Production of natural dried fruits with the EU4Youth support: how a young man from Armenia achieved success

06-05-2020

A young entrepreneur Arevshat Garibyan started production of natural dried fruits in the outskirts of Yerevan. Arevshat is neatly packing products in a small workshop while telling about the success of his business.

He has not stopped working even during the coronavirus epidemic. Arevshat’s business has adjusted to the new staff safety requirements, as the food processing sector in Armenia remains open during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Arevshat is convinced that if a person does business with love, then the result will not be long in coming.

Thanks to the EU-supported project "EU4Youth: Employability and stability in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine" Arevshat was able to make his dream come true, and now he is thinking about expanding the enterprise.

Before participating in the project, he was engaged in trade, but then decided to develop his own business skills.

"The time has come when I felt that I should aim higher. I got interested in the production of dried fruits. The reason was that my friends opened a plant for the production of dried fruits, but could not succeed. I said - you are doing something wrong, you need to surrender to the work completely and do it with love in order to succeed. And I did it," says Arevshat.

Before starting the main work, he studied the technology of dried fruit production for an entire year. Then he developed his business skills by taking part in the project, which allowed to implement the idea.

Dried fruits produced by Arevshat are sold in wooden containers with an interesting design. Thanks to the creative design and a peculiar taste, the product has already gained popularity outside of Armenia. Arevshat says that first customers are attracted by packaging, then taste, because dried fruits are absolutely natural.

At first, various companies ordered Arevshat's products for corporate events. Now two large supermarket chains in Armenia have signed agreements with the entrepreneur.

Now he is thinking about export. However, in order to do this he needs to attract investment into his business and expand production. In particular, Greece and Belgium are interested in dried fruits produced by him.

Arevshat Garibyan explains that dried fruit production in Armenia has been growing rapidly in recent years. But the emphasis should be on quality. "Many enterprises focus on quantity, but I do it differently, the product must be of high quality," he says.

EU support helped Arevshat to take his business in the right direction.

"The most important support was not about finance, but in the training that taught me how to do business," he says. In addition to trainings, the funds provided under the EU project made it possible for Arevshat to purchase drying equipment for the manufacture of dried fruits, on which the entire production is based.

The EU4Youth: Employability and stability project is implemented in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine. The Charity Foundation "SOS Children's Villages Armenia" is a grant manager and Business Support Centre is the partner in Armenia.

Project Coordinator Anahit Avetisyan says that the main beneficiaries of the project are young people from vulnerable groups. "We registered young people aged 15 to 35 to participate in the project. We aim to help young people who are unemployed, those who grew up in SOS Children's Villages and special institutions, and people or were raised by single mothers. During the project, they also learn life skills," Anahit Avetisyan explained.

After three to four months of the training course young people with an entrepreneurial spirit take part in the seminars of the Business Support Centre, where they learn proper business management.

Using his own experience as an example, Arevshat, urges young businessmen not to give up, to persistently go forward to realise their dreams and business ideas. After all, when there is help from the outside, making dreams come true becomes easier.

Author: Roza Hovhannisyan

Article published in ArmenianRussian and English by Lragir.am

Dry fruits from Armenia