In order to, better understand the needs of Georgian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in adapting to the DCFTA, the project consortium conducted in summer 2017 a nationwide survey evaluating the preparedness of local producers to adapt to EU regulations and integrate into the EU single market. The survey covered all nine regions of Georgia as well as the Autonomous Republic of Adjara.

Additionally, the project consortium recognized the importance of civil society organizations (CSOs) in implementation of the DCFTA and also launched a nationwide survey of CSOs with the aim to assess the interest and capacities of regional Georgian CSOs to support DCFTA implementation. In particular, the survey looked at the interest and capacities of CSOs to support local SMEs in the implementation process. The CSO sample also included business support organizations (BSOs) that overlap in activities and functions with CSOs.

The results of both surveys – referred to as “mappings” – are integral parts of the project output, allowing the research team to identify relevant SMEs and CSOs with potential to be partners and beneficiaries of the project activities. Both mappings are explained below – first the CSOs, followed by the SMEs.

Mapping Georgian CSOs

The CSO survey covered 168 organizations in 61 municipalities (see Table 1 from the Initial Study), mapping on average three organizations per municipality. In some target municipalities, no operating CSOs were identified. This most often occurred in cases involving mountainous regions or municipalities that are small or remote from regional population centers.

The objectives of the CSO mapping included:

- To gain general information about the CSOs and BSOs operating in Georgia’s regions;
- To assess the capacities of Georgian CSOs and BSOs to provide assistance for DCFTA/SME strategy implementation and to join a nationwide public awareness campaign about the DCFTA;
- To identify the CSOs and BSOs capable and willing to participate in the project activities; and
- To assess the interest of CSOs and BSOs in receiving additional information about DCFTA/SME strategy implementation as well as participating in the project activities.
The CSO survey sample included those organizations that fit the following criteria:
- They are legally registered and operating in Georgian regions. Sampling excluded those CSOs registered in Tbilisi, as the project focuses on providing skills and engagement opportunities for regional CSOs; and
- They are actively implementing activities in their regions.

Priority was given to those CSOs that work in fields relevant to the following DCFTA-related topics: regional development; promoting entrepreneurship; European integration; and advocacy. However, due to the small number of CSOs operating in locations remote from regional population centers, CSOs with other themes of focus were also included in the mapping.

Mapping Georgian SMEs

The SME mapping identified and registered SMEs within Georgia’s nine regions as well as the Autonomous Republic of Adjara which have the apparent potential for current or future export to the EU single market under the DCFTA. The identified companies are considered to be potential future partners or beneficiaries of DCFTA-related programs. The mapping’s target was to interview 10 SMEs per municipality, conducting the survey in 61 municipalities. In total, the study covered 559 SMEs, with approximately nine SMEs surveyed per municipality (see Table #2 from the initial study). In four regions and the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, 10 or more SMEs were interviewed, while in the remaining five regions the number of interviewed SMEs varied from five to nine. The numbers were lower in the mountainous regions, especially Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, where fewer operating SMEs fit the sampling criteria.

The main objectives of the Georgian SMEs mapping were:

- To obtain general information about regional SMEs and develop their profiles (production capacity and export potential);
- To assess their level of awareness about the DCFTA;
- To assess their export potential and participation in the EU single market; and
- To identify the key challenges preventing them from developing a more viable presence in the EU single market.
SMEs were considered for the survey if they fit the following sampling criteria:
- They are legally registered and operating in Georgian regions. SMEs registered in Tbilisi were intentionally excluded as the project aims to engage and support regional SMEs;
- They fit the definition of a small- or medium-sized enterprise according to the “Georgian Tax Code” and the “Law on the National Investment Agency” in Georgia; and
- They are producing goods that could potentially be exported to the EU single market. The study excluded service providers.

Mapping Methodology:

Both mappings were conducted using quantitative methods. The research subjects were asked to fill in electronic questionnaires composed of open- and closed-ended questions. The data received via the questionnaire were then processed using Excel spreadsheets. In the second phase, field research was conducted with polling researchers going to the regions and conducting 1-on-1 interviews with research subjects using the same questionnaires that were utilized via the online method.

The semi-structured CSO questionnaire included 16 questions grouped into the following categories: general information about local CSOs (part I); and information about the scope of their activities, including target groups, working areas and communication tools (part II). The semi-structured questionnaire for SMEs was composed of 31 questions and divided into three parts: part I – General information about the SME; part II – Assessment of export potential; and part III – Assessment of level of awareness of the DCFTA.

The methodology for conducting both mappings involved:

• Desk research: obtaining necessary data about the relevant CSOs and SMEs, including lists and contact information, from such sources as:, and the database compiled by CIPDD in the case of CSOs; and consulting centers of the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia in the target municipalities, and the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GGCI) in the case of SMEs. The researchers also engaged relevant departments at target municipalities and the networks of partner organizations in mapping the target SMEs and CSOs.
• Field research: on-site interviews with target SMEs and CSOs based on semi-structured questionnaires conducted by the Georgian partner organizations of the project consortium.
• Online survey: the questionnaires were uploaded online and research subjects were asked to fill them using the links provided by the interviewers.
• Telephone inquiry: contacting and interviewing the representatives of target SMEs and CSOs by telephone using the same questionnaires as in the online and field research.

There is no selection without error. During the survey process, the margin of error was 3% for both CSO and SME mappings.

See the results of both mappings in the Publications section.