Financial support to social business: The EU-Supported COVID-19 Relief Fund provided grants to 35 local companies

35 Armenian social enterprises received financial support in the amount of 186 million AMD from the EU-Supported COVID-19 Relief Fund. The EU-Supported COVID-19 Relief Fund was launched by Impact Hub Yerevan as part of the Collaborate for Impact project. The funds received by social businesses will be used to overcome the economic consequences of the coronavirus.

On September 11, the official grant award ceremony took place at Impact Hub Yerevan, during which the supported enterprises presented their products and services. The Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin also attended the event.

“The European Union has been investing in the social entrepreneurship sector in Armenia for several years and we felt the need for this kind of support soon after the pandemic began. Impact-driven businesses have a great potential and role to play in building back better the economy and for creating opportunities for growth and jobs. Overall, this project is expected to be a big boost to the sector and we look forward to seeing how it takes shape over the coming years.” said Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin.

One of the main goals of creating social enterprises is to ensure financial independence of social initiatives. However, this emerging sector in Armenia continues to depend on the support of international donors, which carries risks in terms of both economic and social impact. The Collaborate for Impact project also aim to solve this problem.

“We believe that social enterprises working only with grants cannot have a sustainable business and consequently cannot have a significant social impact. That is why there are plans to implement capacity-building processes of local social businesses in the next stages of the programme, giving them the opportunity to attract investments and ensure their financial independence and stability.” said Ani Baboomian, Executive Director of Impact Hub Yerevan.

Emphasising the importance of working with investors, the project will also create a social entrepreneurship development investment fund, to stimulate investment flows in this sector and become a link between social business and potential investors.