Last year, the Vanadzor Shogh Center established a partnership with the Helsinki Group in Spitak, after which it launched a program for vulnerable women facing gender discrimination and domestic abuse. This program is designed to help women to become entrepreneurs and provide sustainable income for their families.
The participants of this program are the parents of children who attend the Shogh Center. In the beginning, 18 women were selected and trained on how to write a business plan, assess their needs and develop a budget. After the training, they identified the type of entrepreneurship in which they would like to be involved and submitted business plans accordingly. The Helsinki Group reviewed these plans and approved them to receive financial support.
The participants received funding in March 2016 and started their small businesses. The area of their activities is very broad: make-up and nail artists, hairstylists, confectioners, tailors etc.
Women participating in the workshop for small business starters.
It is foreseen that in two years’ time, 200 women will receive support – 60 will obtain certified vocational trainings, 120 women will receive financial support to kick-off their small businesses, and 80 will obtain job placement support.
In the first 9 months since the funding of small businesses, a lot has changed in the lives of these women and their families. They are now able to provide their children with food and basic necessities and spend more time with them, considering that most are home-based business.
The Vanadzor “Shogh” Daycare Center is a joint program of the Tufenkian Foundation and the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA).