By Lilit Petrosyan
YEREVAN — Luys Foundation started operating in 2009 when there were only a few organizations working towards knowledge and educational excellence in Armenia. It was also a period when the country was transitioning from an industrial economy into a knowledge-based economy, and Luys Foundation was among the first to start building the talent and the workforce that Armenia was going to need very soon.
“If nowadays the fuel of the economy is knowledge and not petrol, it does not matter how big or how small the country is. It is more important what kind of creative force it has and how apt it is to embrace the knowledge economy,” says Jacqueline Karaaslanian, the executive director of Luys Foundation.
“When Luys was created, one of the goals of the founders was to make our youth dream big peacefully, pushing them to believe that the world is theirs, and that they can dream as high as they want, with no hindrance,” said Karaaslanian. And the message is still there; throughout the eight years of its operation, the vision of Luys remains making Armenia competitive with developed countries in the field of knowledge economy.
When Luys started operating, Armenia was just coming out of a series of crises, and the youth in Armenia was in a reactive mode to external, overwhelming events. They didn’t have the luxury to be young, to be ambitious and to think about the future. Luys Foundation motivated the youth to aim high. Today there are 32 companies that Luys scholars have created, many of them through the Luys Start Armenia Fund.
Furthermore, a number of tax reforms by the government and simplification of regulations for new business owners has made Armenia a fertile environment for investments.