Supporting small businesses in Armenia
by Lea Breitner, Paolo Faberi and Sara Sangoi
Yerevan, Armenia: Mr. Paolo Faberi, an international UNV volunteer working in Armenia, is offering seminars on sales, marketing and business plans to various Armenian stakeholders, retailing these activities out of his assignment as Export and Marketing expert at the Armenian Development Agency (ADA).
Mr. Paolo Faberi is currently providing his experience from the Italian private sector to ADA and its related enterprises in the frame of a collaboration this Agency has with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and UNV in Armenia.
His short-term assignment is generally concentrating on the promotion of marketing tools for selected enterprises of three sectors identified by ADA, whose products have a high potential to be successfully exported: cheese, canned fruits and vegetables, and honey.
The Project Paolo is taking part in aims to support the national efforts towards reducing socio-economic disparities among regions of Armenia, and between different vulnerable groups.
UNIDO/ADA/UNV’s goal to improve quality assurance and the efficiency of the Armenian market through supporting small key national companies will enhance the livelihood of rural producers and larger communities. Through his presence, Mr. Faberi is not only supporting the enhancement of ADA’s staff and related Armenian enterprises’ efficiency and quality, but also their staff’s skills and understanding of international requirements and standards.
Ensuring a reliable source of cash income to rural producers dealing with identified products will contribute directly to the reduction of rural poverty, central to the MDGs. Eventually, new jobs in cheese production and processing will be created, with the resulting improvement of the country’s development.
Out of his meaningful contribution to the above mentioned enterprises through consultancies ‘on the spot’, Paolo is adding to national development goals by offering specific ‘on the job’ training which helps people from the sector gain insight into foreign standards, expectations and tools, particularly in Business planning and marketing.
On May 3rd his first of a series of training sessions took place, offered at the UN House to members of the Republican Union of Employers and to students of different areas, for instance Tourism and Engineering.
The participants were welcomed and introduced by Ms. Anahit Simonyan, UNIDO Head of Operations; Ms. Sara Sangoi, UNV Programme Officer; and Ms. Knarik Malkhasyan, President of SME’s Development Centre.
The seminar consisted of two parts: the first illustrating basic principles of sales and marketing, the second focusing on the business plan, its set-up and its importance for each and every enterprise to have successful achievements.
He highlighted the importance of being close to the customers and of tracing a product’s sales line. The audience was also provided with examples of possible challenges an enterprise may face while establishing itself on the market.
The participants from different professional areas appreciated the seminar. The audience highlighted the fact that it was the first time they attended a seminar dedicated only to marketing. They especially welcomed the vividness of the presentation and the practical examples.
Furthermore, it was underlined that the presentation was clearly structured and therefore easy to understand, even for people who do not work in this area. The seminar was considered very helpful, and participants suggested organizing a similar course for entrepreneurs in the regions.
Mr. Faberi is a great example of how international UNV volunteers can be of help to the development of the country.
Besides the direct knowledge-sharing they are offering, these highly qualified professionals are contributing to the development of Armenia and are giving people an idea of what volunteers can offer. As highly experienced and skilled experts, they are spreading the image of capable volunteers coming to Armenia full of enthusiasm to give a hand for development.
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