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Ukrainian business owners plan to stay in Tbilisi in the future




Karine Asatryan, Gohar Hayrapetyan, Dato Tsakadze, Narek Aleksanyan


According to the National Statistical Office of Georgia, there are 6277 Ukrainian businesses registered in Georgia, with 2478 of those registering between 24 February 2022 and 1 November 2023. 81 of those newly established enterprises stopped operation. According to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, more than 180,000 Ukrainian citizens have entered Georgian territory. It is estimated that 27400 Ukrainian refugees are still in the country as of October 2023. In Georgia 520 Ukrainian nationals applied for asylum.

Marina Green, 33, is one of those Ukrainians who left her birthplace Chernigov in Northern Ukraine and decided to stay in Tbilisi.


 

“Georgia holds a special place in my heart. My parents lived seven years here before I was born, and throughout my life, I've heard numerous stories about it. I feel like I’m at home,” shared Milana Green.

In the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, she founded a sushi delivery service, the official franchise of the  Sunrise Food  Ukrainian Company, which will open its doors in a few weeks. She was able to persuade Ukrainian investors to support this venture.

Green said that money doesn’t fix all problems: “People are the most important thing. Ordinary Georgians helped me find this office in Saburtalo, provided the correct team and product suppliers, and assisted with repairs. I am eternally grateful to them.”


Green, a skilled confectioner, plans to seek investors and launch a confectionery business in the future.


 

Ukrainian Maksim Kulikov, 35, launched the Unity Kava cafe in Tbilisi only 1.5 years ago, but it has already achieved a high rating of 4.8 from Google users.

"They say we have the best Espresso in town," Kulikov said while making coffee. When Russia declared war on Ukraine in February 2022, he was in Georgia with the intention of opening a cafe. Kulikov considered returning to Kyiv at first, but then changed his mind.

He recalls, he realized that staying here would further assist his compatriots by creating jobs and providing financial support.

It just took a few days to register the company.

"Opening is easy, but making money is another matter," said Kulikov.