About the project

The project “Collaborate for Impact – development of social entrepreneurship and social investments towards economic and social cohesion in the Eastern Partnership and Russia” is led by the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), with the support of the European Union, and in collaboration with partner organisations in the region’s countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia.

This project is funded by the European Union.

The Member States of the European Union have decided to link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders

Collaborate for Impact is a unique five-year long project (2020-2025), which aims to develop a more favourable social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the region.

This will be done through raising awareness, promotion of social innovation and exchanges with various policy and decision-making stakeholders that will ultimately lead to increasing the number of social investors, social entrepreneurs, and collaboration across the region. As a result, civil society organisations and social enterprises will benefit from social investment to become sustainable and have a positive societal impact.

To achieve this, EVPA will engage with local social investors, social entrepreneurs, social purpose organisations, impact funds, as well as partner organisations in Eastern Partnership countries and Russia, and share the knowledge and experience of its broad community. The project will also provide financial support to establish venture philanthropy funds in the region.

The project will include specific programme components focusing on Armenia. In partnership with the Armenia EU Delegation, we aim to increase the level of skills and business competences among social enterprises and civil society organisations and provide access to funding, including through an Emergency Covid-19 Relief Fund for social enterprises, incubation and acceleration programmes, as well as social innovation competition events to promote new social business models.
Overall, 300+ civil society organisations and social businesses are expected to be directly or indirectly involved in the project activities over the five years.

The goals of this project

Awareness raising and promotion of social innovation:
We will showcase examples of social innovation, social investment and mission driven business, to increase public recognition and understanding of the impact of social entrepreneurship. Through educational activities, including workshops on the key principles of venture philanthropy and social investment, we will ensure that social investors can build their capacity and measure the societal impact of their investment.

Policy dialogue and engagement:
We will showcase how the policy and regulatory environment can serve the development of the social entrepreneurship sector and economy overall, by presenting practices from other CEE countries and Western Europe. Through policy activities and engagement with different networks, we will encourage local stakeholders to invest in advocacy efforts to shape local and national policies promoting social investment and entrepreneurship. We will encourage cooperation and exchange on regional level with policy and decision makers to design and promote systemic solutions creating a conducive environment for social entrepreneurship in the region.

Engaging with local social investors, social entrepreneurs, civil society organisations, impact funds:
We will share examples of other successful programmes to build their capacity and improve social inclusion skills, entrepreneurial and management skills (marketing and finance, business planning and development, skills for growth and scaling), and impact reporting skills.

Establishing venture philanthropy funds:
We will develop new business models and provide tailor made technical support (non-financial support) and financial support offered through the establishment of venture philanthropy funds. This will strengthen existing social enterprises, civil society organisations, and purpose-driven businesses in the Eastern Partnership countries.