Project presentations on the website

Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.


The Emergence and Evolution of Entrepreneurship in Georgia – ASCN 2014


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Interfakultäres Institut für Ost- und Ostmitteleuropa IIOOE der Universität Freiburg; Geostat, Georgia; Economic Policy Research Center, Georgia

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-018/14 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 100'000 
  • Approved: 24.01.2014 
  • Duration: 05.2014 - 03.2016 
  • Area of activity:  ASCN, 2009 - 2018

Project management

Project description

This research project examined entrepreneurial dynamics in Georgia through a longitudinal study following both potential and existing entrepreneurs. «Entrepreneurship» was defined as a process from intention to action that may lead to the creation of an enterprise (formal or informal). It tried to tackle the following two issues: 

1. If and how entrepreneurs move from the so-called 'unobserved' to the observed economy (the emergence of entreprises);
2. The development and growth of enterprises, including micro-enterprises (the evolution of enterprises).

In order to accomplish this, the project demanded sequential observations from a selected group of respondents. These participants were asked the same questions about their visions, the obstacles they face and the possibility of enhancing factors from which they benefit. This research focused on entrepreneurs and how they interact with institutional, economic, cultural and social environments.

What is special about the project?

Both the object of the research and the way it will be carried out makes this project special.
1. It researches a neglected layer of the Georgian economic landscape: Even though self-employment constitutes half of the work force of Georgia and account to about 18% of GDP, there are few data and information about that important layer of the Georgian economic landscape.
2. It does so with a specific methodology: longitudinal panel observation is a methodology that will shed light on dynamics of entrepreneurship.
Moreover, as a sort of «observatory of entrepreneurship» in transition countries, this project is interdisciplinary and has a great potential to build synergies with other social sciences disciplines.


The fourth round of observations was carried out in Mai 2015. Geostat, the Georgian Statistical Agency interviewed, for each round, 350 self-employed and 250 micro and small enterprises in three regions: Tbilisi, Kakheti and Adjara. It is the first time that specific data on self-employed and small enterprises have been gathered. It gave the occasion to present the results of the study in seminars and conferences in Tbilisi in October 2015. The results of this study were also useful for the newly established governmental body «Entrepreneurship Development Agency» (EDA) and evaluation of the Small Business Act Assessment conducted by the OECD. It highlighted the similarities between self-employed and micro enterprises in terms of soft skills (attitude toward risk taking, confidence, planning and visions) and in with regards to formality variables (having a bank account, holding accounting records, dealing with written terms of agreements). Yet they are not active in the same sectors and micro firms entrepreneurs are more educated. Policy strategies aiming to formalize the economy have to take this evidence into account.


«Entrepreneurship in Georgia», Caucasus Analytical Digest, ETHZ publication, No. 45, December 2012: http://www.css.ethz.ch/publications/pdfs/CAD-45.pdf
«Informal sector in Georgia», Caucasus Analytical Digest, ETHZ publication, No. 60, August 2015: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Publications/Detail/?lng=en&id=192445



Persons involved in the project

Philippe Rudaz, Phd candidate, project coordinator, University of Fribourg, philipperudaz@gmail.notexisting@nodomain.comcom

Last update to this project presentation  17.03.2022