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Empowering women and creating local jobs and income with EU funding Mass Media

On 28 April 2016, all implementers, beneficiaries, partners, and state authorities involved in the “Social and Economic Empowerment of Women in Armenia” project gathered to present the results achieved over three years of project implementation. Within the framework of the project, 55 communities and more than 1,000 participants in Lori region were involved. The project’s goal was to develop women’s social and economic capacities in Lori region, improve women’s social and economic situation, and help them acquire skills to start and maintain a business. After participating in training courses, 38 women and women’s groups received grants enabling them to open up hostels and shops, and to grow and sell produce.
The project was implemented by Armenian Young Women’s Association (AYWA) NGO together with the Lori governor’s office and Vanadzor municipality. Among the 38 beneficiary groups, 30 were women who had never been involved in business. However, the project enabled them to open up their own businesses and to succeed. The women came from communities from across Lori marz in Vanadzor, Alaverdi, Stepanavan, Tashir, Akhtala, Shamlugh, Spitak, Shirakamut, Jrashen Hartagyugh, Jiliza, Karinj, Odzun, Haghpat, Arevashogh, and Shnogh.
13118865_1014620678591861_5367363082037695294_nIrina Movsesyan, Project Manager from the EU Delegation to Armenia, attended the event on 28 April and stressed the importance of women’s empowerment: ‘This project is very important for us because it is about women empowerment, about making them more confident to be able to fight for their rights. The project has had many achievements and good results; however, we hope that all the women involved will continue their activities after project completion’.
The Head of AYWA NGO, Lilit Asatryan, thanked the EU for funding this important initiative: ‘AYWA is continuing to place importance on women’s socio-economic participation in Armenia; this is the core focus of our projects. Our aim is to highlight the importance of female entrepreneurship in our country, as well as showcase women’s business achievements. The “Social and Economic Empowerment of Women in Armenia” project is one we have been implementing with the support of the European Union since 2013. On behalf of our NGO and project beneficiaries, I thank all the partners who participated and made contributions to project implementation. Special thanks go to the European Union, without which this project would not have been realized’.
Two days earlier, on 26 April, an exhibition and job fair was held in Vanadzor in which project beneficiaries participated. The beneficiaries presented how the project had enabled them to start or expand businesses in their communities through both skills provision and grants. Different kinds of businesses were represented: semi-processed food, biscuits, coffee, yoghurt drinks, honey, noodle production, chicken farming, needlework, silver jewelry, tourism, etc.
ARS_5007Lilit Sindoyan, a project beneficiary who has established a silver jewelry studio in Vanadzor, talked about how the project had changed her life: ‘My family and I were planning to leave Armenia. However, I participated in the project and received a grant, which changed our fortunes and made me want to stay. Today, I am happy that my children will grow up in Armenia, in my country, not abroad’.
Visitors to the exhibition learned about the project’s results, were able to network with beneficiaries, and check out their products. The exhibition was accompanied by a cultural programme and master classes run by project beneficiaries. During the master classes, beneficiaries of the project shared their experiences on how to apply for the EU-funded project, and subsequently about participating in the training courses and how to establish their own businesses.


International Conference Of Women Entrepreneurs, 7-12 June 2015, Yerevan, Armenia
HayKar Studio