How to finance your business in Georgia


Georgia – an entry gate between Europe and Asia, has been a trade platform for many centuries. Today Georgia has a free trade access to the market worth 2.3 billion (including EU, China, EFTA and CIS countries, Ukraine, Turkey, USA, Canada and Japan). Georgian government offers a politically stable business environment, competitive market entry costs and taxation system.

If you are looking for financing opportunities in Georgia with a great business plan in your head, your first step should be a negotiation with EBRD (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development). With the respect to the last statistics, EBRD has facilitated up to 231 project, worth of 3 304 USD mln. It focuses on the private sector (80% of portfolio), supporting most innovative and efficient projects, which insure the local currency sustainability, regional development and economic growth.
The main demand of EBRD for the company is to be profitable, have significant equity contributions, and benefit the local economy and of the utmost importance, to satisfy EBRDs` environmental standards: the company should use environmentally friendly equipment and facilities. With the help of EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line, Georgian companies can access finance to modernize their equipment and foster workplace safety practices (up to 15% of total project value).

One more opportunity is the program “Produce in Georgia” was launched in 2014. Its main objective is to support and promote entrepreneurial culture in two main sectors: manufacturing and agriculture. Financial aspect refers to the co-financing of the interest payment (up to 10%) on the bank loan or credit line.

Georgia, being an agricultural country, is also trying to encourage local farmers
in the Agricultural sector. The leader on the market is Agriculture Projects Management Agency (APMA), which offers two main options: Cheap agro-credit program and Agro Business Grant program. Cheap agro-credit program constitutes the payment of the bank loan interest (APMA covers 11% and 8% for capital asset and working capital credits, respectively). Agro Business Grant program supports new agricultural processing factories, covering such activities like purchase of capital assets and/or training & technology implementation. APMA offers grants of 40% of the total value of the project, max 500 000 GEL.

Georgian Innovations and Technologies Agency (GITA) is also implementing financing programs for start-ups on different stages. GITA offer two types of grants: small grants (up to 5 000 GEL) and “Startup Georgia” grants (up to 100 000 GEL). The purpose of the program is to promote business based innovative ideas and to establish on the international market.

But if you think that most of the sectors are saturated and you have a business idea, which covers such sectors as charity, education, environmental protection etc., there are still grant opportunities for such kind of spheres. The best possible alternative is the Japan Embassy grants. The main criteria to meet is not the profitability, but the goodwill of the project. Only if the project is environmentally friendly and beneficial to the local people, the special committee of the Embassy of Japan in Georgia may finance your project. Definitely the Embassy has its own procedures and checks, so build your patience.

Due to the World Banks 2019 report “Ease of starting the business”, Georgia takes the 2nd place, which is a result of assiduous effort. Georgian economy would not be so prosperous if not the support and diligent work of the institutions which provide business financing.

Galina Oganesiani