EU helps young Armenian woman take her first steps in business

12-12-2019

Social networks are growing rapidly in Armenia. Most Armenians have accounts on various social media and are very active users of the internet. But for the majority, social networks are just another form of entertainment and aren’t considered a profession or a source of income.

During her high school years, 19-year-old Zoya Safaryan from Sevan, Gegharkunik Province, found her passion - marketing. “I noticed that I am spending most of my time on social networks and I thought why not, I can earn money from it. As I explored it I came across marketing and started to study it,” says Zoya. She started to attend different courses and then found out about the business center. 

Once a gym and now a modern business centre, Sevan Innovative Business Centre has already become a home to new business ideas and initiatives. Sevan Municipality and Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Industry received a grant under the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG) initiative. The project’s main objective is to contribute to sustainable and substantial economic growth in Sevan. The business centre has co-working spaces, conference rooms and provides modern equipment. 

Before the opening of the building, the Gegharkunik Chamber of Commerce and Sevan Municipality had started supporting business ideas. Zoya was one of the first beneficiaries of the programme.

“I heard that there is an innovative business centre in Sevan which helps the young people who have an idea but don’t know where to start and what to do,” says Zoya, who decided to give the programme a try before knowing much about it.

Zoya learned how to develop a business plan and now plans to open a marketing centre and develop marketing in her hometown. “I will be teaching marketing and we can provide SMM services at our centre,” she says. When the business plan was ready she received job offers as a Social Media Manager. “It was a great opportunity so that I can work [and] save money for the implementation of my project.”

In spite of her success at such an early age, Zoya does not hurry and plans to implement her project in a couple of years. She believes that she has to study hard and find a team of like-minded marketers to achieve success. Zoya has not cut ties with the business centre and is working as a volunteer there. 

She believes that marketing has a future in Sevan and that her centre can help many people in the same way that the business centre helped her. “As modern young people spend most of their time surfing the net they can also learn how to earn money on the internet,” Zoya says. She hopes that with the opening of her marketing centre Sevan marketing will develop: “There are schools and a college in Sevan but there is not a single specialised centre. I have big dreams and I want to open it with great enthusiasm.” 

Through funding just one project, the European Union has an impact on dozens of people. Like Zoya, the people impacted are going to make their dreams come true and have an impact on more people than expected. This is not the end of the chain. 

Author: Ami Chichakyan

Article published in Armenian, Russian and English by Aravot.am