TRDP Supports Opening of New Business in Tavush

TAVUSH, Armenia — The American University of Armenia (AUA) is delighted to announce that a new business in the Tavush region of Armenia has launched operations with the sustained support of the Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP). 

Last week marked the official opening of TRDP beneficiary Ararat Meliqbekyan’s business in the Achajur village of the Tavush region. The entrepreneur opened a new retail store under the brand name Chali Market (Չալի Market), creating two additional jobs in the community. The name of the store is meant to specifically highlight the area where the business is located, the Chali District.

In 2000, the Meliqbekyan family started operating a small business, a kiosk, in the Achajur village. The family members were fully involved in the business selling fruits, vegetables, and small quantities of other food products.

Determined to expand his business, Meliqbekyan applied to TRDP with that idea and was accepted to enroll in the entrepreneurship training program in 2021. In the program, he gained the appropriate knowledge and skills in marketing, financial management, operational strategy, and general business intelligence. Upon completing the training, he developed a complete business plan, which was approved for a loan to realize his idea of building a small market and acquiring the necessary equipment and accessories to replace  the kiosk. “I learned more in one month than in 20 years of operating my business,” remarked Meliqbekyan while expressing his deep gratitude to the program. In turn, congratulating his courageous endeavor, the TRDP Ijevan Program Leader praised him for his efforts noting the trainers’ recognition of Meliqbekyan as one of the most responsible, punctual, and determined trainees.

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.