We are a social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs in Armenia


Our Vision

Who We Are

HDIF works to initiate, facilitate, and nurture sustainable economic opportunities in rural and disenfranchised regions of Armenia.  HDIF creates jobs in Armenian communities and commits to regional economic development. Our primary goal is to empower women by giving them education and the necessary skills to be successful as independent business entities.  This goal is achieved by organizing training on different business-related topics to encourage entrepreneuriship in the rural areas.

HDIF is a registered non-governmental organization in the Republic of Armenia.  HDIF-USA is a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of California.



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.


The People Behind HDIF


Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF) was founded on March 25, 2013. It will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2018. HDIF is a nongovernmental organization born of the Homeland Handicrafts project, which was founded by Norwegian and Finnish Honorary Consul in Armenia, Timothy Straight.

As a grassroots organization, HDIF is a non-profit effort dedicated to the creation of jobs - mainly for women in the rural regions of Armenia - by utilizing their traditional handicraft techniques. HDIF is one of the few social enterprises in Armenia striving to achieve excellence in all spheres and increased efficiency in all its projects. Contributing to the growth of HDIF are women, children, and disabled Armenians in over 10 villages and towns across the country.

The inspiration for HDIF’s beautiful products come from a variety of different places. For example, there are hand-knitted teddy bears that replicate a unique pattern introduced by a German nun who once lived in Berd. There are sewn kitchen accessories depicting traditional Armenian themes. We have dolls designed with the ethnic Armenian costumes of various regions of Western Armenia.  Plus our tiny, crocheted animals, sewn iPad cases, knitted sweaters, beautiful embroidery, hand-hewn woodcrafts, and more!


HDIF Board of Directors

The 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
Executive Director of
HDIF Honorary Consul of Norway
and Finland in Armenia

Beth Broussalian
Founder and
Executive Director of HDIF-USA

Paula Der-Matoian
Director of Social Media
& Internet Development
Mother See of
Holy Etchmiadzin

Armen Hakobyan
Director of
Jinishian Memorial Foundation


Board of Directors

The role of the Board of Directors in the U.S. is to support the initiation, facilitation, and nurturing of sustainable economic development initiatives in Armenia.


Nani Shirikjian
Vice President

Saro Shirinian

Suzanne Daghlian

Lisa Iskikian



Our Team

Timothy Straight
Founder/Executive Director


Viken Darakjian               
Office Manager

Lilit Darbinyan


Rimma Kharatian         
Marketing Manager

Vahan Janoyan
Production/Logistics Manager



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, Gyumri & Talin

Produced in Sisian
& Chambarak

Knitted Handicrafts
Produced in Goghovit
and Berd

Produced in

Sewn Handicrafts
Produced in Spitak,
Vardenis, Berd & Koghb

Embroidered Handicrafts
Produced in Yerevan
by Syrian Armenians



HDIF enjoys a collaborative relationship with its organizational partners. We work toward shared goals to improve the standard of living and quality of life for the Armenian people. Together we deliver practical solutions to societal and community issues.



Armenian International Women's Association - San Francisco

Armenian General Benevolent Union

Armenia Tree Project

DEEM Communications


IdEA Foundation


Jinishian Memorial Foundation

Nairian Cosmetics


Repat Armenia

The Civilitas Foundation

The Green Bean

U.S. Agency for International Development


What's Craft Tourism?

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

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.