It’s been almost three years that entrepreneur Aram Tovmasyan from Lernagog village in Armenia’s Armavir region has been testing at home the production of apricot kernels in salt. Both the business idea and the product are new in the Armenian market, but they have already generated great interest.
The entrepreneur has developed a special technique, which allows him to produce a delicious and unique product. Salted apricot kernels have a very pleasant taste and make a healthy snack – an excellent appetizer for beer lovers and a product with export potential.
To develop his entrepreneurial skills, Aram Tovmasyan took part last summer in the ‘Successful Start’ start-up business support programme in Armavir city, organised in the framework of the project on ‘Boosting Competitiveness of regional SMEs’, co-funded by the European Union under its EU4Business initiative, and implemented by the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Centre of Armenia (SME DNC) and its partner organisations.
As a result of the project, Tovmasyan has significantly improved his business knowledge and skills in production planning. And thanks to the financial support he has received, he was able to purchase packaging equipment and raw materials to start up proper production.
To facilitate market access and promote his products in the market, Tovmasyan also benefited from specialised advisory services, provided by the ‘Strategic Development Agency’ NGO, including branding, packaging design, and sales management.
The entrepreneur is now present in the market under the new ‘Artin’ brand, with attractive packaging designed within the framework of the project.
This year, Aram Tovmasyan plans to increase his turnover up to 3 tonnes. As a result of the project, one new permanent job has already been created.
Boosting Competitiveness of Regional SMEs is a project funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative. The project works to boost the competitiveness of regional SMEs and to create employment opportunities in the Armenian regions of Lori, Syunik and Armavir, focusing on the sectors of food-processing and tourism. It promotes the development of entrepreneurship by creating favourable conditions for start-ups and strengthening the capacity of local SMEs, while also providing relevant skills to job seekers.