BMO Academy aimed at strengthening Armenian business associations successfully accomplished
Thirteen Armenian BMOs (Business Membership Organisations) participated in a study tour to Austria and Czech Republic in the framework of the BMO Academy from March 12-18, 2018. The BMO Academy is a 4-stage capacity building initiative consisting of trainings, on-line coaching, study tour and on the job training, supported and organised by EU-SMEDA project aiming at strengthening the overall capacities and know-how of the selected Armenian BMOs to ensure that the latter will engage in improved and more efficient dialogue with governmental entities and ministries, will be able to better interact with their members, will achieve more effective membership management and enhance their PR, communication, surveying and networking skills.
The first stage of the academy had been successfully convened in January 2018 with inputs from international experts who during a 4-day intensive workshop had trained the Armenian BMOs on a number of essential topics for business associations such as membership development, advocacy and communication strategies, development of membership databases and surveys, development of individual action plans and projects, etc.
Within the study tour to Austria and Czech Republic the Armenian BMOs had a chance to observe best practices and successful cases from leading European business associations. In particular the following was achieved:
The participating BMOs got acquainted with various types of Business Associations of different structures and operating methods and observed the advantages and disadvantages within the different types of associations. Based on this, discussions began on the merits and disadvantages of implementing mandatory membership in certain organisations in the Armenian context. Furthermore, they realised the importance of need assessments and surveys among their stakeholders and how essential it is to ensure effective communication between the members and management of business associations to avoid misunderstanding and different expectations between the management and the members, based on practical example from the Austrian business association - VIDA flex.
Additionally, the participants obtained information on membership and membership directories within a number of business associations they had visited, in particular membership based on advocacy (Federation of Austrian Industries) versus membership based on services (VIDA flex) or a mixture of it. Aspects of visibility of members and associations were discussed in the light of directories. Different forms of directories and visibility for members were introduced.
The participants were informed on Public Private Dialogue as it is organised within BMOs in Austria and the Czech Republic, and what makes such dialogue effective. In addition, examples of Public Private Partnerships with business associations providing services usually considered as public services through business associations were outlined. In this context, the Austrian system of Social Partnership was introduced. The systems were shown from both sides, in the view of the government and associations.
Through the information from the Austrian and Czech BMOs it was possible to highlight the success factors essential for business associations and to identify the reasons why certain business associations are more successful than others. Based on this highly productive learning experience the Armenian BMOs are now well prepared and ready for improved and "member-oriented" performance with some tangible results to follow soon."
Demo Day to present the 3rd batch of graduates of Armenia Startup Academy
The Demo Day of the third batch of graduates of the EU-funded Armenia Startup Academy will take place on January 19, 6:00 – 8:30 PM at the American University of Armenia. The Academy is a game-changing entrepreneurship and startup education programme, which, by the support of the European Union, shapes Armenia’s innovative future.
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The second Empowering Regions through High-Tech 2018 Forum was successfully held in Gyumri, the 2nd largest city of Armenia from 7-8 December. It gathered around 200 young people and specialists from all the regions of RA engaged in high-tech, startup and innovation fields.
On December 5th, a press conference was held ahead of "Empowering Regions through High-tech" forum on Dec. 7-8, 2018 in Gyumri. The aim of the forum is to empower the youth of Armenia's regions by supporting regional startup ecosystem, encouraging innovation and IT development in regions through creation of cooperation & partnership with global companies and IT networks, universities and non-tech SMEs. It is expected that over 200 participants from all the regions of Armenia will attend the event.
The third Startup Boost Weekend (SBW, vol.3) supported by EU-SMEDA project, gathered more than 100 students from 6 Armenian universities on 1-2 December, 2018. During the 2 days of highly interactive and fun atmosphere students learned and practiced a number of essential entrepreneurial skills, generated startup ideas under the guidance of professional mentors and presneted them in teams to the judgement of jury. The best teams were awarded by prizes.