The new year started for the EU-SMEDA project with an activity aimed at strengthening the capacities of BMOs (Business Membership Organisations). The visiting BMO consultant Karen Konopka met with a dozen of active BMOs to provide guidance and to share her hands-on expertise that aimed to improve their efficiency in performance, in particular in becoming more independent and sustainable as entities.
Konopka shared her impressions, noting that all the BMOs she had met were rather active with great ideas but at different stages of development. “They are very committed to their purposes and do care for development of the sector they are active in; however, they should start collecting fees for their services in order to become more sustainable and stronger, which will in its turn provide them more opportunities for result-oriented activities," she concluded.
The BMOs under focus were: the European Business Association (EBA), Association of Social Enterprises of Armenia (ASEA), Tourism Armenia Association, Engineering Association of Armenia, Union of Incoming Tour Operators of Armenia, Association of Armenian Tour Operators and Tour Agents, Fashion and Design Chamber (FDC), and Independent Filmmakers Club of Armenia (IFCA).
The overall BMO support measure has been carried out by the EU-SMEDA project since early 2018, with the formation of a BMO Academy for 13 Armenian BMOs, as a four-stage capacity building initiative consisting of trainings, online coaching, a study tour to European BMOs and business association, and on-the-job training.
The EU4Business SMEDA project supports the improvement of the business and investment climate for SMEs in Armenia. It aims to strengthen the private sector, support SME coordination mechanisms, and foster links between research institutions and the private sector, as well as providing access to finance for SMEs.