Atlanta companies interested in providing a 15-day internship for a Russian entrepreneur visiting Georgia through a grant from the U.S. State Department should contact the Georgia Council for International Visitors (GCIV).

      GCIV has been awarded a Community Connections Project grant to host 10 Russian entrepreneurs, who are mostly in their mid-30s and come from the cities of Oryol and Smolensk west of Moscow.

      The entrepreneurs are owners or partners in a variety of firms such as retail chain stores, exporters of medical equipment and Internet-related businesses. 

They are to visit Atlanta, Savannah and Washington, D.C. in the spring and are scheduled to be in Atlanta March 15 through April 20.

The goals of State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program are to establish meaningful relationships, strengthen language and business skills, foster cross-cultural understanding and provide future business opportunities.

      “In addition to the internships, we would like to hear from people willing to provide a home stay for one of the participants,” Igor Malanchuk, GCIV program director, told GlobalFax last week in a telephone interview.

      GCIV coordinated a similar program last year, which has had positive results, according to Mr. Malanchuk. He cited one entrepreneur who since returning to Russia has started a company that provides training in how to do business in the U.S. and another who has been able to cut costs at his printing shop through e-commerce.

      The sorts of companies sought to provide internships include manufacturers and exporters of medical equipment, a small dental office, a newspaper, a retail store, a small soft drink manufacturer, a food processor, a clothing store, a dance studio, a software manufacturer and an information technology supplier.

      Under the terms of the grant, according to Mr. Malanchuk, companies that provide internships do not need to either pay or provide insurance to the Russians.  They all are proficient in English.

      To learn more about the program, Mr. Malanchuk may be reached at (404) 832-5560 or send an e-mail to