About HDIF

HDIF works to initiate, facilitate, and nurture sustainable economic opportunities in rural villages, towns, and cities throughout Armenia as well as vulnerable groups.  HDIF creates jobs that pay above minimum wage in Armenian communities and commits to regional economic development.

According to a report published by the Asian Development Bank in 2017, 25.7% of Armenia’s population lives below the national poverty line, while 1/3 of the population is considered poor.

Our primary goal is to empower women by giving them the education and necessary skills to be successful as independent business operators.  This goal is achieved by organizing training on different business-related topics to encourage entrepreneurship.

HDIF is a registered non-governmental organization in the Republic of Armenia. 





Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF) was founded in 2013. HDIF is a nongovernmental organization born out of the Homeland Handicrafts project, which was founded by Norwegian and Finnish Honorary Consul in Armenia, Sir Timothy Straight. HDIF Trading LLC was founded in 2018. It is a registered business entity in Armenia. HDIF Trading LLC runs the daily operations of hDIF’s fair trade shop as well as product manufacturing and supply management.


HDIF Board of Directors

The all-volunteer Board of Directors in Armenia is responsible for steering the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting ethical and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the organization has adequate resources to advance its mission.


Timothy Straight
Founder of HDIF
Honorary Consul of Norway
and Finland in Armenia

Beth Broussalian
Founder and
Executive Director of HDIF-USA


Paula Der-Matoian
Social Media
& Internet Development

Armen Hakobyan
Director of
Jinishian Memorial Foundation


Our Team in Armenia

Timothy Straight
Founder & President
Homeland Development Initiative Foundation


Lucy Vartevanian
Executive Director
Trading HDIF LLC


Lilit Darbinyan
Office Manager
HDIF Trading LLC


What is Social Enterprise?

Social enterprise has had significant impact around the world. It has proven successful in job creation, skills development, peace building, women empowerment, economic growth, and cultural enhancement. Handicrafts are an important productive sector and export commodity in developing countries.  In Armenia, approximately 40% of the population lives at some level of poverty. The money received by our producer partners from the sale of their goods supplements their monthly household income.  HDIF's seeks to promote financial stability, create stronger families, and stimulate sustainable rural communities, especially along Armenia's border regions.


Our Partners


Producer Partners

HDIF's producer partners represent the skills and talent that make our products exceptional.  Our artisans use techniques that have been handed down for generations to make beautiful and flawless handicrafts.


Crocheted Handicrafts
Produced in Berd,
Kapan, Vazashen, Gyumri & Talin

Produced in Chambarak

Beeswax Candles
Produced in Spitak


Knitted Handicrafts
Produced in Goghovit
and Berd

Produced in

Decorative Painting


Sewn Handicrafts
Produced in Spitak,
Vardenis, Berd, Dilijan & Koghb

Embroidered Handicrafts
Produced in Yerevan
by Syrian Armenians

Custom Products


What's Craft Tourism?

“Craft Tourism” is a form of community-based tourism that is receiving increased attention from governmental and non-governmental organizations, especially those that have been involved in community and economic development in Armenia. HDIF can offer visitors trips to our producer partners, master classes on location, and off-the-beaten-path experiences.

With its partner organizations that specialize in eco-tourism, outdoor adventures, leisure, gastronomy, and culture, HDIF is excited to lead the initiative for craft tourism in Armenia.  Some of the benefits include empowering local people, improving resource conservation, diversifying tourism products, faster economic growth in the regions by promoting improved food and lodging, and improved welfare and equity. HDIF believes that the local culture in its myriad forms and expressions is an important element of a destination’s uniqueness and appeal.

(Photo by Jackie Flanagan Pangelinan, Smithsonian)



The mission of HDIF-USA is to support the initiation, facilitation, and nurturing of sustainable economic development initiatives in Armenia. These include but are not limited to purchasing and importing HDIF products made in villages, towns, and cities in Armenia and selling them in the United States, Canada, and e-commerce platforms. 

HDIF-USA considers handicraft enterprise a viable way to relieve poverty and economics distress. We are particularly committed to advancing opportunities that stimulate income for women who are traditionally unable to participate in international commerce. There is a place in the global economy for Armenia’s skilled artisans and an important role they can play in building a strong, democratic nation. HDIF-USA believes that creative industries are increasingly becoming important tools for sustainable development.

HDIF-USA is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of California. For more information, please email hdifusa1@gmail.com.


The notion of education through handicrafts rises from the contemplation of truth and love permeating life’s activities.
— Mahatma Gandhi

HDIF-USA Board of Directors

The role of the all-volunteer Board of Directors in the U.S. is to 1) carry out the mission of the organization; 2) provide oversight for specific operations and support the staff; 3) ensure financial accountability and stewardship; and 4) advocate for and serve as ambassadors in the community and among peers.


Lisa Iskikian

Nani Shirikjian
Vice President

Kristine Jegalian

Lorna Vartanian

Jirair Ratevosian

Paul Vartan Sookiasian

Beth Rustigian Broussalian
Founder & Executive Director