For over 15 years, Mkrtich Babayan’s bakery has been just one of a few dozen bakeries in Sisian city of Syunik marz. When it was time for Mkrtich to retire, his son Karen decided to follow his father’s business. The new generation was ready to introduce new approaches to grow upon the family business. When the opportunity appeared to become a beneficiary of “Boosting competitiveness of regional SMEs” project jointly realized by SME Development National Centre of Armenia (SME DNC) and “Strategic Development Agency” (SDA) NGO amongst other members, and co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of RA, Karen eagerly committed to receiving consultations provided by SDA team members and using his business acumen and skills to grow his bakery.
Within the framework of advisory and market access service package (MASP) support received from SDA, “Misha Bakery” brand name was developed, followed by logo design and outdoor advertising for the business. The owner also decided to make marketing investment to print new brand packaging, create video advertising and use social media to promote his brand. Delivery service was launched with the first in the area delivery vehicle with brand design, allowing “Misha Bakery” to stand out from competitors. This was followed by development of a diversified bread assortment now also offering French baguette and diet bread. The new approach to doing business led to 40% increase in turnover in the first quarter of 2018 as compared to the same period of 2017, as well as hiring of an additional employee.
“Boosting Competitiveness of regional SMEs” project is co-funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of RA. The overall objective of the Project is to boost competitiveness of regional SMEs and create sustainable employment opportunities in Lori, Syunik and Armavir regions/marzes of Armenia. The Project is implemented by the SME Development National Center of Armenia in partnership with “Strategic Development Agency” NGO, “Armavir Development Center” NGO, “Spitak-Farmer” NGO, “Syun” NGO.