The “Youth Entrepreneurship Fund” (YEF) is a trust fund to support the new generation of Armenian and refugee entrepreneurs and innovators. It was launched in May 2021 within the framework of the “Bright Future for Youth” project funded by the WCC Armenia Round Table Foundation and implemented by Aleppo Compatriotic Charitable Organization (Aleppo-NGO).
The YEF intends to help youth in Armenia, including refugees and migrants from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, develop their existing enterprises or establish enterprises that not only ensure the socio-economic wellbeing but contribute to the society of Armenia.
Who is it for?
The program aims to give young Armenian men and women innovation tools and skills for tomorrow. The population of Armenia has large numbers of dynamic young people struggling to realize their full potential due to high levels of unemployment, labor rights violations, and a struggling economy that has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and Azerbaijan’s invasion of the Republic of Artsakh in 2020.
Thus, today, more than ever, it is necessary to realize the economic potential of the country’s young entrepreneurs and innovators to create high-quality jobs, promote inclusive economic growth and stop the cycle of out-migration from Armenia.
The Fund’s goal is to strengthen the employment and entrepreneurship ecosystem for young people in Armenia by providing small grant funding to foster the development of innovative start-ups created and led by young Armenian and refugee men and women.
All youth interested in applying to the program must submit a completed program application.
Applicants: Youth 18 to 35 years of age are eligible to apply (proof of age will be required).
Must have Armenian citizenship, Legal Residency Status, or Refugee Status in the Republic of Armenia.
Where more than one business partner is involved, the principal applicant to the program must be significantly involved in the management of the business. Not all business partners must be eligible youth, but the principal applicant must be 18-35 years of age and meet all eligibility criteria.
The applicant must be actively involved in all aspects of the business on a day-to-day basis.
Must provide the principal applicant with full-time self-employment (min. 30 hours a week);
Must be based in the Republic of Armenia;
Must be a business created for the purpose of making a profit;
Must demonstrate through the business plan that the venture has a strong chance of success;
Must be an expansion of an existing business or a very well researched and developed business idea.
Submit a completed application package, including Business Plan, Budget, Passport Copy, Charter of Limited Liability Company, Certificate of Company, Bank Account Details of the Company, and CV/Resume of Applicant to Aleppo-NGO via the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org using the following subject line: Youth Entrepreneurship Fund (Name of Applicant).
Funding Amount: Selected applicants will receive 1,000,000 AMD, which will be transferred to the bank account of the legal entity (e.g. private entrepreneur, family business, limited liability company, etc.) owned and managed by the applicant in two installments. In 2021, two young entrepreneurs will receive entrepreneurship funds, 1,000,000 AMD each.
Applications will be assessed for eligibility based on the business plan they submit. The selection committee will be consisted of representatives of Aleppo-NGO, WCC Armenia Round Table Foundation, and other experts.
Grant Program Coordinator will make all necessary investigations in reviewing the application to ensure the information provided is true and complete.
Applicants may be requested to provide additional documentation that is required to verify program eligibility requirements.
Please note: Successful applicants will have to maintain a meticulous record of their accounts, especially expenses incurred through the YEF program, for at least 3 years after receiving funding. Only short-listed candidates will be notified and invited to present their business plan to the selection committee.