About us

 

Mission

The American University of Armenia’s Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) provides education and economic opportunities to people in rural areas of the Republic of Armenia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Javakhk to encourage rural development, create jobs, and improve communities. With the support of TRDP, rural residents have set up a variety of businesses, such as auto repair shops, bakeries, retail stores, and Internet clubs. The program has made a positive impact not only on economic development but also on the outlook of rural residents.

 

History

G.TurpanjianIn 2006, Gerald Turpanjian, long-time benefactor and international philanthropist, donated $5 million to the American University of Armenia (AUA) for encouraging economic development in rural areas. As a result, the Turpanjian Rural Development Program was created to provide education and assistance to rural entrepreneurs.

An executive committee was formed from AUA faculty and staff, chaired by former AUA President Dr. Haroutune Armenian. The committee gradually developed the current approach and process of offering training, access to financial assistance, and consultation to rural entrepreneurs. Local offices were established, each with a dedicated program leader, support staff, and trainers to meet regional needs. The first regional office opened in Gyumri in the Shirak marz in 2006, followed by offices in Stepanakert in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and Ijevan in the Tavush marz in 2007. In June 2010 local office was also established in Javakhk region, Georgia. Moreover, in 2015 TRDP opened its office in Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor region. TRDP has also awarded grants in Nagorno Karabakh for establishing three bed-and-breakfasts to promote tourism.

 

 

Program

11As a rural development program implemented by a university, AUA-TRDP is unique in Armenia. The program operates by offering education, consultation, and funding to beneficiaries.

The AUA Extension Program has adapted existing materials and curriculum with the guidance of the AUA School of Business and Management to create a training course that covers the basics of marketing and finance and prepares beneficiaries to write their own business plans. The end product of the trainings are the business plans prepared by the beneficiaries. These training sessions unite beneficiaries with peers sharing similar experiences and goals, serving as important networking opportunities and fostering a sense of community. IMG_1117The presence of AUA-TRDP and the success of the program’s businesses have generated great optimism among rural residents.

In addition to providing a practical business education, the program offers financial assistance by helping entrepreneurs obtain bank loans. For rural residents, receiving loans is especially difficult, and interest rates can be impossibly high, ranging from 20 to 40 percent. With AUA-TRDP acting as a guarantor, beneficiaries are able to receive loans at an interest rate of 6 percent from the program’s partner banks. After beneficiaries have their loans approved, AUA-TRDP continues to support them with monitoring and mentoring. The regional offices regularly observe the progress of the businesses and provide consultation.

 

 

 

 

Young Entrepreneurship Program

In an effort to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among youth, the Young Entrepreneurs Program (YEP) was developed in 2012. Since then, with the support and guidance of TRDP, young entrepreneurs established businesses in all regions served by the program.

 

 

 

Our Team

Executive Committee
Dr. Haroutune K. Armenian
President Emeritus, American University of Armenia
Chair, Turpanjian Rural Development Program
gevorg_goyunyan Mr. Gevorg Goyunyan
Vice President of Finance/CFO, American University of Armenia
???????????????????????????????????? Dr. Sergey Tantushyan
Director, Extension Program, American University of Armenia
Professor, Faculty of Business Administration
 arpie-balian  Dr. Arpie Balian

Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, American University of Armenia

 

 

 

 

 Dr. Knar Khachatryan

 Assistant Professor, BA in Business Program Chair, American University of Armenia

 

Staff

Director of Field Operations: Mr. Zorair Kirakosyan

   

Program Coordinator: Ms. Siranush Harutyunyan

 

Shirak Region

  Program Leader:
Kristina Serobyan Program Assistant: Mrs. Kristina Serobyan
 Tavush Region
 Hayk Gabrielyan Program Leader: Mr. Hayk Gabrielyan
Program Assistant: Ms. Arpine Yeritsyan
 Vayots Dzor Region
Shavarsh 21.iv.2015sm Program Leader: Mr. Shavarsh Khachatryan
Ani Program Assistant: Ms. Ani Babayan
 Nagorno Karabakh Republic
Armen Sardaryan Program Leader: Mr. Armen Sardaryan
Lilit Ghazaryan  Program Assistant: Ms. Lilit Ghazaryan
 Javakhk, Republic of Georgia
Narine Program Leader: Ms. Narine Ginosian 
 Consultants
Dr. Artak Hambaryan
Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, American University of Armenia
Massis-Alexandrian Mr. Massis Alexandrian
Accounting Lecturer, School of Business and Management, American University of Armenia

 

 

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