Seeing Hands blind massage
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
In 2 years of operation, Seeing Hands has employed over 6 visually impaired masseurs, and has trained another 15pp. Our project offers hope to the differently abled, which have largely been ignored by the societies and governments of post-soviet Eastern Europe. We have received numerous calls from new visually impaired applicants also looking for honourable work. We offer exclusive massage services to the guests of three luxury hotels in Yerevan, as well as to the employees of 2 major tech companies. We are currently negotiating contracts with one of Armenia's largest banks.
Sustainability and future plans
The seeing-hands model can be applied to further include the differently abled in countries where resources, and government funding are hard to come by. We intend to continue training visually impaired masseurs because there will always be a need for good, and affordable massages. We also intend to pair up with charitable organizations, and other funding forms to train people with other disabilities living in disadvantaged communities into members of a productive workforce by turning their handicaps into advantages. For instance, we have plans to train the hearing impaired in rural areas as graphic designers, allowing them to work remotely from their homes, creating sustainable jobs by cutting out the negative effects of commuting and removing the need for handouts and government care. Projects such as these will help inject much needed investment in these communities, and will empower the differently abled as local, independent workers, as well as consumers. Our future plan includes; To prepare 30 massage therapists. There are over 20 major tech companies in Armenia employing over 15 000 people, to segin the contract with all IT companies. We plan to enter to the Russian market which is much larger. The Black Sea Coast in Georgia is a known resting spot for many white collar workers. To franchise this concept around the world.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am a 31 year old psychologist-turned-entrepreneur from Yerevan Armenia. I have always had a curious and entrepreneurial side to my personality. In the past, I co-founded the most-read Armenian psychology and lifestyle website, youandworld.com, when, while working as a psychologist, I recognised the need for easy-to-read, accurate answers to psychological questions amongst Armenians. My love for literature has also lead me to found Armenias first ever digital audiobooks company askaudiobooks.com. While recording the armenian-language audiobooks, I came agross an NGO working with the visually impaired giving them a copy of each book I recorded. It was while using these facilities that I was exposed to the real-life problems, ands stigma which Armenias visually impaired constantly deal with, and helped inspire me to found Seeing Hands, as a way to provide them with sustainable, honourable work. My entrepreneurial career has been driven by a passion for learning, a need to help those in community, and love of adventure. I have been greatly shaped by these experiences, which have helped me become a better, and more productive member of society.