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Social enterprise Cafuné

Cafuné- a social enterprise in Rustavi supporting the economic empowerment of young people


Young people in Rustavi would probably tell you that they have only few places in their city where they can gather, share ideas, eat delicious food and have fun in the evening. However, one place is sure to be remembered – Cafuné.

Cafuné is a café and restaurant with a varied menu and tasty dishes, but it is also a social enterprise fulfilling a completely different mission. The idea of creating this space came to Luka Koberidze back in 2017, when he realised that he and his peers needed a place to meet in Rustavi.

At the time, Luka knew little about running a business or about social entrepreneurship. However, he learned about a joint project supported by the EU and CSRDG, and he decided to re-shape his idea into a social enterprise project. He prepared a project application, and received funding from the EU to establish the social enterprise.

“We wanted to create a space where we would not only have fun but could realise new ideas, exhibit and sell products created by the local community, and organise meetings and lectures on different topics,” recalls Luca, noting that it was after participating in the EU project that Cafuné also began employing people who were in conflict with the law, with the goal of re-integrating them into society and strengthening their economic prospects.

“We have a six-month training programme for people on probation and ex-convicts, we try to train them as cooks and bartenders. After that, we either employ them at our place or help them find a job elsewhere,” says Luka. He also proudly notes that despite their difficult journey and many challenges they have faced to date since Cafuné was established in 2019, the enterprise has welcomed more than 10,000 visitors and hosted around 100 cultural and educational events. The café-restaurant currently employs 16 people, including 12 young people and one individual with a previous criminal record.

Luka has turned his challenges into opportunities, and transformed his business into a space offering new chances for other young people living in Rustavi. He truly believes that the EU support and commitment to European values have played an important role in the process. “I am happy to see that other young people like me willing to change something in the city and in their lives are now encouraged and can see that it is really possible,” he adds.

Social entrepreneurship is a business model that serves a social purpose alongside its economic goals. Since 2016, the EU has been supporting CSRDG in promoting social entrepreneurship – both financially and by offering trainings and awareness raising campaigns. The EU has already supported establishment and strengthening of more than 50 social enterprises.