Networking the Syrian-Armenian Businesses

Since the war in Syria began, a large number of Syrian-Armenian refugees have opened businesses here in Armenia with the hope of not only generating sustainable income, but also integrating into their new community and regaining some much needed stability in their lives. These entrepreneurs are all extremely resilient and resourceful, but if they possessed the market visibility equal to those of their local counterparts, they would be able to not only survive, but thrive in Armenia.

Text : Ani Smbati  /  Photo : Repat Armenia Foundation


Repat Armenia Foundation in collaboration with the Ayo! Crowdfunding Platform decided to create an Internet-based platform, which allows users to quickly find information about the wide array of restaurants, shops and cafes owned by Syrian-Armenians in Yerevan. It also enables Syrian business owners to broaden their clientele and to develop a better and sustainable client base. The platform is called Siramark, which is a play on "Syrian-Market," and the word for peacock in Armenian, an animal believed to be a sign of beauty and integrity.
This new Syrian-Armenian business directory was launched with the support from Armenians around the world, offering a comprehensive overview of each business, placing them on Yerevan’s map and presenting a clear picture of the latest in food, clothing, services, etc. provided by the savvy entrepreneurs. Besides basic contact and location information, the profile for each business includes a personal story about the founder and CEO, boosted with photos and/or videos about each in order to really make it a multimedia directory. According to Siramark Project Coordinator, Dzovag Soghomonian, there are already more than 1000 Syrian-Armenians engaged in this project and the number continues to rise. “The most in demand business are food related businesses, then it comes to services. The visitors of the website are mostly from Armenia, then the US, Canada, Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Iraq and Russia,” she says.
Later an application will be launched based on the project to provide better access. Siramark will grow, expand and include all repatriate businesses. Dzovag Soghomonian says, the next goal is to reach more people and engage them in the website, as well as present to Armenia and the Diaspora the interesting businesses that repatriates have established in Armenia.