Once the wealthiest Soviet republic, Georgia has since fallen far behind other post-Soviet states (except for, perhaps, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova) in almost any parameter of wellbeing. Adjusted for purchasing power parity, Georgia’s annual income per capita in 2012 was close to $5,900 (a little higher than in resources-poor Armenia). Moreover, the “median” Georgian, as opposed to the “average” Georgian, is much poorer than is suggested by the per capita income estimate. Like any average measure, the income per capita figure masks significant inequality in the distribution of income, and Georgia is much less equal as compared to all of its other post-Soviet peers (with the possible exception of Russia).
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Georgian nation went through a process of rapid disinvestment and de-industrialization. It was forced to shut down industrial plants, sending scrap metal abroad and pushing workers into subsistence farming or early retirement. Thanks to the country’s moderate climate and good soil conditions, hunger never became an issue, yet inequality and associated political pressures rapidly reached catastrophic dimensions, unleashing cycles of violence, undermining the political order and inhibiting prospects of economic growth.
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Supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Munich and Upper Bavaria, and working in partnership with the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), this project aims at strengthening entrepreneurship education in Georgian Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions. In order to do so, the study considers European best practices in teaching entrepreneurship and analyzes the current situation of entrepreneurship education in Georgian VET colleges and universities. Based on the analysis, the project suggests ways in which Georgian VET institutions can improve entrepreneurship education, identify talented and interested future entrepreneurs, and create an environment where the students will be able to test their skills and knowledge.
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