Business Trainings for Rural Community Members

Presently, the second stage of the joint project being implemented by “Women for Development” NGO and the European Fund for Southeast Europe Development Facility (EFSE DF) is underway. In frames of this project, on October 5-9, 2019 training on “How to Start Your Own Business in Armenia: Developing a Business Plan” was organized for 9 members from WFD NGO’s beneficiary communities. Training participants were selected based on their applications, and the selection panel was mostly focused on the level of their interest and the existence of a business idea.
The training was conducted by Anahit Hakobyan, Project assistant and business development specialist of WFD NGO.

5-day training involved topics, such as needs assessment and evaluation, selecting a business idea, effective management, development of a business plan, branding, marketing and sales skills, etc.

Apart from the theoretical knowledge, participants also had the opportunity to visit several successful businesses and social enterprises both in Gyumri and in rural communities of Shirak province, which made it possible to put the theoretical knowledge acquired by participants into practical observation level. The entrepreneurs shared their success stories, how they decided to start their businesses, who supported them, what challenges they have faced. This, in turn, made our training participants even more motivated and inspired to transform their business ideas into reality.

It was very interesting for our participants to observe how their familiar rural produce is being served and packaged, which made them newly discover the traditional Armenian cuisine: “Everywhere we went, we had a chance to try our familiar rural dishes and produce, which all of us has in our own homes, but it was very interesting to realize that every time we have guests, we get so nervous about what to serve them. We could not even think that the same sliced potatoes, local pasta, local cheese and pickles assortment can be served in an interesting and fun way, to be enjoyed by our guests”, said Mariam Sakoyan, training participant from Anushavan village.

“After these visits I realized that not only we are unable to nicely package and present our rural organic produce, but also we do not appreciate it ourselves”, added Lusine Avetisyan from Lernakert village.

As the follow up to the delivered training and individual consultations, the participants are assigned to develop their own business plans, and the most interesting and realistic business ideas will receive funding.