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.


Emergence and Evolution of Entrepreneurship in the Southern Caucasus – ASCN 2011


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


Dieses von der Gebert Rüf Stiftung geförderte Projekt wird von folgenden weiteren Projektpartnern mitgetragen: Academic Swiss Caucasus Net, University of Fribourg

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-057/11 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 17'000 
  • Approved: 06.09.2011 
  • Duration: 11.2011 - 06.2012 
  • Area of activity:  ASCN, 2009 - 2018

Project management

Project description

Im Transormationsprozess postsowjetischer Gesellschaften spielt die Herausbildung einer «Wirtschaft von unten» eine wichtige Rolle. Im Rahmen des Programms ASCN soll daher auch die Entwicklung privatwirtschaftlicher Initiativen im Südkaukasus zum Thema werden. In einem ersten Schritt soll es darum gehen, mit sozialwissenschaftlichen Erkenntnis- und Darstellungsmodellen eine Situationsanalyse vorzunehmen. Darauf aufbauend liessen sich konkrete Forschungsfragen bzw. -projekte formulieren (Themendesign Unternehmertum), die unter Einbezug von georgischen und armenischen Nachwuchsleuten zu behandeln wären.

The final goal of this project is to track the changes in socio-economic fabric – and particularly the emergence of micro-enterprises, their entry, growth and exit in Georgia and Armenia. To this aim this current phase’s purpose is to set the ground for a proper medium term research project which would allow an organized collection of information (qualitative and quantitative) related to the evolution of entrepreneurship in Georgia and Armenia.

What is special about the project?

First of all, the topic and the chosen countries make this project interesting. Of all transition countries, Georgia and Armenia are understudied. Moreover, this project’s goal is to get an understanding of the dynamics of entrepreneurship in these countries. As such, a dialog between academics and professionals will be necessary. 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 final goal of this project is to track the changes in socio-economic fabric – and particularly the emergence of micro-enterprises, their entry, growth and exit in Georgia and Armenia. This first phase, involving a review of the literature on entrepreneurship and a fact finding mission in Georgia showed that about half of the Georgian workforce is self-employed and is considered to belong to the informal economy (Georgian officials call it «unobserved»). This layer of the Georgian workforce might represent an untapped pool of resources in term of entrepreneurship. The next phase of the project aims at understanding the dynamic of entrepreneurship and the interaction of entrepreneurs with their environment through a series of interviews with entrepreneurs repeated every 6 months during 3 years.

Persons involved in the project

Prof. Dr. Paul H. Dembinski, Project leader, pawel.notexisting@nodomain.comdembinski@unifr.notexisting@nodomain.comch
Prof. Dr Nicolas Hayoz, Director, Academic Swiss Caucasus Net. nicolas.notexisting@nodomain.comhayoz@unifr.notexisting@nodomain.comch
Denis Dafflon, Programme Coordinator
Philippe Rudaz, PhD Candidate, philippe.notexisting@nodomain.comrudaz@unifr.notexisting@nodomain.comch

Last update to this project presentation  12.05.2020