In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.
John Paul Getty
Start-up entrepreneur support program
In the framework of the SME DNC “Start-up Business Support Program” under the scope of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship State Support Annual Programs, support is provided to start-up entrepreneurs to help in the implementation oftheir business ideas.
The program involves components of training, professional consulting, provision of information, and financial support. Consequently, start-up entrepreneurs acquire skillsin business planning, marketing, management, production, financial planning, and more. Over the course of seven months, start-up entrepreneurs - with the assistance of professionals - develop their individual business plans and undertake its implementation.
The program goals are: to establish new SMEs and new workplaces in Armenia.
The program objectives are:
· to raise the level of entrepreneurial knowledge,
· to develop business skills and abilities,
· to identify, implement and support fresh ideas,
· to provide comprehensive support to newly established enterprises,
· to ensure the availability of financial assistance.
The target groups are:
· individuals with realistic business ideas,
· start-up entrepreneurs with up to three years of state registration.
By participating in the program businessmen will:
· create his/her individual strategy and realistic business plan,
· implement his/her business under the continuing guidance of consultants,
· establish long-lasting cooperation with SME DNC of Armenia.
The program procedure
STEP 1. Selection of participants
Program participants are required to pass through the following two selection stages:
· application form/interview process
The principle selection criteria are:
· the existence of a clear and realistic business idea,
· intrinsic entrepreneurship ability and motivation,
· demonstrable initiative taken in the preliminary steps to establish their business,
· willingness to make a personal financial contribution.
STEP 2. Training/Consulting
Start-up entrepreneurs develop their business know-how over one month of training and individual consulting courses. The courses contain basic knowledge on marketing, production management, financial planning, and more. At this time, entrepreneurs are also informed of state registration procedures and other important RA tax related issues.
As a result of the course, start-up entrepreneurs are empowered to create an individual business plan, inspired by their newly acquired entrepreneurial thinking and business skills, and motivated to excel at the upcoming presentation of their newly formed proposals.
The training and consulting courses are based on interactive principles, with an optimal combination of practical and theoretical elements from the following interactive teaching method:
· guiding discussions/group work/simulations of real-life business situations/analysis of practical problems/role-playing games
STEP 3. Presentation of business plans
Subsequent to the training, the formal presentation of business plans is held before members of an evaluation commission. The commission consists of representatives from SME DNC of Armenia and partner organizations.
STEP 4. Financial support
Start-up entrepreneurs also have an opportunity to benefit from SME DNC’s financial assistance. Business plans which receive the highest estimation can apply for lending—implemented through SME DNC partner banks. The conditions for getting financial resources covered by the SME DNC of Armenia are as follows:
· amount – maximum 5 mln AMD
· annual interest rate – 10%
· period – maximum 5 years
· collateral – 100% guarantee provided by SME DNC of Armenia
· target group – start up entrepreneurs
STEP 5. Coaching
Throughout the implementation of his/her business plan, start-up entrepreneurs are not alone. Experts from SME DNC of Armenia accompany and assist start-up entrepreneurs over the next six months by refining their business plans, providing individual consultations and offering additional assistance based on individual needs.
3. Cooperation with training support companies
4. Women's entrepreneurship development
Best Woman Entrepreneur – RA Prime Minister’s Award
“Best Women Entrepreneur” Award of the RA Prime Minister is hel annualy in April.
RA Prime Minister announced the “Best Women Entrepreneur” Award contest to inspire woman entrepreneurs’ creativity in RA economic development, to appreciate their achievements in different sectors of economy, to provide publicity and support to Armenian business women. The award is organized by the Ministry of Economy and implemented by the SME DNC of Armenia.
"Support to Syrian Armenians” project
Since November, 2012 SME DNC of Armenia has launched the "Support to Syrian Armenians” state support programme. In the framework of the project training courses are regularly organized for Syrian-Armenians who wish to establish their own business. The main topics of the training courses, depending on the needs of the participants, are: aspects of business operations in Armenia, tax and customs legislation and other directions, B2B meetings with entrepreneurs from various economic sectors in Armenia, information meetings in different factories and free economic zones and etc., provision of information and advice on issues arising from the entrepreneurial activity in Armenia.
Syrian Armenians information database has been created. It is periodically updated and the identification and specification of needs are organized based onit, in order to make further works more effective. For the Syrian Armenians who wish to establish their own business, we implement “Start-up Business Support Program”. The participants learn the conditions of business activities in Armenia, acquire the relevant knowledge in all stages of business planning and with the help of our professionals, develop business plans, in order to present it and receive a preferential loan. The program is continuing, based on the needs of the Syrian Armenians.