IDEA Program Armenia

Accelerating women’s empowerment for economic resilience post-COVID-19

IDEA Program Armenia provides incubation training and mentorship to 32 women entrepreneurs developing resilient businesses.

Funded by

Providing growth opportunities to women founders

The COVID-19 crisis has made women more vulnerable economically, while Armenia has a need to accelerate recovery efforts to build back better. 

Today women are 54% of the working-age population of Armenia, yet only 40% of these women are employed or looking for work, and those who do work earn 36% less than men. Responsibilities of family care fall unequally on women and in turn, discourage educated Armenian women from seeking employment options outside the home. 

In terms of gross national product (GDP), 14% of potential GDP is currently lost in Armenia, according to the World Bank, due to limited opportunities for women in the workforce. There is shrinkage in access and quality of tertiary education, and a lack of women-owned businesses and opportunities for women to use their acquired skills for economic and personal growth. 

IDEA Program Armenia is a four-month intensive online incubation program designed specifically for Armenian women entrepreneurs with a business concept who are looking for mentorship and coaching to successfully develop and grow their business, generating self-employment and increasing their financial stability. 

How does the model work?

UNIDO and Bridge for BIllions design each entrepreneurship program taking into account the most critical challenges for each country.

Bridge for Billions co-manages the entrepreneurship program in Armenia with a UNIDO expert in Armenia who acts as incubation manager and facilitator.

Bridge for Billions found 32 women entrepreneurs developing new businesses and onboarded them during our Kickoff Day.

As part of the program, all founders access structured guidance in 8 business tools, constant support from the incubation management team, personalized weekly mentorship, and monthly sessions to connect with fellow founders.

Entrepreneurs work in teams to develop their businesses while working weekly with volunteer mentors from the local diaspora through the IDEA platform.

Once the program is complete, entrepreneurs have bankable and validated business plans and all the confidence that they’re pursuing a viable business.

Impact goals in Armenia


enterprises were accepted into the program


enterprises will still be active 1 year after the program has ended


jobs will have been created two years after the program has ended


of enterprises belong to female founders


mentors were accepted into the program

Entrepreneurship support everywhere

Entrepreneurship opportunities for those who need it the most

Age of the

In what stage were the entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship from all over Armenia

Sectors of the entrepreneurs ​

Some of the participants from IDEA Program Armenia


Its mission is to empower Small and Medium Businesses with affordable digital tools and software to grow their businesses.

They are currently reaching out already to potential customers. 

Lusine Bichkhchyan Founder


A natural care skin product made in Armenia 

She has created 5 effective products which have successfully passed all safety tests and the brand is registered. 

Arpine Poghosyan

Aveta Founder

Autumn Violet

With the mission to create jobs and opportunities for self-employed women in rural areas. 

They have carried out sales in Armenia and abroad online, established trade relations with dozens of outlets in the communities and a circle of regular customers. 

Zarine Dasbinyan

Autumn Violet Founder

Language Republic

An English learning center in Armenia.

They’ve found product-market fit and understand which model works for their students.

Tatevik Harutnyan

Namakara Founder



Chief Operating Officer at Flighthunter

Motivation: “I consider mentorship as a key component both for personal as well as community development. Through my career and personal development, I had supervisors who helped me through. Now, I feel it is the right time to give back.”


Chief Operating Officer at MAROC Creative Agency 

Motivation: “Help local independent entrepreneurs to succeed.”


Chief Executive Officer at HGK Distribution

Motivation: “Networking, experience sharing, personal input into the future development of women.”


Lecturer and researcher American University of Armenia

Motivation: “I have a great desire to use the opportunity to share knowledge, experience, and gain new ones in a creative environment.”

We are looking for partners!

IDEA Program Armenia is on the lookout for public and private institutional partners and donors to make the program sustainable and amplify its impact over the next few years. Send us an email and make a difference in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of your country or region.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) partnered with Bridge for Billions to create IDEA, an online program to connect young entrepreneurs with mentors from all over the world to accelerate the growth of new entrepreneurship communities and foster an entrepreneurial culture.

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