EU 4Women: Economic Empowerment through Social Enterprise

On January 19, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU), Ambassador Piotr Świtalski and representatives of five civil society organizations signed five new grant agreements. One of them is EU4Women: Economic Empowerment through Social Enterprise project.

The two-year initiative is implemented by the Near East Foundation of the United Kingdom and the Women’s Development Resource Center. The initiative will support 12 civil society organizations in Aragatsotn, Gegharkunik, Lori and Syunik marzes to protect women’s rights or help women and children in danger.

The total budget of the project, 446,797 euros (EU contribution is 400,000 euros), will help those CSOs start or develop social enterprises to finance their organizations and their community’s welfare programs. Through intensive training, CSOs will be trained in business operations that will contribute to their work and provide income that can stabilize and expand the programs for vulnerable women.

At least 10 social enterprises will develop or improve based on prospective business models (e.g. tourism, export-oriented handicraft, cultural industries, “green” businesses) and over 600 vulnerable women (particularly survivors of gender-based violence and women at risk of gender-based violence) will benefit from the project by becoming involved with the social enterprises and earning income, or benefitting from expanded projects that meet their needs.

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