PIN-Supported Wool Factory in Armenia Becomes a Commercial OperationSep 8, 2021
After three years as a PIN-supported pilot project, the Amasia Wool Factory in Amasia, Armenia, has been converted into a commercial entity under private ownership.
Established in 2018 by People in Need (PIN) as part of the “EU4Shirak. Wool for Jobs” project, the pilot factory was co-funded by the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the European Union. Implementing partners included the Municipality of Amasia, the Women’s Development Resource Centre Foundation, and the Shirak Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
When the pilot ended earlier this year, a local businessman, Karen Gomtsyan, collaborated with the Shirak Regional Development Foundation to continue investing in the start-up company. The new owner has assumed responsibility for the factory’s production, and is working to expand the product line, add jobs, and further develop the regional wool value chain.
During a recent visit to Armenia, PIN co-founder and CEO Simon Panek met with local leaders and key stakeholders to celebrate the handover. "It’s a dream of non-governmental organisational work,” Panek said. “This is how development programmes should work to ensure sustainability.”
Vache Terteryan, the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure, praised the EU and implementing partners for the successful pilot, and added that the factory has created good jobs for the community and helped to build a strong base for future economic development in the Shirak region.
In an update on factory developments, Gomtsyan said that large-scale construction works have already started to expand the company’s product range and production volumes. The factory will continue to create handmade products by Amasia women and will also be mechanised to create products in bulk for export.
The “EU4Shirak. Wool for Jobs” project was implemented by PIN between 2018 and 2020. With a total project budget of 520,000 euro – including 330,000 euro from the EU, 83,000 euro from the Armenian Government, and 76,000 euro from PIN – the Amasia Wool Factory has 16 employees. In addition to the pilot factory, six small and medium enterprises were established in the wool value chain in different communities of the Shirak region. SMEs use the wool of the Amasia Wool Factory to produce accessories, which in turn creates new jobs.
For more information about the “EU4Shirak. Wool for Jobs” project or PIN’s work supporting the wool value chain in Armenia, contact Shushanik Nersesyan, Media and Communication Manager, People in Need Representative Office in Armenia.