“Be a life-long learner!”
With the help of her family, Narine Grigoryan runs a pastry production business in Hadrut, Republic of Artsakh (officially known as Nagorno Karabakh Republic, NKR). The factory produces a variety of cakes, pastries, and sweets, which are sold throughout NKR. Narine is also an owner of a bakery that provides fresh and tasty bread and lavash for the community.
Narine credits Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) for the success she has now. “Without TRDP’s support, I wouldn’t have accomplished all these achievements,” Narine states.
With great enthusiasm, Narine remembers how she met with TRDP team members for the first time. By chance, a TRDP team member tasted a cake prepared by Narine in the house of his acquaintance. Surprised with the exceptional taste and design of the cake, he became interested in who baked the cakes and whether she was running a business.
It turned out that Narine Grigoryan from Hadrut region of NKR was receiving individual orders and baking cakes at home. However, she only took small orders because she did not have the financial means to expand her working space and buy new equipment to start a business.
Narine remembers that when she met with the TRDP team, the first question she was asked was “Please describe the pastry production factory of your dreams.” She had always dreamed of having a factory for sweets production and she could not believe that her dream was going to become true.
After successfully completing the training for the program, Narine received a loan. With the support of TRDP, she renovated the space near her house and headed to Yerevan to acquire the necessary refrigerators and ovens to start production.
Narine thanks TRDP for all the business skills she acquired. She learned how the market economy works, about tax legislation, strategies for entering the market, and how to stay competitive.
“I have learned so much from TRDP training that it is difficult for me to describe it in a few words. TRDP trainings are useful and understandable both for experienced and non- experienced entrepreneurs,” states Narine.
Even today, Narine continues to share her knowledge and skills with other TRDP beneficiaries, and her friends or relatives who want to start their own business. In particular, she helps with the development of professional business plans, which are crucial for success in business.
After her pastry production business was opened, she was overwhelmed by orders from all the regions of NKR, including the capital city of Stepanakert. Initially, she was the only person in Hadrut who distributed high quality pastry to retail stores in the region. Now, there are other producers in the region, but due to her high quality products and marketing strategies, Narine manages to stay competitive.
Encouraged by her success, Narine decided, in addition to pastry production, to open a bakery near her business premises. She applied to TRDP for the second time and after receiving the second loan, opened her bakery together with her husband.
Narine cooperates with several retail stores and distributes tasty bread and lavash across the region. She even receives individual orders for her exceptionally tasty and beautiful cakes from customers in the Russian Federation.
Currently, Narine employs three people from her community. However, as her bakery business is thriving, she plans to apply for the financial assistance of TRDP for the third time to expand her bakery and hire more employees.
Narine’s business had a huge impact on her family as well as her community. With the profit she earned from her business, she was able to renovate her house. Narine provides cakes and other sweets free for community events. From time to time, she sends cakes to the kindergarten of the community.
Most of all, Narine loves when she gets orders to prepare tarts, especially for kids’ birthdays.
“I love decorating the tarts, making them beautiful and funny to make children laugh and cheer. Parents tell me that their children like my tarts very much. The fact that children smile due to me makes me the happiest person in the world. I want many kids to be born in Artsakh,” confessed Narine.
Narine shared the secrets of successful entrepreneurship. According to Narine, to make the business thrive, one needs to be hard working, watchful, and lucky.
“I come to work at 6 a.m. sharp and leave the business premises after all the employees are already gone. You should take care of your business on a daily basis,” Narine notes.
Narine suggested TRDP future applicants not be afraid of taking risks, believe in their success, apply to the program, acquire all the knowledge and skills, and learn from the program, as well as from the other participants of the program.
“Even if you think you know a lot, there is a lot you don’t know. Communication with clever, skillful people always adds to your knowledge and experience. Be a life-long learner,” Narine concludes.
In the future, Narine sees her son continuing her business, while she will be looking in from the outside and being happy that the effort she put in to her business was not in vain, as it continues to feed her family and to make children in Artsakh happy.