UNDP Boosts Regional Youth Employment Through Entrepreneurship Support

June 18, 2024


Karen Vardanyan is a young entrepreneur and head of a small production of metal-plastic windows and doors in Yelpin community of Vayots Dzor region. “This is a family-run business, and my father and brother are actively engaged in it,” says Karen, “despite all our efforts, we faced challenges in running the production. Our machine tools were outdated, and we often wasted a lot of time meeting the customers’ needs. We had to transfer our semi-finished products to the nearby communities for welding to finalize the orders”.  

Siramarg Hayrapetyan lives in Vayk community of the same region. She also operates a production of metal-plastic windows and doors. “Because of delipidated machine tools, we have faced serious issues related to the productivity as well as the quality of the products, which impeded the development of our production,” explains Siramarg, “and often we couldn’t make high-quality spare parts for our final products.” 

In the spring 2024, the UNDP "Unleashing Employment and Income Generating Opportunities for Youth in the Regions of Armenia" project, in the frame of an initiative to support youth-led micro and small enterprises, provided 13 small businesses residing in Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions with grants mainly for the procurement of assets. Karen and Siramarg were among the selected project beneficiaries. 

Thanks to the UNDP transformative support,the young entrepreneurs have upgraded their production workshops with new and high-quality machine tools as well as hired employees to operate new machinery. Karen specifies, “The purchased machinery significantly increased our productivity and production volumes. Before we had to transfer plastic windows to other places for welding, now we do it here, which substantially decreases the transport cost and saves time for new orders”. 

Likewise, Siramarg mentions, “Now we are producing products in bigger volumes and a better quality than before. We literally dreamed of this new equipment. Besides, we have received essential knowledge on business plans, business forecasting, and marketing, which drastically enhanced my apprehension of entrepreneurship”.

The assets upgrade not only enhanced productivity, but also improved the quality of their products, enabling them to meet customer demands more efficiently and effectively. The reduction in transportation costs and time savings further optimized their operations, allowing them to focus on fulfilling new orders and expanding their business reach.

Moreover, the additional support provided by the UNDP's "Unleashing Employment and Income Generating Opportunities for Youth in the Regions of Armenia" project, such as training in business planning, forecasting, and marketing, equipped these young entrepreneurs with valuable knowledge and skills essential for sustainable business growth. Armed with a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship, Karen and Siramarg are better positioned to navigate challenges and seize opportunities in their respective industries.

As Armenia's rural landscapes undergo a remarkable transformation, these success stories stand as a testament to the catalytic power of the UNDP targeted interventions in driving inclusive economic growth and empowering the next generation of young entrepreneurs. 

The positive outcomes of the UNDP assistance extend beyond individual businesses to the broader community. Increased turnover and productivity contribute to the economic vitality of the region, while the diversification of production and services enhances its resilience. Furthermore, the creation of new jobs, particularly for young employees, not only addresses local employment needs but also fosters a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth, laying the foundation for long-term prosperity.