Microfranchising

1.Overview

The Republic of Armenia is making its steps toward a modern, market-based democracy since its independence about two decade ago. Our final goal, of course, is to build a prosperous and stable country that offers equal opportunity to all citizens, can be achieved only through a strong business community and investment of modern information technologies, governed by the rule of law, which promotes the general welfare of the people.

To build such a strong business community we need long-term structural reforms and, first of all, more active business women and business companies owned by women. Unfortunately now in Armenia and especially in the rural sectors of Armenia women generally don’t work in the business sphere. It depends, first of all, on the local culture formed during the period of Soviet Union and the lack of workplaces and knowledge.

The main aim of the project is to find 20 women in rural communities of Gegharkunik marz, to have training with them in business planning and organizing sphere and finally help them to establish small businesses in their communities using repeatable micro franchising model in IT sphere. The usage of micro franchising model will allow us to have shared insurance of quality.

The IT sphere is chosen as it has a very big role of local economy development process. And the same time the government has a project called “A computer to each family”. But unfortunately the 80 % of the families in rural sector have no knowledge of using a computer and other tools, utilities. This really prevents information distribution in rural villages. Knowledge of the IT sphere and internet could enable us to explore the problems and potentials of constitutional democracy worldwide, to learn lessons of that and apply this knowledge in constitutional, business, administrative and other reforms so essential for further development and strength of our country.

2. Projects Description

  1. To create a brand and repeatable micro franchising business model for internet club.
  2. To conduct 1 CEFE training for start-ups with a focus on IT.
  3. To conduct 1 training for IT specialists.
  4. To monitor and evaluate the results of the project.

The Results

  1. An Internet Club brand based on local demand is created by a brand specialist. The owner of the brand is BUSINESS PARETA LLC. GTZ supervises the implementation of the project.
  2. As a result of CEFE training in Gegharkunik marz
    • at least 20 women start-ups from 20 different rural communities of Gegharkunik marz are trained in start-up topics according to CEFE methodology and with a focus on IT
    • at least 80% assessed the training as useful and/or very useful
    • At least 16 start-ups are franchisees of the Internet club brand
    • at least 16 start-ups are getting loans from GCCI Start-up fund to launch internet clubs in different communities of the marz
    • At least 90% of franchisees are implementing their business plans
  3. As a result of IT training
    • at least 20 unemployed are trained in IT. Majority of participants are women.
    • at least 80% assess the training as useful and/or very useful
    • at least 16 IT specialists work for internet clubs mentioned above

The Steps of the project and the time sheet.

  1. Related to Brand and business module creation:
    • Make a research on local demand on internet club services to find out the main criteria for the brand.
    • Develop a brand in cooperation with GTZ Municipal and Economic Development Program advisors.
    • Present the final version before starting training sessions.
    • Register the brand.
  2. Related to CEFE training:
    • Develop criteria for communities participating in the projects (population, business environment, demand for IT services etc)
    • Identify the communities from which participants of the CEFE training will be selected.
    • Announce about the training via at least 2 media outlets.
    • Organize logistics (training room, coffee breaks, materials, transport etc.).
    • Select start-ups ready to create replicable business model (selection according to CEFE methodology).
    • Conduct an orientation seminar to form the group
    • Conduct transfer seminar with IT focus.
    • Organize presentation of results with participation of local financial service providers and project partners (including partner ministries).
    • Oorganize evaluation of the course by participants.
    • Process applications for financing from BUSINESS PARETA LLC Start-up fund.
    • Disburse loans with maximum amount of 500.000 AMD each.
    • Create and execute quality control system
    • Publish a booklet on the results of the first microfranchising initiative.
    • Coach start-ups during the next 18 months during brain-pool meetings (Colaborated with NEF, Armenia Fund USA).
    • Present reports after each brain-pool meeting with an information about status of each project.
  3. Related to IT training:
    • To develop a training program based on local demand.
    • To organize recruitment of participants in IT training.
    • To announce on the training in at least 2 media outlets.
    • To organize logistics (training room, coffee breaks, materials, transport etc.).
    • To conduct an IT training for selected participants.
    • To organize evaluation of the course by participants
    • To monitor the recruitment process of the trained IT specialists by start-ups.
    • To organize on-the-job coaching, if needed.

The final report on all activities (CEFE and IT trainings, financing) to be presented within a week after the completion of all activities.