The "Skiji House" partnership has expanded from a local family company to a high-quality business. Founders of Skiji House were encouraged to leave the city and relocate to the village of Khidistavi, Chokhatauri region, with the aid of Enterprise Georgia's grant program, for the growth of their business.
"We could not have started our business without the agency's grant program. We were awarded 5000 GEL as the first grant in 2015 to produce dried fruit, and this success gave us the courage to return to the land where we mostly spent vacations and holidays. A fresh concept for a family-style hotel occurred during the beginning phase. We received another 10,000 GEL grant in 2017 after reuniting with two family members. The development of a new tourist spot has attracted the interest of tourists to the Black Sea region. Living with a local family, engaging in family activities, and learning about the dried fruit production made it even more appealing to tourists. They are especially interested in the masterclasses on regional cuisine that we organize." -Darejan Berdzenishvili, founder of "Skiji House".
The hotel owners were able to create a solid business by 2022, even though their small assets, which included the home and the yard surrounding it, were insufficient to cooperate with the bank. "Skiji House" raised the necessary funds using the Enterprise Georgia’s credit-guarantee scheme, which aims to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses, facilitate lending, and ensure inclusive economic growth.
The credit received under the agency's credit-guarantee scheme will be used for the building and arranging of cottages, on which work has already begun. Two small businesses that started with a small grant in a family house will expand into high-quality family businesses with the support of government programs.
"We already have a family workshop, "Skiji House" that meets European standards. Its exterior is similar to a typical Guria home. Many citrus and fruit trees have already been planted for tourists to observe the process from trees to dried products. An arbour and a traditional "Qukhna" (village kitchen) have been constructed. We planned to build comfortable, individual cottages along with a professional kitchen-dining area. Our two businesses, dried fruit production and a family hotel, will be merged into a single concept. We want to include a gastrotourism element based on traditional local cuisine and unique flavors." -Darejan Berdzenishvili, founder of "Skiji House”.