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Taking the First Steps to Boost Business

Seven entrepreneurs are now closer than ever to either launching or growing their own small businesses.

Thanks to our partnership with HSBC Armenia, our Boosting Responsible Financial Behavior and Kick Start Business Activism Project is helping those living in four rural communities in Armenia’s Berd Region to improve or launch their own businesses.

The first phase of the project, which started in August of 2020 despite all of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, consisted of a series of trainings and workshops (all held remotely) on topics like financial literacy and business plan development.

Seven out of the 16 participants have already made some great steps forward.

“I enjoyed the discussions around formulation of our business plans. Iforgot to include some details in my initial plan, which apparently were vital. So, I had to add the information highlighting the importance of the needed equipment as an advantage against my competitors,” said Anush Brutyan, a nail salon owner who has since increased her client base threefold after acquiring some new equipment. She currently serves people from three different nearby communities.

In addition, 10 HSBC Armenia colleagues have personally contributed to the project’s success on a voluntary basis. They have organized brainstormingsessions, discussions, and consulted with participants on their initial business ideas, helping them to develop sophisticated business plans.

The project contributes to FAR’s long-term goal to support and build sustainable businesses so that the people in border communities can lift themselves further out of poverty and improve their standards of living.

“This was quite experimental, as it’s the first time we organized trainings for rural people remotely via zoom, which was mainly due to the pandemic,” said FAR Economic and Community Development Projects Manager Erik Baghdasaryan. “Despite some technical challenges we managed to grasp the interest of our participants. Moreover, we’ve managed to transfer the ABCs of financial services and business idea formulation through this training series, but first and foremost, to provide them with hope for better future in these hard times.”


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