Tim Straight founded Homeland Development Initiative Foundation – HDIF with a mission to empower women across Armenia while using traditional methods like crochet and felt to create products that have buyers in Germany, Italy, the US and other countries. Over 230 producers are currently involved in the HDIF activities, having an incredible impact on the lives of the people involved.
For example, 54% of their revenue in 2021 came from refugee groups like the one Maral is leading, who, with her group of women, creates amazing felt/embroidered products for HDIF, especially Easter and Christmas ornaments that are in demand in Western Europe.
Another success story comes from the city of Vardenis where Lena started her small company thanks to HDIF making pillow cases and oven gloves that are very popular in the US. The team has grown to 7 people, the women have stable incomes and Lena is now a successful entrepreneur.
One of the HDIF producers, Genya from village of Martuni, makes beeswax candles with amazing fragrance. They tourists love to take this product home as souvenirs and, living in one of the poorest regions of Armenia, this is a valuable source of income for Genya and her family.
Thanks to funding from the European Union he Collaborate for Impact project, EVPA and Impact Hub Yerevan are creating an Impact Fund in Armenia, which will provide social enterprises like HDIF with flexible, viable options for financing, allowing them to scale up their impact. We look forward to building a community of investors that will contribute to the Fund and have an impact in Armenia through the growing community of social enterprises in the country.