In the framework of the “Start-up Business Support Program”, under the scope of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship State Support Annual Programs, support is provided to start-up entrepreneurs to aid in the implementation of their business ideas.
The program involves components of training, professional consulting, provision of information, and financial support. Consequently, start-up entrepreneurs acquire skills in business planning, marketing, management, production, financial planning, and more. Over the course of seven months, start-up entrepreneurs - with the assistance of professionals - develop their individual business plans and undertake its implementation.
The program goals are: to establish new SMEs in RA marzes and to establish new workplaces.
The program objectives are:
- to raise the level of entrepreneurial knowledge,
- to develop business skills and abilities,
- to identify, implement and support fresh ideas,
- to provide comprehensive support to newly established enterprises,
- to ensure the availability of financial assistance.
The target groups are:
- individuals with realistic business ideas,
- start-up entrepreneurs with up to three years of state registration.
By participating in the program businessmen will:
- create their individual strategy and realistic business plan,
- implement his/her business under the continuing guidance of consultants,
- establish long-lasting cooperation with SME DNC of Armenia.
The program procedure
STEP 1. Selection of participants
Program participants are required to pass through the following two selection stages:
- application form/interview process
The principle selection criteria are:
- the existence of a clear and realistic business idea,
- intrinsic entrepreneurship ability and motivation,
- demonstrable initiative taken in the preliminary steps to establish their business,
- willingness to make a personal financial contribution.
STEP 2. Training/Consulting
Start-up entrepreneurs develop their business know-how over one month of training and individual consulting courses. The courses contain basic knowledge on marketing, production management, financial planning, and more. At this time, entrepreneurs are also informed of state registration procedures and other important RA tax related issues.
As a result of the course, start-up entrepreneurs are empowered to create an individual business plan, inspired by their newly acquired entrepreneurial thinking and business skills, and motivated to excel at the upcoming presentation of their newly formed proposals.
The training and consulting courses are based on interactive principles, with an optimal combination of practical and theoretical elements from the following interactive teaching method:
- guiding discussions/group work/simulations of real-life business situations/analysis of practical problems/role-playing games
STEP 3. Presentation of business plans
Subsequent to the training, the formal presentation of business plans is held before members of an evaluation commission. The commission consists of representatives from SME DNC of Armenia and partner organizations.
STEP 4. Financial support
Start-up entrepreneurs also have an opportunity to benefit from SME DNC’s financial assistance. Business plans which receive the highest estimation can apply for lending—implemented through SME DNC partner banks. The conditions for getting financial resources covered by the SME DNC of Armenia are as follows:
- amount – maximum 5 mln AMD
- annual interest rate – 10%
- period – maximum 5 years
- collateral – 100% guarantee provided by SME DNC of Armenia
- target group – start up entrepreneurs
STEP 5. Coaching
Throughout the implementation of his/her business plan, start-up entrepreneurs are not alone. Experts from SME DNC of Armenia accompany and assist start-up entrepreneurs over the next six months by refining their business plans, providing individual consultations and offering additional assistance based on individual needs.