity and innovation, we can build a more prosperous and inclusive society for all,"
Marko Soldic, CDA Ambassador of Norway to Georgia.
"UNDP is thrilled to collaborate with Norway to support the “Diversity Venture” initiative, which reflects our commitment to fostering inclusive economic growth. Through this entrepreneurial programme, we aim to create a supportive ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship and addresses the economic and social challenges faced by the LGBTQI+ communities,"
Nick Beresford, UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia.

“Diversity Venture” aspires to uplift and empower more than 150 LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs in Georgia. Each cohort of the programme consists of 25 participants, ensuring personalized attention and tailored support for each entrepreneur. By providing a nurturing environment, fostering networks, and offering relevant training, UNDP and Norway assist startup entrepreneurs to overcome barriers and succeed in their ventures.


The Entrepreneurs Programme “Diversity Venture” is part of the “Leadership, Equality, Advocacy, Democracy” (LEAD) programme that supports institutional, legislative, and societal changes in Georgia to safeguard minority rights, combat discrimination, and create a collaboration platform for public agencies, civil society organizations and international partners. UNDP is implementing the LEAD programme with US$4 million in funding from Norway.


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