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The Most Frustrating Thing About Armenia….

…is the fact that people don’t want to be helped but will later complain!

Let me start from the beginning. I work for a development project, which means that my job entails help businesses in Armenia flourish and the country develop, in an effort to create the Utopia we dream about. It really is the perfect job, if you think about it. Utterly unrewarding, no one understands what I do, but the end results are more than enough to make me smile and feel proud of myself. It’s been a month since I started and every moment is a delight in itself, no matter how frustrating things become.

Right now, we are creating a catalogue for all the startups currently operating in Armenia, preferably established within the last 3 years. Out of a list of nearly 100 startups, our initial invitation brought in “2” responses. After calling ALL of them, that number increased to about 12. After a 2nd invitation with a longer deadline, it increased to 18. A follow up call brought it up to 25. Pokes and calls and advertising brought that number up to 38 within 3 weeks. In the meantime, I have sent email after after email to get the information necessary. A quarter are still missing information. One is left to wonder whether these businesses want to be advertised and find investors to expand their work through or no….

So now I’m staring at 39 startups and wondering how it’s possible that over half of the startups we know about couldn’t care less about being represented in the catalogue. It will help boost THEIR business, bring in new clientele create much needed networking, etc. And still they don’t care….

This country doesn’t lack jobs, it lacks the drive to become something, to strive for their best… In other words, this country is full of some really lazy individuals (not all of them , mind you!), from the shoe repairman who works possibly 8 hours in the whole week and has no set times to the manicurist who won’t come to work before noon to the beggar on the street who makes more money looking like a walking corpse with babe in arms than working to feed that child.

Disclaimer: This post in no way maligns the good work the startups do, nor compares honest entrepreneurs to beggars. It is a completely personal post, based on a repatriate’s views on life in Armenia. The project I work for is by far one of the best I have seen operating in Armenia. Furthermore, I absolutely love the country with all its good and bad, the pretty and the ugly, for better or for worse… Wouldn’t be able to settle here for life if I didn’t. This post is by no means meant to offend any party. It is a personal reflection only. 

PS: Don’t give your spare change to the beggars, even the handicaps. Most have been offered shelter, food and a bit of money to live off of. They’ve just made begging their careers.