Gizo made a living out of his musicAbkhazia still struggles with the long-term effects of the 1992-93 conflict in the sphere of economic recovery and social development. High unemployment rates and lack of support to small and medium enterprises justify the need for further economic support to the population and the business community in Eastern Abkhazia.
Gizo Gogokhia lives in the remote village Pichori in the Gali district in Abkhazia. He is a musician and supports himself by playing at events like weddings. It was difficult for him to compete with professional bands that had full sets of equipment and a good reputation in the area.
“I could only get orders when my competitors were busy. I used to dream of having the proper equipment to make a living out of my music,” Gizo says.
Gizo applied to DRC for a SME supporting project funded by EUN, and this proved a good opportunity for him to make his dream come true. He was shortlisted and obtained useful sets of trainings, such as entrepreneurship, marketing and finance. He also received modern musical equipment like loud speakers, mixers and microphones to get his business going.
Thanks to his new skills and equipment, Gizo has become a popular performer. He now receives orders not only in his own village, but in Gali town as well as other places. With his new income he has purchased sound additional equipment, needed to improve further his business.
“The help from DRC has not only improved my performance, it has also helped me become financially independent and able to generate more income to expand my business,” Gizo says while posing proudly with his new equipment.
Farmers succeed after business training
Kursua Valeri has five kids and lives in the village Chuburkhinji in the Gali district in Abkhazia. It used to be difficult for him to support his family, and he decided to resume his old profession as a farmer in hope of increasing his income. In order to apply advantages of cooperation, he joined another farmer living close by, Kursua Jemal. Together they cultivated about five hectares of land in total by using a rented tractor.
DRC has provided the farmers with business training and free access to a mini-tractor instead of the rented one. This served as a motivation to work even harder, and as a result the farmers have managed to produce and sell six tons of potatoes in their first season, generating a good income.
“We are now planning on cultivating more land and produce other vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage and onions. The farming and business experience is a big help in reaching our long term goal: to expand the business and generate more income,” Kursua says.
The café will become well known in Gali
Lepsaia Boris and Kobalia Remiko used to own a little food shop in Gali town in Abkhazia. They had some extra space for expansion and decided to build a café and renovate the building. Because of their motivation, they were short-listed for the SME development project funded by EUN. Boris and Remiko were now provided with training in business management.
Upon submission of full application, they were finally selected and received refrigerators, tables and chairs for their café, which was now ready to open.
They have hired a professional cook and five people to run the café.
“Our new business has been a success so far, but there is a lot of competition on the market, and we still have challenges to be addressed, such as marketing, better physical access to the café, adding more food and facilities. But we have had a good start, and hopefully all our problems will soon be solved, and the café will become well known in Gali,” says Lepsaia.