On Friday, June 5th, ISET hosted Mr. Rezo Vashakidze, the founder of Chirina Ltd, by far the largest Georgian producer of poultry products (sold under the BiuBiu brand), a Greenfield investment worth more than 80 mln USD. The main topic of Mr. Vashakidze’s presentation was entrepreneurship in Georgia (as well as Azerbaijan and Armenia).
After introducing himself, Mr. Vashakidze started to reflect on the main challenges and problems many entrepreneurs face when starting to implement their business ideas in Georgia. He brought some important examples from his own experience and gave valuable recommendations how to become successful entrepreneur in Georgia taking all the obstacles and challenges into account. As highlighted by Mr. Vashakidze, one of the most crucial problems in Georgia is that many young people (e.g. students) prefer to work for the government and non-government sectors, rather than private sector or start their own businesses.

On Thursday, May 14th, ISET hosted Helena Schweiger, Senior Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the EBRD, London. Ms. Schweiger presented her recent paper “The impact of armed conflict on firms’ performance and perceptions”, co-authored with Carly Petracco. This study explores the short-run impact of August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia on firms’ performance and their perceptions of the business environment.
Authors used the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance (BEEP) Survey data before and nine months after this armed conflict. The difference-in-differences estimates suggest that despite the short duration, armed conflict had a significant and negative impact on share of exports in sales and employment for at least a subset of firms.

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