Naming is easy, finances are hard
Luso wants you to come visit, to love your stay, and she wants to make it easy and comfortable for you to do so. You want to go visit Samshvilde village, and maybe more importantly, meet Luso. As a friend says, “When you speak to Luso, she lights you up.”
To make sure you can come visit in comfort, Luso has built Orbis Bude—which means “Vulture’s Nest,” a center that doubles as a tourist information and services hub and a youth community center.
“Coming up with the name was easy,” she says. “There are a lot of vultures in the canyon, and I always saw them when I worked there as a ranger. The finances were hard. Starting a business and getting money is a lot of responsibility. The process for getting loans and registering the business and doing the accounting is heavy. I had to learn all that.
I built all this from scratch. I got grants, and money, and I did a lot of hard physical labor. I built everything you see here. The last piece was the furniture. The chairs you’ll sit on, I paid for those with the CDI-7 project grant.”
Down payments on brighter futures
Luka Avchaleli, a farm-equipment entrepreneur, used his grant to invest in irrigation equipment. Most of the economic grants have gone to businesses in the agricultural sector.
Since the project’s inception, 73 entrepreneurs have been funded across various business areas, and they are also required to contribute a minimum of 30 percent. The demand for agri-business is high, and these businesses tend to be profitable since many farmers lack access to modern and sufficient agricultural machinery.
Recipients of “economic” grants, like Luso and Luka, are required to contribute, in cash, 30 percent of the total project cost.