June 6, 2014 - 16:35 AMT
EFSE success stories. Karen Asoyan: a reliable bank is like an old friend
With the business advancing, Asoyan doesn’t rule out taking another loan for opening a new shop to sell shoes for men.
Edgar & Karen LLC, which was registered back in 2007, now operates Planet of Clothes chain of shops selling affordable clothing in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, and in the nearby town of Abovyan. The head of the firm, Karen Asoyan, personally runs the business, importing goods from China, Turkey and Dubai.

With the latest loan of USD 50 000 from Araratbank, the partner lending institution of the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), Asoyan opened the shop in Abovyan, continuously expanding the range of goods to the serve the customers’ needs.

The shop is situated in a two-storey construction not far from the town center and offers clothes and shoes for women, men and children.

With the business advancing, Asoyan doesn’t rule out taking another loan to open a new shoe store.

Satisfied with the cooperation with Araratbank, he says: “A reliable bank is like an old friend. Even if you don’t like something, the trust is above all.”

Araratbank is a medium-sized bank which has gained a strong expertise in MSME lending due to its continued efforts in small and medium business development, introduction and application of contemporary banking technologies.

The EFSE’s loans enable the Bank to provide its clients with sustainable long term financing, which is still scarce for local MSEs, thereby addressing a major obstacle to the country’s economic growth. Thanks to the Bank’s extensive branch network, the credit facility will particularly benefit MSEs outside Yerevan, in areas where the supply of banking services is still limited.

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) is aimed at fostering economic development and prosperity in the region of Southeast Europe. It offers long-term funding instruments to local financial institutions for on-lending business loans to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) as well as housing loans to low-income private households. The investment activities of EFSE are supported by the EFSE Development Facility, which provides funding for technical assistance, consulting and training to partner lending institutions as well as awareness raising and market enabling activities.

The project is sponsored by the European Fund for Southeast Europe.