SME Development and DCFTA in Georgia

Start/end date: 
2015 - 2019
Implementing partner: 
EU budget: 
€5.03 million

The project supports the implementation of DCFTA-related institutional and regulatory reforms in Georgia. It lays the ground for strengthening the SME sector to ensure broad-based growth, by increasing the competitiveness of Georgian SMEs and ensuring their adaptation to the new regulatory environment enabling them to benefit from the opportunities under the DCFTA.


  1. Strengthen public private policy dialogue (PPD), including advocacy and lobbying on issues affecting SMEs in the context of the DCFTA focusing on support to the effective participation of SMEs’ agencies, BMOs and business service associations;
  2. Provide for capacity development of state bodies representing the institutional support framework for SME development/business-specifics on DCFTA related matters to develop targeted SME sector development programs on national, sector and local levels;
  3. Support capacity development for improved provision of professional technical assistance and business development services (training, providing information, mentoring, coaching, supporting international networking) to the SME sector as whole, including supporting clustering, networking and business collaboration initiatives;
  4. Provide for EU linkages and integration with the Georgian SME sector in existing EU business, including EU clusters, innovation and entrepreneurial networks (including specifically facilitating the set-up of SME clusters and enterprise networks with the supporting BMOs and Business Service Associations and institutional stakeholders).


SMEs in Georgia


  • Support the development process of services offered to SMEs by partner institutions;
  • Introduction of principles of business collaboration and clustering to the Georgian private and public sector; 
  • Establishment of business clusters in Georgia with international linkage potential;
  • Introduction to European cluster potentials and its advantages;
  • Matching events of Georgian and European clusters enhancing their cooperation via e.g. study tours/ orientation;
  • Development of joint information and communication packages with partner institutions on DCFTA related issues.


  • Contributed to the SME development strategy and action plan of the Government of Georgia;
  • Export Development Strategy – introduced a unique, LUPA (Local Unrevealed Potential Assessment) methodology for selection, analysis and development of the value chain developed specifically to fit the Georgian context;
  • Elaborated Action Plans for the development of 4 export-oriented value chains;
  • Put forward a National Apparel Sector Development Strategy
  • Developed DCFTA.GOV.GE – a DCFTA information web portal of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and handed its management over to the Ministry.  
  • Established DCFTA Information Centre of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) with four regional offices in Gori, Kutaisi, Zugdidi and Batumi (ongoing) led by four local experts continuously trained;
  • E-Commerce - A strategy developed and provided to Enterprise Georgia and GITA. Pilot project underway. Selected SMEs equipped with business plans.
  • Management advisory support to GCCI – management and staff trained for EFQM Journey to Excellence.
  • Conducted Cluster Policy Workshops with MoESD, EG, GITA, GCCI;
  • Developed framework document on Georgian Cluster Programme and a roadmap for the preparation of the programme.
  • Georgian Film Cluster officially registered. Brand identity and website developed. Four cluster members trained at Erich Pommer Institute. One cluster member’s took part in SOFA Film Agents School training programme. International production contracts of cluster members facilitated. Participation of cluster members in international film festivals and markets supported.
  • Georgian Furniture Cluster officially registered. Brand identity and website developed. Linkages with Georgian designers established, one successful joint project implemented, another underway. A joint bid of cluster members won a public tender.
  • Georgian ICT Industry Cluster officially registered. Strategy and action plan developed. Cluster website is developed. 
  • Apparel Industry - Four companies supported to achieve improved business standards and processes to meet requirements of amfori BSCI audit. One company successfully passed the audit and received highest ranking ‘A Grade’.
  • All 4 clusters/networks are connected internationally.  
  • Trout Industry – Assessment of short and mid-term development of trout sector; expert paper of recommendations for local trout farmers: “Trout Diseases: Signs and Recommended Treatments”
  • Findings and recommendations for exporting Georgian honey to the EU presented to key governmental and EU stakeholders.
  • Project supported first Enterprise Europe Network Info Day organised by Enterprise Georgia and GITA consortium in partnership with EEN, with participation of ca 100 SMEs.
  • Supported State Procurement Agency Communication and SME outreach efforts: promo video on electronic system of public procurement; four PPD events on electronic system of public procurement for SMEs and procurers in regions; print of three key guiding publications on e-procurement.
  • Supported National Intellectual Property Centre (Sakpatenti) International Conference “Georgia Against Counterfeiting in the Context of DCFTA” (2016).  

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