900 100 822 Free call

Search form


Women's Economic Engagement & Leadership Shuttles End on a High Note



In late September and early October 2021, the closing events for the Women’s Economic Engagement and Leadership (WEEL) Shuttle programme were held in their respective locations in Georgia proper and Abkhazia. The WEEL programme is just one component of the project, Improving Local Governance through Inclusive Development Approaches, implemented by Action Against Hunger (AAH) and funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with funds of the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).

The WEEL shuttle aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business management competencies of participants, while strengthening soft skills such as leadership, communication, advocacy, negotiation and conflict management, and teamwork. A total of 69 women of varying ages and backgrounds joined the WEEL shuttles in the four target locations: Akhmeta and Zugdidi municipalities in Georgia proper, and Gali and Tkvarcheli districts in Abkhazia. Employing a combination of group and individual sessions over a five-month period these women, under the guidance of coaches, developed their skills, knowledge, and personal and professional competences.

The normal challenges that would be faced by the participants in terms of time, travel and other responsibilities, were compounded by the restrictions and logistical challenges created by the Covid-19 situation, as noted by Akhmeta WEEL coach Gvantsa Molashvili - “The period of the programme implementation coincided with the period of the global pandemic and the negative consequences caused by it. Various types of restrictions influenced the course of the programme to some extent, slightly reducing the number of scheduled sessions and discussed issues, although individual consultations filled in the gaps”.

There were challenges also for the coaches themselves, who, despite working in different locations, managed to maintain a close working relationship, as Tkvarcheli coach, Serafima Kheladze, describes: “Effective collaboration was fostered among the coaches through systematic communication to exchange information about challenges faced during the teaching process, best practices to cope with these challenges and their achievements. The cooperative relations between the coaches positively impacted on the successful development of the WEEL course”.

With a total course duration of 120 hours spread over 30 group sessions the participants received training on the following subjects: teamwork and leadership; effective presentation and negotiation techniques; effective communication, business communication, business etiquette; planning and prioritizing; individual SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis; time management; emotional intelligence; personal branding; pre-orientation and career planning; entrepreneurship - basic principles and competencies; project design; civic education, tolerance, volunteering; CV/resume, motivation letter and interview guidelines; business plan development; conflict management; and basics of customer service.

This was supplemented with individual consultations and feedback sessions for each participant, meetings with successful entrepreneurs who shared their experiences, and an additional two-day training to develop the theoretical and practical knowledge and skills necessary to write a business plan. More than half of the participants were able to further develop their business ideas in this way and they will hopefully be in a position to apply for the upcoming Local Action Group (LAG) sub-grant competition that will take place in each of the four locations in November 2021.

Each closing event was attended by the participants, their coaches, and representatives of Action Against Hunger and partner organizations. Presentations were made by the coaches explaining the entire process of the WEEL shuttle programme, the challenges faced, and the successes achieved. At each event the participants spoke in very positive terms of their experience, highlighting their increasing depth of knowledge, improved communication skills and growing self-confidence which combine to greatly expand their employability prospects. After presenting each participant with their well-earned certificates of achievement, Action Against Hunger Programme Manager, Ketevan Ezugbaia, echoed their positivity in summing up the worth and value of this type of training approach: “The participants’ positive feedback justified that the programme had tangible results as it created perspectives for the empowered women to initiate new business ideas, launch their own business and find a new job in the labour market”.

share this news

Need help?
Write us and we will tell you.