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Ten start-uppers presented business ideas related to tourism in Areni community of Armenia’s Vayots Dzor province. 

By the end of the free business course organized within the framework of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center (SME DNC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency, the participants prepared and presented to the commission business programs related to winemaking, food services and hotel business.

“This has already been the tenth course this year. Since the beginning of the year, 15 out of the 150 start-uppers, who took part in all the courses, were funded and established a new enterprise. I hope the most of the authors of the ideas in this group will also receive funding,” said Executive Director of SME DNC, Levon Mnatsakanyan.

The course was held on the basis of the traditional Japanese One-Village One-Product (OVOP) ideology. 

OVOP is a local economic development method, which is fully relies on local culture, traditions and peculiarities. I am confident that the course participants have entirely grasped the ideology,” said advisor of the Armenian-Japanese program, Ryuiji Senon.

One of the course participants, Anna Ghazaryan, aims to open another hotel in Areni. “I already have an experience in dried fruit production. I sell the dried fruit produced by me to different hotels. I thought why not open my own one, especially since the building is already available,” Ms Anna says. She is very satisfied with the results of the course and hopes to get an additional income through establishing a hotel.

The joint Armenian-Japanese program “Development of Local Production and Promotion of Local Brands in Armenia” was launched in March 2013. The first stage was implemented till March 2015, while the second stage started in August 2016. The final aim of the program is to develop marketing methods and support to the local SME based on the OVOP doctrine. 

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