Meet the Women Entrepreneurs: Vivia Gurgenishvili
Vivia Gurgenishvili, 30, is an entrepreneur and mother of three from Veliskikhe, a village in Eastern Georgia. Currently living in the capital, Tbilisi, Gurgenishvili is the founder of Dino, a small company that produces eco-friendly wooden furniture and toys from clean and certified raw materials with a focus on child development. Recently, she joined the first large-scale exhibition by women entrepreneurs in Georgia, organized by UN Women and supported by the programme “Entreprise Georgia”, the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business and Technology University, TBC Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development within the framework of the programme for women entrepreneurs supported by the Government of Sweden and the project “Good Governance for Gender Equality in Georgia”, supported by the Government of Norway.
"Dino" was founded in December 2019, and we started production in August 2020, right when the pandemic was raging. This idea occurred to me when I needed to buy age-specific, developmental eco-friendly toys for my children, but I could not find anything like that in the market. Everything was made of plastic, and its production was neither reliable nor clear. This worried me and I started to explore the Georgian market but couldn't find what I needed.
Then this idea struck me, and I started to develop and realize it. I searched for the information on developing wooden furniture, got acquainted with the recommendations of foreign psychologists, and got acquainted with the child development methodologies by Pikler, Waldorf and Montessori in order to provide the correct information about each product to the consumer. This has had a very positive effect on "Dino’s" image. Later, I started my enterprise and embarked on a path that was very difficult, but at the same time, full of expectations and hopes, that has been inspiring me to this day. I think I am on the right path, one idea brings about another, and I feel I have the strength to accomplish it all.
Compared to men, women entrepreneurs have limited access to financial resources in Georgia, including business and entrepreneurial loans. Women entrepreneurs should have access to more financial resources and information by, as we, women, are able to do much more than what we usually do on a regular basis.
The exhibition hosted by UN Women in Tbilisi has given me even more confidence. It showed me how I can become stronger than I am today. I attended very interesting seminars that will help me develop my business. I am extremely grateful for that. I am also planning to attend the regional EXPO and I hope to find support in relation to exports and finding investors for my business.”
Launched in 2021, the Women’s Entrepreneurship EXPO is a unique partnership platform to promote women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem building in the Europe and Central Asia region. EXPO provides an interactive space for women entrepreneurs, investors and private sector representatives for networking and collaboration, peer learning, ideas generation, capacity building and business development. EXPO 2022 is organized by UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Yıldız Holding as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator supported by Mary Kay. Learn more and register.