New program for economic integration of Syrian-Armenians and locals launches in Armenia
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 23, ARMENPRESS. Within the frames of the IRIS program implemented in Armenia since 2018 a new component directed for the economic integration of Syrian-Armenians and the locals is being implemented. The IRIS business incubator aims at becoming a sustainable development tool for the future generations of startups and promoting the development of entrepreneurial culture in Armenia via innovative approaches. As a result, new small and medium enterprises are expected to be created in Armenia, new business ideas will be implemented or the current enterprises will expand in Armenia. The total budget of the program is 3.3 million Euros, 1.9 million of which will be directed to the economic integration component.
IRIS program manager Lusine Stepanyan told a press conference in ARMENPRESS that the support is provided via the business incubation method which supposes a start from the development of a business idea up to the sustainable activity, including also the funding.
“In other words, via this component a concrete person is provided with a complete business support chain. Consulting, improvement of skills, awareness, up to financing. During the entire period the team of specialists will be with them. I would like to inform that we do not have a sphere restriction, but have priorities, such as tourism, jewelry, food processing, agriculture and etc”, she said.
22.000-24.000 Syrian-Armenians moved to Armenia due to the Syrian crisis. According to various data, currently 14-16.000 Syrian-Armenians live in Armenia. Lusine Stepanyan said during the years of the Syrian crisis they have lost what has been created by the generations, the ties, opportunities. During these years a number of assistance programs have been carried out by the state and several organizations.
IRIS business incubator program manager Narine Terzyan stated that their team has been supplemented with the best specialists of the field.
“Starting from today those who want can already apply. The funding will be made with grants. Persons who have an idea, but do not have skills how to run a business, can apply. The authors of business initiatives with three years of experience can also apply, we will help them to be able to develop convincing business programs. The third group is the small medium business. They will be able to make the business more stable and have an opportunity to expand it via the help of experts”, Narine Terzyan said.
IRIS Business Incubator has been created in 2019 by the Armenian Caritas NGO and SME Cooperation Association. The program is financed by the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis (MADAD Fund), the Austrian Development Cooperation and the Austrian Red Cross.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan