YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian Office of Save The Children organization is conducting a program of assistance to women’s businesses in Yerevan and Sisian. Microcredit project director Gagik Vardanian said that the ultimate goal of the program is to form a local institution to be able to continue funding programs of assistance to women’s small businesses without aid of donor organizations.
Within the framework of the program–loans are issued to groups of 9-15 women. Initial loans are equivalent to $100 and are issued for 4 months at a monthly interest rate of 3.5 percent. No pledge is required. After repaying the initial loan–recipients are allowed to participate in the second stage of the credit program (loans up to 5,000 dollars). 1,100 loans worth a total of $120,000 have been issued so far–of which 450 in Yerevan–and the rest in Sisian.
The program costs $300,000 and is meant for a year. But it can be prolonged if it proves to be successful.