Independent entrepreneurship is one of the main drivers of economic development and often manifests itself in the form of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These start-ups trigger innovation, boost productivity and bring about structural change.

As Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Herr explained, Germany has been able to reap the benefits of this due to a multitude of internal factors. Its local banking system, for instance, is not profit-oriented and consists of savings banks, which is more accessible for entrepreneurs. The country’s vocational education system, too, plays a part, with its split system of teaching both practical skills and theoretical knowledge (in contrast to the more academic education practices of other Western countries). In addition, the government is very supportive of SMEs, as is the government’s development bank, the KfW.

On October 4th, ISET students at every level and every stage of their studies were given a unique opportunity by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development – to have their own research be used and cited in an EBRD report on Georgia. In addition, the students will be able to use their work as part of any thesis they will be submitting in the near future.

Working in small teams, the students will have the chance to identify the main obstacles and challenges facing Georgia’s private sector. Their research, therefore, will help shape the EBRD’s future activities and investments in the country.

After drafting a proposal which defines the identified obstacle facing private businesses, select teams will attend a one-day workshop organized by the EBRD. This will be followed by the submission of a written thesis that fully explains and analyzes the issue, the results of which will then be presented to a panel of judges.

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