As our action with AGBU Europe to harness diaspora expertise to support women entrepreneurs in Armenia enters its final phase, we look into how the products produced for AGBU will help it continue its work far beyond our collaboration.
The EUDiF portfolio is now at 15 actions. For each we co-design our activities with the beneficiary, ensuring that they respond to priority needs. Often an action will include production of tools for the beneficiary to put to use in the short, medium and long-term. But what does this look like in practice? The partnership with AGBU Europe gives us the perfect example to explore…
The action with AGBU Europe builds on the organisation’s Women Entrepreneurs Programme to empower women entrepreneurs by bringing in support from the diaspora. It has included a training of trainers on coaching, a peer exchange on diaspora mentoring and a subsequent series of mentoring workshops and – one of the major products of this action – a guidebook on exporting to the EU. The guidebook complements the 22 mentorship workshops by providing a step-by-step reference guide on how to comply with EU rules for the export of products to European markets. The guidebook was created by an Armenian diaspora legal expert who also delivered some of the workshops.
What is the guidebook about?
The guidebook serves as a practical tool, providing guidance on international transfers of goods from Armenia to the EU, such as various food products, recycled paper, decorations, jewellery and bags. It also contains information on the current arrangements between Armenia and the EU, together with possible funding support options. With the help of this guidebook, a women entrepreneur in Armenia will know the different steps of the export process as well as the conditions to consider when trading, such as legal, labelling and packaging requirements for specific goods.
How is it structured?
The guidebook contains six chapters, an introduction to the EU; EU networks, schemes and funds; legal entities; exporting to the EU; e-commerce and trade facilitation and export procedures. It also breaks down the basics on how to trade on existing online platforms and e-commerce in general, a new topic for the WE Programme.
The guidebook is tailored to the Armenian context and products of interest to the women entrepreneurs in AGBU’s programme. Yet, whilst the main target audience will certainly use the guidebook in Armenian, having an English version makes it more accessible to potential partners of the entrepreneurs who may not speak Armenian.
About the author
The guidebook’s author is Tania Eojourian, a legal expert based in Cyprus who has been an active member of the Armenian diaspora through the AGBU Young Professionals network since 2018. Tania’s transnational expertise and knowledge made her an ideal candidate for the task, but her dedication to Armenia elevates the impact of her involvement. As part of the action, Tania also took part in another AGBU initiative, its Business Mentors Programme, during which she introduced the Armenia-EU Trading System.
For a trainer to be able to establish a rapport with participants over entrepreneurship as well as through shared language and cultural heritage is just one of the added-values of working with diaspora professionals.
As well as lead author Tania, other diaspora business mentors involved in the WE Programme contributed to the guidebook, for which we thank them.
The production process
Creating the guidebook was a group effort between AGBU Europe, Tania and the other business mentors and EUDiF. As with all knowledge products created within EUDiF actions, objectives are set jointly to ensure the end product fits the bill. Crucially, we discuss how, when, why and by whom the product will be used so that the preparation, review and final delivery meet needs and expectations. Such a collaboration takes commitment, coordination and patience, but also creates strong connections between all involved as well as generating a product we can be proud of and that will support many Armenian women entrepreneurs in the coming years.
Each EUDiF action generates products or tools for our partners to use long beyond the end of our formal partnership which is why the production process and handover for each product is as important as the action co-designing that begins every action.
Curious to know more about EUDiF’s action in Armenia? You can find the info-sheet for the action with AGBU and learn more about other CDL actions here.