Aram was born in Armenia and, after finishing high school, he moved to Russia where he worked in a winery for 5 years. He then moved to France, where he enrolled in a vinicultural training to refine his wine culture knowledge. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that finding a job in the sector was difficult as it’s a very closed environment. However, Aram didn’t give up and decided to become an entrepreneur and set up his own business in Dijon, France.
After a few months trading wine on the local markets to test his product and abilities as micro-entrepreneur, Aram decided to open Cave Clemara, a wine shop in the centre of Plombières-lès-Dijon, where he lives with his family. Aram runs the business with the support of his wife, whose commercial experience and skills allowed them to develop new partnerships, strengthen the shop’s customer base and reach out to new people. They also offer regular wine tasting experiences, so that Aram can keep up to date with new products and continue to improve his wine knowledge.
Today the Cave Clemara is a profitable business where wine lovers come together for a drink in a pleasant environment; however, it’s not always been plain sailing. Aram found the perfect venue for his shop, but it needed extensive renovation works, so he had to work hard to negotiate free rent for the duration of the works and a half-price rent for the first year. At the beginning he was confronted with the reality of running a shop: dealing with bureaucracy, meeting safety standards, obtaining a licence to sell alcohol and advertise the shop.
Aram was able to open his wine shop thanks to the support of Adie, a microcredit institution, with which he got in touch in 2017 while he was unemployed. As Aram’s business idea was at an early stage, Adie paired him up with a mentor, Gerald, who helped him refine his project and develop a business plan. With a stronger project, he was able to receive financial support by Adie to open the shop.
Always looking at ways to improve his business, Aram is now focussed on developing his brand and communications plan to reach more clients: he’s working on a website and social media page for Cave Clemara, organising events and attending wine fairs. He’s also expanded his products selections to include spirits from around the world to expand his clientele.
Aram’s piece of advice to young entrepreneurs is simple:
"You have to be passionate but also very patient!”
Adie is a microcredit institution which provides access to credit to people and communities who are underprivileged or financially excluded. It is part of the Youth Business Europe programme, a regional initiative supported by the Citi Foundation to help young entrepreneurs to start or grow a business.