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Harnessing diaspora expertise for women entrepreneurship in Armenia

To empower AGBU staff in Europe and Armenia offices with the knowledge, tools and capacities they need to implement efficient and sustainable diaspora mentorship programmes for local women entrepreneurs in Armenia.
18 months
Key documents

Programme of activities

The programme banks on both the potential of women entrepreneurship in Armenia and the commitment of the diaspora, particularly young professionals who are eager to contribute their entrepreneurship expertise. Considering Covid-19 pandemic related restrictions and the conflict in the country, a blended approach was applied, using various learning methods, including remote and on-site formats. The action has helped AGBU to mobilise diaspora experts as mentors and designed relevant trainings and tools to support knowledge transfer, with all activities designed to plug into AGBU's existing programmes.

Development of a Guidebook on EU-Armenia trade regulations
Jun - Jul 21: Background assessment

A diaspora expert conducted a background assessment (on-site and online) to identify the training needs of women selected as beneficiaries of the AGBU Women Entrepreneurs programme.

Jul - Oct 21: Drafting the guidebook on EU-Armenia trade regulations

Based on the background assessment, the expert drafted the guidebook in English. This serves as a training tool for AGBU and provides an overview of the relevant EU regulations and for entrepreneurs.

Nov 21: Workshop on guidebook usage

The diaspora expert conducted an online workshop to present the draft of the guidebook and show AGBU how to use it further.

Jan - Mar 22: Validation of the guidebook

EUDiF translated the guidebook into Armenian and assisted AGBU to incorporate it in the Armenian virtual college, meant to train and support entrepreneurs in Armenia.

Peer learning events for AGBU on mentorship and coaching
Oct 21: Peer exchange

EUDiF organised an online peer exchange with diaspora actors from Africa, Europe and Armenia to learn from regional and global practices on mentorship, with a special focus on monitoring and evaluation tools.

Feb 22: Webinar on attracting the right mentors

EUDiF facilitated a peer exchange and the participation of AGBU Europe staff at a webinar organised by Mowgli Mentoring UK. The webinar looked at profiling, motivation and match-making practices for mentors.

Feb 22: Training of trainers on coaching skills in entrepreneurship

The training was led online by a diaspora coach. It introduced AGBU's staff to modern coaching techniques for implementing diaspora-led mentorship programs.

Diaspora-led mentoring for Armenian women entrepreneurs
Jun - Jul 21: 1st round of mentorship sessions

Through support from EUDiF, for the first time, AGBU mobilised diaspora members to deliver mentorship group sessions. Five pilot sessions were held (on-site and online), covering three core industries: food, fashion and service (hotels and restaurants). Different skills areas were covered, ranging from digital marketing and branding, to accounting and personnel management,

Oct - Nov 21: 2nd round of mentorship sessions

In the second round, a new cohort of entrepreneurs joined nine sessions (on-site and online) covering the same industries as the first round, plus cosmetics. In addition to the skills targeted in the first round, in the second round, the entrepreneurs also trained on communication and negotiation skills, as well as how to access EU markets, based on the guidebook.

May - Jul 22: 3rd round of mentorship sessions

The third cohort enjoyed seven sessions on the same sectors and skills. The mentors had improved the workshops based on the first two rounds, and complemented them with additional one-to-one coaching.

Oct-Dec 22: 4th round of mentorship sessions

The final cohort followed three online sessions, focusing on fashion and cosmetics. New to this round were crisis communication, resilience in business and conflict management, in response to arising needs linked to instability in Armenia in summer-autumn 2022.

“Bringing innovative ideas, different perspectives and an "out of the box" thinking mindset, diaspora mentors contributed to the improvement of women entrepreneurs' businesses. I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to EUDiF for all the support, flexibility and knowledge transfer provided throughout the implementation of this action. We have numerous examples of the positive impact of diaspora mentorship sessions. ”
Maria-Simonyan photo
Maria Simonyan
AGBU Europe


AGBU Europe assessed their capacities at the start and end of the action, showing how the various activities have helped to accelerate their knowledge and practical skills in areas essential to achieving their long-term objectives.

EUDiF actions are designed to plug into a partner's existing vision and/or workplan, in order to help enhance, catalyse, or accelerate initiatives in a way the partner will be able to maintain beyond the end of the action. This is why the focus is on enhancing capacities, rather than providing a finished product on behalf of the partner. No partner ever begins from zero capacities, but the progress made during the course of an action can have a huge impact on its operations.

Growth acceleration (km/h)
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Thematic skills and knowledge
Commerce and trade to EU
Business planning and development
Entrepreneurial marketing
Organisational development
Monitoring and evaluation tools
Diaspora engagement
Diaspora mentorship
Training capacities
Project management
Baseline assessment (Month 1) Endline assessment ( Month 12 )
Diaspora professionals
Women entrepreneurs
Diaspora mentorship sessions


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