YES youth clubs cultivate entrepreneurial culture among rural youth in Armenia
Heifer Project International Armenian Branch proudly partnered with Development Principles to promote youth entrepreneurship across rural Armenia and honored young entrepreneurial champions at the 2013 Youth Business Forum, recently held in Tsaghkadzor.
Since 2004, with financial support of Heifer International Armenia, Development Principles has worked on empowering disadvantaged rural youth, primarily through establishing rural Youth Empowered for Self-reliance (YES) Clubs. Through this network of 29 established YES clubs, annually more than 2,500 youngsters receive extracurricular (vocational) education in seven different directions including: Animal Husbandry, Ecology, Health, Civic Education, Logical Thinking, Journalism and Business Education.
In 2011-2012, students of the Business Education direction had the opportunity to put into practice their knowledge and skills and develop sound business plans. These plans later went through a thorough selection process and the best ones received seed grants of 100 USD in support of their realization.
As a result of the initiative and the seed grants, a total of 189 youth micro businesses were established that in 2012 together generated a net profit of more than 11m AMD. This means that the businesses at the end of the process on average had a 97.4% return on investment and recorded an astonishing increase of net worth by 197%.
Following the forum’s tradition, most successful entrepreneurs were recognized and congratulated. Nominees for the best Business Idea, Best Entrepreneur, and Best Business Peer Trainer were announced and the winners received awards. These are the young individuals who pave the way to success for young and emerging business leaders of the future.
Heifer International's mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. Starting 1944 Heifer has provided assistance to around 15.5 million needy people in 125 countries, and helped them become self-reliant. Since 1999, Heifer has implemented 58 programs in Armenia, assisting around 10,000 needy families to better their socio-economic conditions. Currently, 16 programs are active in 100 communities of Armenia. Only in 2012, Heifer Armenia has assisted 1861 small holder farmers.