TRDP Supports Opening of Two Startups in Vayots Dzor

The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to share that two new startups opened in the rural communities of Vayots Dzor with the support of AUA’s Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP).

Khndzorut’s Fast Food Products Shop and Bistro

Monika Stepanyan, a woman entrepreneur from the bordering community of Khndzorut, learned about the opportunities offered by the TRDP Yeghegnadzor office and decided to enroll and realize her idea of opening a bistro, where local villagers, including children, can taste the delicious meals and pastries she prepares.

With the support of the program, she gained the knowledge needed to run a business and improved her entrepreneurial skills. Through financial assistance, she built the shop and purchased a professional electric stove, microwave, fridges and other special equipment for certain types of cooking, including a brand new kneading machine for making breads and rolls.

Stepanyan’s Khndzorut’s Fast Food Products Shop made notable progress in less than a year since opening in August 2019. Two jobs were created in the shop and the number of visitors has surged up to 50 or 60 persons daily.

Anna Home B&B in the Areni Village

Another startup, the Anna Home B&B, was launched in the Areni village with support from TRDP. Anna Ghazaryan, a business-oriented woman from the same village applied to TRDP to open a B&B in her beautiful three-story building situated on the bank of the Arpa River, in the center of Areni.

With the financial support of the program, Ghazaryan renovated the building, acquired furniture and other accessories. With mentoring by the TRDP Yeghegnadzor office, she acquired the necessary skills to market her business on social media and other platforms.

Ghazaryan’s B&B currently has four fully refurbished rooms with bathroom facilities in each, a separate kitchen and dining room. The balcony has a comfortable rocking sofa and offers visitors a fascinating view of the surrounding mountains. Anna Home B&B has the capacity to accommodate eight persons per day. It is currently hosting tourists from different parts of the world. The business has created three local jobs.

The AUA Turpanjian Rural Development Program provides education, funding and consultations to the existing and startup businesses in rural areas of Shirak, Tavush, Vayots Dzor, Gegharkunik (list of eligible communities), Lori (list of eligible communities) and Ararat (list of eligible communities) regions of Armenia, in Artsakh, and Javakhk (Georgia). The program continues accepting applications.