Empowering
transformations —
one micro-
enterprise at a time

Women’s empowerment is a global movement accelerating social and economic change across developing societies worldwide. As this unstoppable march toward female equality and human rights advances, AGBU is working to ensure that the women of Armenia aren’t left behind. Even today, they remain in a struggle to break free of outworn social norms that run deep in their local community traditions. These complex dynamics only add to the daily stresses of scarce employment opportunities and the hardships of many women who have become sole breadwinners as a result of mass emigration.

To help improve the status of Armenia’s women in society, AGBU has launched its Women’s Entrepreneurs (W.E.) program as part of its broader Women’s Empowerment initiative. Only applicants who demonstrate a strong potential to gain financial independence through a micro-enterprise or home business are invited for a personal interview. Once selected, each participant receives a full Cycle of Support for one year, including entrepreneurship courses, workshops, mentoring, and networking, as well as follow ups and check-ins at various touchpoints in their journey.

cycle cycle

Entrepreneurship Course through American University of Armenia (AUA) Extension Program with interactive learning tools, guest speakers, and workshops.

Expert assistance in developing business plans and marketing strategies.

Winners of a pitch battle are awarded up to $3500 for start-up or scale-up enterprises.

Women’s solidarity networking opportunities.

Periodic check-ins during and after completion of program.

THE WOMEN OF W.E.

There’s an ample supply of talented, capable women who are ready, willing, and eager to start or expand a micro-enterprise or home-business.
Here are five of the 75 women already benefiting from the support and services of AGBU W.E.

profile_1

ARPINE HAMBARDZUMYAN

Location: Yerevan

Business: Custom-made shoes

Arpine followed in her father’s footsteps as a shoemaker. A victim of domestic violence, she was referred to AGBU’s W.E. from the Women’s Support Center. With an AGBU mini-grant, Arpine purchased templates and a shoe board, which allowed her to diversify her custom-shoe styles. Now she successfully sells her products online through her Facebook page.

profile_2

SHUSHAN AVETISYAN

Location: Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor

Business: Lavash and pastry production

A teacher of Armenian language in school, Shushan was encouraged to apply to W.E. by her mother-in-law. With an AGBU mini-grant, she purchased a dough-kneading machine and an electric oven. AGBU also helped her apply for another grant and purchase two freezers to help her diversify her product line. The upgraded facilities helped her win a contract to supply pastry to a local school cafeteria. She personally delivers her products by truck to 11 shops and 2 restaurants in the region.

profile_3

ANIK ASATRYAN

Location: Zangakatun, Ararat

Business: Dried fruits production

th an AGBU mini-grant, Anik purchased an electric fruit-drying machine (30kg per load; 200kg per day). Thanks to increased production volumes, she now is able to meet the minimum requirement to export to Russia. As the only female entrepreneur in her community, Anik has started to train and empower other women.

profile_4

ANUSH AND DONARA CHIBUKHCHYAN

Location: Ijevan, Tavush

Business: Handmade decorative arts and crafts

The Chibukhchyan sisters are Applied Arts professors at the Ijevan branch of Yerevan State University. Their arts and crafts products range from drawing on glass, batik painting and embroidering to carpet making and sculpture. Through AGBU’s connections, they were invited by USAID/Smithsonian Institution to participate in an open-air expo in Yerevan, representing the Tavush region.

profile_1

ARPINE HAMBARDZUMYAN

Location: Yerevan

Business: Custom-made shoes

Arpine followed in her father’s footsteps as a shoemaker. A victim of domestic violence, she was referred to AGBU’s W.E. from the Women’s Support Center. With an AGBU mini-grant, Arpine purchased templates and a shoe board, which allowed her to diversify her custom-shoe styles. Now she successfully sells her products online through her Facebook page.

profile_2

SHUSHAN AVETISYAN

Location: Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor

Business: Lavash and pastry production

A teacher of Armenian language in school, Shushan was encouraged to apply to W.E. by her mother-in-law. With an AGBU mini-grant, she purchased a dough-kneading machine and an electric oven. AGBU also helped her apply for another grant and purchase two freezers to help her diversify her product line. The upgraded facilities helped her win a contract to supply pastry to a local school cafeteria. She personally delivers her products by truck to 11 shops and 2 restaurants in the region.

profile_3

ANIK ASATRYAN

Location: Zangakatun, Ararat

Business: Dried fruits production

th an AGBU mini-grant, Anik purchased an electric fruit-drying machine (30kg per load; 200kg per day). Thanks to increased production volumes, she now is able to meet the minimum requirement to export to Russia. As the only female entrepreneur in her community, Anik has started to train and empower other women.

profile_4

ANUSH AND DONARA CHIBUKHCHYAN

Location: Ijevan, Tavush

Business: Handmade decorative arts and crafts

The Chibukhchyan sisters are Applied Arts professors at the Ijevan branch of Yerevan State University. Their arts and crafts products range from drawing on glass, batik painting and embroidering to carpet making and sculpture. Through AGBU’s connections, they were invited by USAID/Smithsonian Institution to participate in an open-air expo in Yerevan, representing the Tavush region.

THE SUCCESS OF W.E. DEPENDS ON YOU

100% of your donation goes directly to this program will help AGBU:

  • Accept more participants and expand geographically
  • Offer additional (and larger) mini-grants
  • Strengthen the program’s role as an effective catalyst for sweeping changes in Armenia
  • Develop a larger-scale empowerment initiative that complements W.E.
W.E

THE SUCCESS OF W.E. DEPENDS ON YOU

100% of your donation goes directly to this program will help AGBU:

W.E
  • Accept more participants and expand geographically
  • Offer additional (and larger) mini-grants
  • Strengthen the program’s role as an effective catalyst for sweeping changes in Armenia
  • Develop a larger-scale empowerment initiative that complements W.E.

TAKE ACTION TODAY

  • Make a one-time or monthly gift online click here or send a check made payable to AGBU to
    Armenian General Benevolent Union  55 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022
  • Host a local fundraising event or pledge your next birthday or special occasion to W.E. For more information, please email kpapazian@agbu.org
  • Set-up a named endowment to support the program in perpetuity. For more information, please email kpapazian@agbu.org
  • Find out if you can double the impact of your gift through your employer’s matching gift program here