EU4Business: “Boosting competitiveness of regional SMEs” (PRDP project) is an EU funded project which is implemented by the Fund “Investment Support Centre” (former SME DNC of Armenia) and its partners. The project has been launched on 13 December 2016, the duration of the project is 2 years.

The Objectives of the Project

The main objective of this project is to boost the competitiveness of the regional SMEs and to create sustainable employment opportunities. The targeted regions are: Lori, Syunik and Armavir regions of RA. The targeted sectors are: food processing and tourism. The targeted groups are: start-ups and already active SMEs.

Within the project is planned to:

· create newstable job places;

· boost the competitiveness of the local SMEs;

· create new enterprises.

The main activities of the project:

The project consists of a series of interconnected and complex actions, with the main aim of improving the economic situation of target groups and final beneficiaries. The following main activities are planned within the project:

Creation of business boosting infrastructures: road-site station in Lori region of RA:

The roadside station is a multi functional structure which is aimed to boost the local economic development and to act as:

· a direct sale-point for the local product/service ;

· information centre and a rest point for the tourists;

· training centre for local SMEs.

Entrepreneurship development:

Entrepreneurship development:

One of the main priorities of the project is to boost the entrepreneurial skills of the local youth and women. The “Successful start” project will help start-ups to bring to life their business ideas. Active SMEs will receive business development services to enhance their competitiveness and job creation capabilities. Capacity building of local authorities and business development service providers. Capacity-building measures will be implemented to develop and implement local economic development and especially SME support programs.

Promotion of employment

Promotion of employment

Business training and experience-exchange events will be organised within the project to address the gap between the requirements in the labour market and job seekers. Targeted sub-grants will be provided to companies that will create new sustainable jobs.

Market research was conducted on the food processing and tourism sectors of Lori, Syunik and Armavir regions, as well as a roadside station was establishment in Lori region within the framework of the project. Market researchis availabel here.