Women's Resilience: Entrepreneurs Thrive from Ukraine to Georgia

UNDP, Germany, CARE Caucasus Inspire and Empower Ukrainian Women Entrepreneurs in Georgia

March 5, 2024
Supporting Ukrainian Entrepreneurs in Georgia
Photo: UNDP Georgia/Giorgi Shengelia

Amidst the devastating war in Ukraine, the resilience of four remarkable Ukrainian women entrepreneurs shines brightly in the heart of Georgia. Marharyta, Tetiana, Valentyna, and Yuliia are the breadwinners, challenging gender stereotypes and exemplifying the strength of determination in adversity. 

Their stories resonate with the resilience and strength of women worldwide, emphasizing the important role of promoting economic justice and the rights of women in fostering sustainable and equal economies. 

Supported by Germany, UNDP, and CARE Caucasus, 39 Ukrainian entrepreneurs, with 28 being women, received grants and consultancy to start their businesses in Georgia.

“UNDP helps create an environment where women thrive and lead, ensuring a more inclusive and prosperous future for all. We are supporting remarkable women entrepreneurs who contribute to their families, communities, and the entire economy with resilience and determination."
Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia
Drive for Success: Car Service in Kutaisi

"After the invasion, I left Kyiv with my mother and son, seeking a safe home for my child. The warmth and kindness of the Georgian people guided my decision," says Yuliia Kondratiuk.

Driven by devotion to her family, she drew upon her experience to establish a car painting and glazing service in Kutaisi. Despite societal expectations that such services are typically male-dominated, Yuliia not only took on the task herself but also built her business from scratch.

With grant support from the German Government, UNDP, and CARE Caucasus, Yuliia set up a prosperous and fast-growing business that not only sustains her family but also contributes to the local community. Her story illustrates the power of resilience, showing that even in dark times, the human spirit can triumph.

Spreading Love, One Cake at a Time

“Each cake I make holds a piece of my heart," expresses Valentyna Shypylo, inspired by her culinary passion. 

Originally from Kyiv, she now finds herself nestled in Batumi, Georgia's second-largest city. Valentyna pours her heart into every pastry and bread she creates, bringing joy to locals and tourists alike.

Gratefully, she adds, "I am profoundly thankful to the people of Georgia for welcoming us into their country. I hope everyone enjoys the dishes we prepare. In Kyiv, I owned a bakery that specialized in pastry and bread, including Georgian bread. Thanks to the grant, we started anew in Batumi." 

As she shares, having visited Georgia frequently for vacations before the war, she swiftly decided to relocate here when the conflict began, never considering any other destination. With its vibrant cultural diversity and bustling economic activity, Batumi provides an ideal setting for new businesses to thrive, especially during the active tourist seasons when the city is packed with people eager to experience its charms.

The Taste of Ukraine: Marharyta's Coffee Shop

Marharyta Kalyta was pregnant when she left Ukraine. She dreamed of a safe place that would remind her of home, where people could savour Ukrainian delights through coffee and desserts. 

Sharing her vision, she says, “I aspire to expand my business, sharing the richness of Ukrainian culture in Georgia and expressing gratitude to this country that offered us sanctuary. The grant assistance provided by Germany, UNDP, and CARE opened doors to a multitude of opportunities for me, and that's how my coffee shop was born.”

Tetiana's Kangaroo Baby Carrier Journey

Tetiana Denysenko, unwavering in her dedication, continued her decade-long journey of crafting 'Kangaroo' baby carriers. 

"The grant support brought me closer to realizing my business plans. With this assistance, we structured our workspace and purchased equipment. Reflecting on my path, business training proved invaluable, enabling us to expand production, broaden our customer base, and sharpen our focus on business development."

Proudly delivering premium-quality goods, Tetiana diversifies services and envisions further growth for the project.

Background Information:

Supported by Germany, UNDP, and CARE Caucasus, 39 Ukrainian entrepreneurs, including 28 women, received grants and business consultancy. Ranging from US$5,000 to US$8,000, these grants assist small enterprises aiming to stimulate economic recovery, create employment opportunities, and increase income generation for Ukrainian nationals who sought refuge in Georgia amidst the war. 

The assistance is part of a broader US$1.62 million initiative 'Improving the Rule of Law and Access to Justice for All' funded by the German Government and implemented by UNDP. The initiative aims to strengthen the capacities of rule-of-law institutions and ensure the legal empowerment and socio-economic resilience of disadvantaged communities.

In 2023 and 2024, twenty-eight Ukrainian women received grants and business consultancy to kickstart their ventures in Georgia and support their families amidst the war.