On April 3, the USAID-funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project and the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) Armenia announced the first equity investment in Armenia made by the SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund. The investment contract was signed by Esben Emborg from SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund and Arthur Hovakimyan, Managing Partner of New Force LLC – a local distribution company in Armenia. During the next five years, the equity investment will be used to enhance the company’s activity in Armenia and to expand to Georgia.
NewForce will use the investment to create a regional distribution platform to export and distribute local and international products (food and non-food), thereby contributing to increased sales and income for Armenian companies. NewForce will also construct a freezer-ware facility to distribute chilled and frozen products, and expand its fleet-base to include vans and trucks with freezer space.
In addition, SEAF plans to have a major transformational impact on NewForce, included but not limited to the improvement of corporate governance, and the introduction of an environmental management system. As a result of these efforts, Armenian consumers will be able to expect a wider range of local and international products (food and non-food) at local shops and supermarkets, distributed in a timely and environmentally-safe manner to preserve the best attributes of the products.
EDMC Project Chief of Party Bruno Cornelio, Senior Banker from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Alexander Babayan, and Managing Principal Partner of SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund Esben Emborg delivered remarks during the announcement, followed by the signing of the investment contract. The event brought together major international financial institutions in Armenia, shareholders of the Caucasus Growth Fund, as well as members of the international community to talk about the development of the equity funding market in Armenia.
The signing ceremony symbolized the third investment agreement made by the SEAF Caucasus Growth Fund in the Caucasus region with two currently funded projects in Georgia. SEAF Armenia will continue to review other applications by Armenian small and medium enterprises with the intention of developing an extensive portfolio of high potential and export oriented SMEs.