Georgia—USAID Economic Security Program

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2019-2024

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Georgia

Solutions: Economic Growth

Georgia is a country at the crossroads of Asia and Europe on a vital trading and transit route for goods and services. In recent years, Georgia signed free trade agreements that greatly expand Georgia’s market access. The USAID Economic Security Program assisted Georgian firms to take advantage of the country’s market access and location to exploit regional economic opportunities and compete with international competitors for Georgia’s domestic market.

The USAID Economic Security Program focused on enterprises outside of agriculture with strong potential to create jobs, increase incomes, and increase revenues, as well as support diversification to more productive economic activities, including tourism, light manufacturing, creative industries, shared intellectual services, and solid waste management sectors.

DAI applied a facilitative value chain development approach that placed market actors and other value chain stakeholders (public and private) at the center of the change process, inviting them to define problems and co-create solutions. Using timebound “smart incentives,” the program then co-invested with market actors in their own pro-growth solutions.

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Sample Activities

  • Strengthen cooperation in targeted sectors.
  • Support micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to improve productivity, sales, and quality, and to develop new products and services.
  • Develop industry-led workforce.
  • Build public-private partnerships.

Select Results

  • Created 35 partnerships.
  • Increased the sales of small firms by $32 million.
  • Project firms created 2,042 high-value jobs.
  • Facilitated the creation of the SkillWill Academy, which has a pipeline of more than 700 high-value jobs.
  • Supported the Georgian Anti-Piracy Center to produce videos informing the public about illegal content and intellectual property rights. The videos provide statistical data, specific examples, and the details about the impact of internet piracy.
  • Produced a video tour of Samtskhe-Javakehi that was selected as the best in Europe and one of the five best in the world in the Promotion and Decade of Action category of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Tourism Video Competition.
  • Partnered with global e-commerce platform Etsy to onboard more than 100 Georgian artisans, many of whom had lost their traditional sales channels because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Finalized a partnership with Mastercard to achieve specific developmental goals in terms of e-commerce and digitalization, while at the same time utilizing the company’s vast marketing and promotion effort to build overall visibility for Georgia’s positioning within the knowledge economy.
  • Helped operationalize a formerly dormant building, called the Shuamta Gateway, to provide tourists with food and beverage options, services such as four-wheeling, hiking, and horseback riding, and informational services. The building is near the Alaverdi Heritage Trail, another tourist attraction.
  • Since the project began working with Enterprise Georgia, its rank among investment promotion agencies discussed in the 2022 Emerging Europe Investment Promotion Report increased from 17th in 2019 to 5th in 2022.
  • Supported a major local investor and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development to launch a local venture capital fund that will lay the foundation for the recruitment of international and local funds to support innovation.
  • Designed and launched a new initiative—with the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia-Sakpatenti and the USAID Civic Education Program—to promote high-value employment in the creative industries and raise awareness of intellectual property rights among Georgian youth.
  • Won a 2022 USAID Digi Award for providing training on information communication technology to the country’s workforce and connecting local artisans to online markets.
  • Guided 17 Georgian companies through the process of introducing quality and safety management systems, supporting them in attaining certifications in a range of internationally recognized standards.
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