When Tatevik Gevorgyan, 40, first learned about FAR’s Start Your Own Business Project, she immediately began discussing with her family the possibility of opening a hair salon.

And she did. Avrora, the first hair salon in Artsvaberd Village in Armenia’s Berd Region, opened with help from Start Your Own Business, a new component of our Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP). Launched last year, the project has already supported 38 up-and-coming businesses and new business ideas in other villages in Berd, including Artsvaberd, Choratan and Verin Karmiraghbyur. FAR’s support enabled Tatevik to be able to purchase furniture, and styling tools and materials for the salon.

“There was no hair salon in the village. People here used to travel to Berd City, about a 40-minute drive away, to do their hair. So, we thought this could work. And it did,” said Tatevik, who opened her salon in April. She even kicked off its opening with two days of free services to entice new customers. “We now serve about five people a day, but I’m certain that we’ll have more clients with time.”

Twenty-one-year-old Armine, who also comes from Arstvaberd, now works at Tatevik’s salon as its sole stylist. Trained at Berd State College, she then mastered her skills through a private apprenticeship before teaming up with Tatevik.

“I’m pleased with the job,” Armine Chobanyan said. “It’s new and I believe the salon will thrive because it’s the only business of its kind in this village.”

Businesses selected to receive support through Start Your Own Business are assisted through grants, which help to finance specifically approved materials and resources most needed by entrepreneurs. FAR staff then monitor each grant recipient after implementation.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP) is a multidimensional FAR project addressing child poverty in the Berd Region of Tavush Province, and is sponsored by the Edward and Helen Mardigian Foundation.