FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THIRD PARTIES: SCALING-UP SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

OVERVIEW


Bridge for CSOs is a three-year Civil Society Strengthening Programme funded by the European Union and implemented by Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation. It aims to strengthen and build the capacity of Armenian civil society organizations (CSO) to effectively contribute to decision making processes in Armenia. A unique component of the programme is engagement of Diaspora talent and expertize. Local CSOs will have the opportunity to benefit from capacity building trainings, receive professional support from Diaspora experts, participate in CSO Management Certificate Program at a local university, apply for small grants, engage prominent individuals as Champions and Good Will Ambassador.

This call is about financial support to third parties (grants) through the Programme. Bridge for CSOs will issue four types of grants, each with different objective, target audience, timeline and funding size. Following is the summary of each grant type.

Call 1: Innovation for Social Impact grants

Objective: to support innovative projects that will serve the public good, be responsive to the needs of people and communities, address the need of vulnerable population, reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion and tolerance, encourage volunteerism and community mobilization, ensure sustainable models and community participation through empowering youth, engaging women and girls.

Eligible Actors: CSOs registered in line with the Armenian legislation
Financial Allocation: AMD 9,000,000 to 18,000,000. Cash contribution in the amount of 5% is required.
Project Duration: Up to 12 (twelve) months
Projected Day for Call Announcement: November 2017
Estimated Start Date: March 2018

Call 2: Scale-up Entrepreneurship:

Objective: to strengthen financial viability of Armenian CSOs through scale up activities of existing social enterprises, enhancement of management skills, expansion of geographical reach, increase of social impact.
Eligible Actors: CSOs registered in line with the Armenian legislation
Financial Allocation: AMD 9,000,000 to 18,000,000. Cash contribution in the amount of 5% is required.
Project Duration: Up to 12 (twelve) months
Projected Day for Call Announcement: December 2017
Estimated Start Date: March 2018

Call 3: Innovation Seed:

Objective: to support activities that will serve the public good, be responsive to the needs of people and communities, address the need of vulnerable population, reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion, encourage volunteerism and mobilization, ensure sustainable model and community participation through empowering youth, engaging women and girls.
Eligible Actors: CSOs or informal groups (initiatives) without legal registration
Financial Allocation: AMD 3,000,000 to 9,000,000. Cash or in-kind contribution in the amount of 5% is required.
Project Duration: Up to 12 (twelve) months
Projected Day for Call Announcement: February 2018

Call 4: Start-up Entrepreneurship:
Objective: to strengthen financial viability of Armenian CSOs through supporting innovative business ideas and start-up projects to serve the public good, have social impact and address community challenges.
Eligible Actors: CSOs or informal groups (initiatives) without legal registration
Financial Allocation: AMD 3,000,000 to 9,000,000. Cash or in-kind contribution in the amount of 5% is required.
Project Duration: Up to 12 (twelve) months
Projected Day for Call Announcement: March 2018

CALL 2: SCALING-UP SOCIAL ENTREPRISES GRANTS


Scale-up Social Entrepreneurship Grant call (hereinafter referred to as Scale-up SEG) is an integral part of the Bridge for CSOs Programme implemented by Armenian General Benevolent Union in partnership with Eurasia Partnership Foundation and funded by the European Union. The global objective of the action is to strengthen and build the capacity of Armenian civil society to effectively contribute to decision making processes in Armenia. The specific objective is to improve organisational capacities of CSOs to better respond to citizen’s needs.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE?
To better serve their constituents, Armenian CSOs need to overcome various challenges in terms of their professional/technical expertise, internal governance and financial sustainability. A recent Needs Assessment conducted in the frames of Bridge for CSOs Programme has revealed willingness of CSOs for organisational theory of change and need to improve their capacities in working with public, information technologies, social entrepreneurship, etc. To meet these needs further contribute to the sustainable development of the CSO sector, Bridge for CSOs Programme will engage Diaspora professionals to provide thematic support, organize trainings, consultations, CSO visibility activities, provide grants to improve services to beneficiaries and financial diversification through establishment or expansion of social enterprises.

WHY SCALE-UP SEG?
To effectively address the above-mentioned challenges and further contribute to the sustainable development of the entire sector, Bridge for CSOs Programme will engage Diaspora professionals to provide thematic support, organize trainings, consultations, CSO visibility activities, provide grants to improve services and financial diversification through Social Entrepreneurship grants. Scale-up SEG is designed to strengthen financial sustainability and diversify financial resources of Armenian CSOs through establishment or expansion of social enterprises for alternative income generation and greater social impact. In addition, implementation of Scale-up SEG will allow organizations to gain hands on experience and knowledge of managing such enterprises. Special mentors assigned to each grantee will help to achieve this objective. Lastly, Scale-up SEG can help CSOs to utilise new opportunities of direct entrepreneurship provided by RA Law on Public Organisations for funding diversification and social impact.

Scale-up SEG supports organizations to achieve greater social impact and diversity their funding base irrespective of the sector of intervention. Therefore, project activities of the Scale-up SEG should be defined by the applicant CSOs based on identified needs of their target groups and should be in line with the mission of applicant organization.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
We are ready to work with any civil society organisation to support already established social enterprises scale up business capacity, innovation capabilities, extend geographical reach and expand social impact.

All projects must be implemented in Armenia. While the Scale-up SEG does not discriminate proposals on a geographical basis within Armenia, a balance among awarded beneficiaries is pursued to cover different regions.

WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?
The call is open to CSOs registered and operating in accordance with the Armenian legislation. We also look for original and creative partnerships – those, which bring people from different industries, backgrounds and communities together, and which show the power of collaboration and teamwork. We are also interested to hear from organisations who have never received a grant of this kind before or currently are not involved in managing EU grants. Those organisations that have difficulty accessing funding or have previously been rejected to receive funding due to organisational capacities but instead have good ideas are encouraged to apply.

WHAT DO WE OFFER?
Bridge for CSOs Programme will support 10-15 grant projects with funding ranging from AMD 9,000,000 to 18,000,000. Organisations with little or no grant management experience are encouraged to apply for minimal funding. Projects should be designed to run up to 12 (twelve) months.

Applicants are required to provide cash contribution in the amount of at least 5% of the total requested funding. Proposals not meeting the match funding requirement will not be considered.

In addition to financial support, we will also provide Organisational Capacity Building Assistance: From the first day of program implementation, each of the selected applicants will be have access to support and guidance from hand-picked diaspora mentors from selected fields. Special funds, in the form of Capacity Building (CB) Vouchers will be designated for each CSO to address the needs and capacity gaps required for smooth implementation of their approved projects. CB needs will be identified through organisational assessments, which will be conducted by mentors and documented in CB Action Plans.

HOW TO APPLY?
Applying for Start-up SEG is a three-stage process.

Step 1: As a first step, applicants will be invited to submit ideas (as per the form attached to this Call for Proposals), summarizing problem statement and overall project objectives and outcomes, reflecting on the social impact and innovation that the project offers.

Step 2: Pre-selected applicants will be invited to participate in a one-day orientation session to exchange ideas, discuss project gaps and challenges with the mentors from business sector and thus have the opportunity to polish and improve their ideas. At the end of the working day, participants will pitch their ideas to the Selection Committee.

Step 3: 20-30 successful candidates selected after Step 2 will be invited to develop business plans and submit full proposal. Guidance and explanations on submitting the full application will be provided during the orientation session for pre-selected applicants.

APPLY TO SCALE-UP SEG
Think you are a match? Then fill in our Idea Competition Template HERE.

Ideas must be submitted in English or Armenian. Each applicant is only permitted to submit one application. The deadline for submission of ideas is 14:00, 20 December 20, 2017.

Announcement in russian here.

GOOD LUCK!