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Social Enterprises employing Former Inmates

Social Enterprises employing Former Inmates

Soon, in the frame of the project for strengthening former inmates Social Enterprises will be opened. In the Enterprises, where long-term working places will be created in the future, former inmates, their family members and probationers will be employed.
Why Social Enterprise?

Stigma existing in the society, mistrust of the employers towards the persons with previous convictions, low qualification and many other reasons result in the fact that former inmates and probationers in most cases are permanently job-seekers.

Unemployment and hard social economic conditions increases the risk of crime recommitment and recidivism. Therefore in the period of implementing the project for strengthening former inmates formation of such employment sites were planned, which in long-term prospect financially ensured and strengthened the beneficiaries and their families.

Therefore, Social Enterprises will enable former inmates not only to get employed, but only to employ other beneficiaries. Enterprises will be the site open to the persons with previous convictions, enabling them to maximal self-actualization of their abilities.

One of the Social Enterprises will be a Greenhouse Economy in Tskaltubo Municipality, which through applying modern technologies plans to produce ecologically friendly healthy berry fruit cultures, as well as as production of jams and juices. The Enterprise is organized by the partner organization of the project for strengthening former inmates “Foundation Abkhazinterkont”, having a multi-year experience of running a social enterprise. The manager of the Enterprise Archil Elbakidze talks about the idea of the social enterprise and its future plans:

“We have been running a Social Enterprise for years. Out personnel have undertaken international level of trainings and complete their business with highly-qualified experience. Our products have been already introduced at the local market, though we have an ambition to create more. Therefore, one more direction was added to the Enterprise – Producing Ready-made products, growing ecologically-friendly healthy berry-fruit cultures, ready-made product being produced in the form of jam and juice. Growing of vegetables and greens is also planned. Direct beneficiaries of the project will be employed in the Social Enterprise: inmates’ family members and former inmates, mastering new technologies, entrepreneurial skills and abilities. They will be also supported in independent continuation of the activity. The enterprise will be located in 2 Greenhouse of 1500 sq.m owned by the foundation “Abkhazinterkont” and 100 saq.m building. Social Enterprise will be basically implementing activity in Imereti region” – says Archil Elbakidze.

One more enterprise, being talked by the director of foundation “Abkhazinterkont is related to the service of installing heating-cooling system.

As it turned out majority of former inmates are good at installing cooling-heating system. Relevantly, the idea of forming similar service was developed. Social Enterprise will have a highly-qualified service of safe installation of the air-conditioners. The enterprise will be functioning in the area Kutaisi Business Incubator, being placed in the central part of the city. Together with beneficiaries’ employment, requalification service will be ensured at the enterprise. Two inmates with 20 year experience in engineering service have been already selected.

At the first stage, on a vacant position the beneficiaries will be selected the basis of knowledge and experience.

During a year, requalification of 10 beneficiaries is planned in the Social EEnterprise. Four family members will be employed, the income from production will be distributed on production expenses and employee’s reimbursement. In the direction of rural agriculture, compensation will be allocated according to working dates and earnings, whereas in engineering activity in pursuant with the contract.

Realization of the products received in the Social Enterprise

Product realization in Imereti region is held in catering service objects and farmers’ market. In parallel, negotiations are held with wholesaler companies and distributors supplying Imereti Supermarkets. Annually, production and realization of 1500 kg strawberry and 3500 jars of strawberry jam is planned. Selling price for strawberry is 4.5 Gel, whereas strawberry jam – 3 Gel.

Social Enterprise with the diversity of berry cultures and ready made products is planned not only to create employment sites for vulnerable groups, but also substituting them with local products.

Opening of the Social Enterprise in the frame of the project is planned in Guria region.

Social Enterprises will be formed in the frame of the Institute of Democracy project supporting former inmates, inmates’ families and probationers.

The project together with the Institute of Democracy is implemented by Guria Youth Centre, Tanaziari and Foundation Abkhazinterkont.

The project is funded by the European Union.