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By Anna Arakelyan | Business Education Expert | Development Principles NGO
Translated from Armenian by Heifer Armenia Staff
YES! Youth Club trainers describe Nazar as a responsible, diligent and kind person. “The difference between Nazar and the rest of the members of the club is that he was all by himself to create and implement his project: no one intervened or helped him. He had prepared a place in the barn for his pig well in advance, and as soon as the days became warmer he moved the animal into a more comfortable summer 'house.' He even gave a name to the animal: Mashok,” said the Hushakert Youth Club trainer.
Nazar has always had thoughts of how to start making money, so as a member of the local YES! Youth Club in Hushakert, he decided it was time to start his own business. After presenting his business plan to Heifer Armenia, they approved it and gave Nazar 40,000 Armenian drams, or about $100. He started his project in April 2012 with the purchase of a piglet for 25,000 Armenian drams, or about $61. He used the rest of the money to buy feed, medicines and vet services.
The 13-year-old boy is very careful and attentive with his pig. Mashok was always fed on time, clean and tidy, and−no wonder−happy. During summer, to cut expenses a bit, Nazar supplemented the piglet's feed with grass.
“My project is prospering," Nazar said enthusiastically. "The piglet never, ever got ill. This all is the result of my care and attention and the fact that I, indeed, love taking care of animals. I made summer and winter ‘houses’ for my piglet, and they were always clean and tidy. I encountered a small problem with food acquisition, where the money I possessed was not enough, so I borrowed some from my dad, which I am going to return." Overall, Nazar's business has been successful. The special care he gave to his piglet caused Mashok to gain about 175 pounds. When he sold the meat, Nazar earned 240,000 Armenian drams, or about $580. Most of his customers were fellow villagers who had been watching how careful Nazar was with the animal. Nazar is going to use 40,000 Armenian drams, or about $100, of his profit to fulfill his Passing on the Gift® (POG) obligation and will pay his father back 80,000 drams, or about $196, leaving him a net profit of 120,000 drams, or about $294. This means that next year he can restart his business with no debt.