Sustainability of projects in small business development after donor disengagement (case of Georgia)

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Tvaliashvili, Ana
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MBA in Project Management
Dublin Business School
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The Research Problem: Identification of factors influencing self-sufficiency and sustainability of donor funded projects in small social enterprises in Georgia. A possible scenario could be that donor organisations do not provide enough training and guidance that ensure development of proper set of skills for sustaining the business after donor disengagement. In order to examine this issue, over fifty academic sources were reviewed and used; two research questions with their assumptions were thought out based on the practical experience from working previously in the NGO providing grants to small enterprises; actors playing important role in building sustainability were identified; factors were studied; findings were summarized; and solutions were provided. Methodology: The SME/Social Enterprise manager sample size was four and two project managers from donor organizations took part in the qualitative research. The research was conducted using separate set of interview questions for donors and SE project managers and cross-sectional qualitative analysis of current stance on sustainability was performed. Conclusions and Recommendations: Both research questions are addressed and assumptions for them are tested successfully in these parts of the research paper. Perspectives of the three actors: government, donors and beneficiary organisations are described; weak sides of their activities performed for sustainability are reviewed; and preconditions for drafting recommendations are identified in the conclusion part. Recommended six steps were (1) Sustainment Vision and Strategy Building, (2) Priority areas for Sustainability, (3) Collaboration, (4) Strategies and Methods for Sustainability, (5) Developing Action Plans, and (6) Documenting and Communicating Success. Sub-activities under each step were suggested and sample table of Division of Responsibilities was developed for applying when reasoning at capacity building and long-term self-sustainability. Supplementary documents will be submitted as separate files. These documents include: PowerPoint – Poster, E-thesis Submission Form, and Deposit Agreement Form. Author keywords: Sustainability, capacity building, qualitative analysis, stakeholders