IFC’s Armenia Economic Growth and Economic Empowerment of Women project in partnership with the UK’s Good Governance Fund today presented a program called Empowering Females through Capacity Building to promote technology in non-technology sectors. The Enterprise Incubator Foundation will conduct the activities in Yerevan, Gyumri, and Vanadzor, with the support from the Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center (ISTC) Foundation and Gyumri and Vanadzor Technology Centers.
Only 60 percent of women participate in the labor force in Armenia, resulting in a loss of economic output equivalent to 14 percent of GDP. Under guidance from mentors, the participants of the program will acquire business skills to start and expand their businesses, and learn about risk-management tools to tackle difficult conditions and cope with potential crises. The participants will learn how to conduct business negotiations, attract financial resources, and introduce tech solutions to benefit their businesses.
Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, said: “We aim to help address the bottlenecks that hamper women from setting up or expanding their businesses, by empowering them with the necessary skills and helping seize available opportunities. The initiative is designed to encourage, motivate, and drive women to become an active part of the Armenian economy.”
The program will consist of two main components: Intensive Bootcamps and the Acceleration Program. The Intensive Bootcamps will address specific needs of female applicants covering a wide range of issues such as structuring a business idea, developing business and financial plans, and enhancing sales and marketing skills to attract customers and partners.
The bootcamps will select female entrepreneurs for the Acceleration Program, which will help the participants integrate innovation and technology into their businesses. It will also help women access larger business networks and funders. After completing the Acceleration Program, the participant teams will pitch business ideas and products to an evaluating committee. The five best teams will receive a grant in the amount of 1,000,000 Armenian drams (around $2,000 each) from the Enterprise Incubator Foundation to help develop their project further.
Interested women can apply for the program by filling out the online application at the following link by July 20, 2020: [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdlJh_CnVMOI5zzKg6l_OAhXH_UZCvg8KPEo3Wy6WI0iQWWNw/viewform].
Since Armenia became an IFC member and shareholder, IFC has supported projects in the country totaling around $700 million, mainly in energy, the financial sector, property, and manufacturing.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2019, we invested more than $19 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the British Embassy Yerevan
The British Embassy in Yerevan maintains and develops relations between the UK and Armenia, working with the Armenian government and other partners. Current UK assistance projects in Armenia are focused on promoting international human rights, good governance and democratic principles; supporting defence and security co-operation; contributing to stability and resilience; fostering sustainable economic growth; and promoting person-to-person contacts between our two countries. The UK Government’s reform assistance to Armenia is provided through the Good Governance Fund (GGF).
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