AUA TRDP Supports Opening of Four Businesses in Artsakh3 min read
The American University of Armenia (AUA) hails the successful launch of four new businesses in Artsakh with the sustained support of the Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP). For over two decades, the AUA TRDP has aimed at contributing to the economic development of rural areas through sustained training, coaching and mentoring of potential entrepreneurs to start new businesses or restart and expand existing ones.
Continuing its activities in several villages of Artsakh in 2021, TRDP has supported and guided the establishment of a bakery in Sos, a car wash in Aygestan, a car wash accessories retail store in Martuni, and a bistro in Aygestan.
Bakery in Sos
On December 1, 2021, the joyful ribbon-cutting event marked the reopening of a bakery in Sos village, one of the border communities of the Martuni region in Artsakh.
The owner of a previously functioning business, Artur Aleksanyan, had applied to the AUA TRDP for technical knowhow and assistance to be able to reopen his bakery which had ceased operations since the 2020 Artsakh War. The multitude of problems associated with the power supply and other logistical issues prevalent in the Martuni region had caused the shutdown of the bakery and many other businesses.
With the support of the program, Aleksanyan gained the knowledge and skills he needed to successfully relaunch his business. Aside from the training and coaching, the TRDP financial assistance provided him with the necessary funding for renovating the building, acquiring an industrial gas oven, and significantly improving the infrastructure to enable adherence to sanitary-hygienic requirements. As part of his restart, Aleksanyan also created a brand name for his business “Ալեքս” (Aleks)․
This bakery is the only one servicing Sos and the neighboring Herher, Tsovategh, Machkalashen, and Kherkhan communities. The restart of the bakery has created three new jobs, but also has a strategic significance for community revival.
Car Wash in Aygestan
In November 2021, Arsen Petrosyan opened a car wash in his community of Aygestan with the support of AUA TRDP. Petrosyan had applied to the program wanting to expand his business and establish a more modern car wash adjacent to the one still operating in order to meet customer demand. Upon successfully completing the training and presenting his business plan, Petrosyan received financial assistance from TRDP to realize his expansion plan.
“In fact, opening the second car wash that was supported by AUA TRDP was more of an impetus for ensuring the successful operation of my business. Now the customers don’t need to wait in a queue to get their cars washed. Also, the newly added car wash offers advantages with its modern equipment,” says the entrepreneur.
With the assistance received, he was able to construct the new addition, equipped it with the necessary equipment, and started full-fledged operations. Currently, his business provides a variety of services including basic car wash, waxing, vacuuming, etc. The additional car wash has enabled creating a new job.
Car Wash Accessories Retail Store in Martuni Town
A new business by owner Hovik Manasyan officially opened its doors on December 1, 2021, in the town of Martuni. Manasyan had applied to TRDP in 2021 with a second loan application to add a retail store of car wash accessories to the car wash he had established in 2017 with the support of TRDP. The idea of starting a second business was based on the findings from the market research he conducted following the Artsakh War showing local demand for such supplies.
Upon being granted TRDP approval of financial support, Manasyan initiated the construction of the building, procured the furnishings and related retail store accessories. The sustained mentorship by the TRDP office of field operations helped upgrade his skills, particularly in marketing his business on social media and other platforms.
At the opening event, Manasyan emphasized the role of TRDP, expressing his gratitude to the TRDP team members for their continuous support and guidance.
Two new jobs were created with the opening of this business.
Bistro in Aygestan
Narek Makhmuryan, a young entrepreneur from the village of Aygestan in Askeran, having learned about the program offered by the AUA TRDP Stepanakert office, had enrolled in the training with the idea of opening a bistro. His business would offer local villagers and travelers through the Martakert-Stepanakert main highway tasty meals and hot beverages.
In 2021, Makhmuryan successfully completed the entrepreneurship training and his business plan, which was granted TRDP’s approval for financial assistance and realized his business dream.
The TRDP assistance helped him to construct the space, furnish it, and acquire all the necessary equipment and accessories to start operating his bistro. On the menu are pies, kebab, chicken grill, beer, coffee, tea, and other beverages.
Makhmuryan is committed to providing high-quality services in his bistro and has created three new jobs in the local community.
The AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program provides education, funding, and consultations to the existing and startup businesses in the rural communities of Shirak, Tavush, Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik, Lori, and Ararat provinces of Armenia, as well as in Artsakh and Javakhk (Georgia). The list of eligible communities and eligibility criteria can be found here. The program continues to accept applications for the next round of training.