The 4th B2B Fair of Social Enterprises 2023 for socially-oriented businesses to take place with EU support this year
Social entrepreneurship is defined as a socially oriented business whose priority is to support specific groups and sectors rather than to make a profit.
The B2B Fair of Social Enterprises 2023 will take place on 27 October this year, and for the fourth time will bring together social businesses. The Sheraton Grand Tbilisi Metekhi Palace hotel will welcome approximately 50 social enterprises and more than 300 guests from more than 100 companies. The event is organised with the support of the European Union and the Centre for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia (CSRDG).
The Fair offers new opportunities for all participants and representatives of businesses, namely:
– Social enterprises will have the opportunity to present their own products or services and establish close business relations with leading business companies;
– The business sector will be able to meet social and green enterprises all in one space, to hold face-to-face meetings with them, and to make positive social and environmental impacts.
The B2B Fair of Social Enterprises, organised since 2017, has been supported by the European Union, as the development of small and medium enterprises is one of the EU’s priorities in Georgia.
The Fairs have already given some tangible results. According to Giga Chitishvili, manager of CSRDG’s B2B Partnership Project, they had about 300 business meetings, signed contracts worth more than GEL 200,000, and enhanced over 40 enterprises:
“We can see growing social benefits that come with such cooperation. Together with other developments, we are happy to see an expanding range of products and services offered by social enterprises at the B2B Fairs. The products become more diverse, innovative and technological every year”, says the project manager.
This year, the B2B Fair will bring together representatives from a wide range of sectors, including social enterprises engaged in the production of textiles, leather and knitted products; environmental protection and green entrepreneurship; social services and innovations; manufacture of household and decorative items, etc.
Organisers try to give new social enterprises a chance to introduce their products to more people every year. However, the B2B Fairs have their frequenters who actively use the space of the fairs to present their enterprises, do business and serve a good cause at the same time.
“Social entrepreneurship has proven to be one of the most effective ways to employ people with Down syndrome and develop their professional skills, and Babale is a bright example of that. We are participating in the B2B Fair for the fourth time and will continue attending the fairs in the future because they offer an opportunity to showcase our activities, develop new plans, create new product lines and present them to hundreds of business companies. It helps us in building partnerships and developing cooperation with peers,” says Lia Tabatadze, Director of Babale social enterprise.
The social store Ethnodesign will participate in the Fair for the fourth time already. Their aim is to improve the financial status of traditional craftsmen and create opportunities for artisans living in different regions of Georgia to sell their products. It has been providing an important source of employment for 250 craftsmen for seven years.
“We have participated in the B2B Social Enterprise Fairs since 2017, and the positive impact of these events has increased from one fair to another. They help us build new corporate links and develop adequate skills,” says Irina Mania, manager of the social store.
The B2B Fair offers a good opportunity for cooperation between sectors, which is crucial for the development of social enterprises. An example of such sectoral synergy is the Eski social store, which today sells more than 350 items from 25 social enterprises. The store/showroom was established with EU funding, and later the Tbilisi City Hall and a creative agency assisted in its further development.
“Fairs and sales play an important role in deepening cooperation in this sector. At the B2B Fair held in 2022, Eski met several private sector partners, and we had sustainable cooperation with them to this day,” says Salome Kusyan, Executive Director of the Social Enterprise Alliance.
In addition to new collaboration opportunities, CSRDG offers multi-component support to social enterprises, including training on writing applications, a mentoring programme, and face-to-face meetings with businesses.