oikos Summer School Georgia: Co-create solutions for social enterprises

The summer school Georgia brings in the confluence of academic rigor with practical application. In the school, participants would undergo training in theory and applications of social enterprise incubation and funding. In addition to that, the participants would indulge in rigorous business case solving, where the entrepreneurs of the business cases would discuss their business problems and co-engage with participants in addressing their business problems using the skill-set available among in the summer school.

The experts in the field of social entrepreneurship studies and practice will anchor the summer school and business – case activities.

Academic Activities

It would involve lectures and case brainstorming related to the following broad areas.

  1. Understanding social entrepreneurship and theoretical analyzing social enterprises
  2. Microfinance
  3. Business Models of social enterprises
  4. Funding social enterprise and Impact investing
  5. Business Models in Emerging Markets (Focus on Frugal Innovation and BOP)
  6. Marketing Frames in Social entrepreneurship
  7. Social Impact assessment

The theory behind each lecture would be revealed using articulated cases studies and case discussions.

Practical Application

The most innovative aspect of this summer school would be to indulge in real social business problems and work with the founders of the social enterprises to address their requirements and find solutions to their problems.

In order to achieve this objective of our summer school, we will provide participants with handouts that will have descriptions of cases that would include snapshot of live business situations. In total there will be four live business cases. The participants would be required to read those cases and choose one case that attracts their attention. Further, the participants on the basis of their choice of business cases will be grouped together. During the time of the summer school, these groups will engage with their respective social enterprises in helping them analyze their problems, develop strategic roadmaps to address those problems.

Cultural Rejuvenation

Georgia is one of the most unique cultural highways due to its geographic and political location. It has a rich culture in food, festivals, art and wine. The summer school would not just be an academic monotone, but it will involve longdrives and stopovers on this multilayered multicultural historical Georgian traditions and culture. We will make sure that you have friends to say hello and callout for drinks once you say goodbye to Georgia.

Of the four, three social enterprises are listed as below.

Bio farming association – Elkana

A member of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) since 1996, association Elkana was founded in 1994. Elkana’s members are Georgian farmers, agriculture workers, scientists, persons interested in sustainable development of bio-farming in Georgia, and environmentalists. Currently, Elkana unites 450 persons.

The association’s mission is to promote improvement of social-economic conditions of Georgia’s population and environment protection by developing sustainable bio-farms and increasing self-activeness of rural population.

In October 2010, in order to increase farmers’ opportunities to sell their products, the organization initiated opening of a store Bioveli.

It has not been too long since the store started operating, but the first results are already obvious. Bioveli’s income completely covers its expenses, and the profit is completely reinvested into the enterprise.

Currently, 54 farmers are able to sell their products in the store.

They want to increase their market (their store located not to very easily accessible place). Also they have lack of product from farmers and they wish to involve much more farmers.

Coalition for Independent Life

The Coalition’s mission is to create equal opportunities for all people to show their potential, and to assist people with limited abilities get maximally included in political, economic, social and cultural life of the country.

Since 2009, the Coalition actively started manufacturing wheelchairs for disabled people in the South Caucasus countries.

22 individuals are employed in the organizations. Out of them, 13 people work in the enterprise, and seven of them are persons with limited abilities.

Based on the signed Memorandum between the State and the Coalition, wheel chair production is subsidized. In particular, the State pays the Coalition the cost of the wheelchairs manufactured in the enterprise, and the customers receive the items free of charge.

Organization think to increase production and not only produce for the local market bit also for international. They have negotiations with partners from Azerbaijan.


International Art Center Istoriali

International Art Center was established in 1995 as a non-governmental organization.

For developing a local market for artisans and stimulate their sales, an art salon Istoriali was opened by the Center.

With two production lines currently – jewelry and accessories, a total of approximately 130 items – Istoriali’s collection is based on Georgian cultural heritage and artisanship traditions. The design of each item in the collection is based on findings of archeological excavations on the Georgian territory. A special design is being created, maintaining the item’s historical value, carrying historical-cognitive functions, and at the same time, transforming it in accordance to modern requirements. Thus, Istoriali’s products make their contribution in the popularization of Georgian cultural heritage.

Up to 25 artisans are employed in the social enterprise, making over 130 types of products. The mentioned activity contributes to 10% to the organization’s total income, enabling the Center to work on recruiting new artisans, participate in local fairs and exhibitions, organize various events and exhibitions aimed at popularization and protection of Georgian cultural heritage and artisanship.