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CODE Social Entrepreneurship Hub (CODE-SE HUB) NGO



CODE Social Entrepreneurship Hub (CODE-SE HUB) NGO



CODE Social Entrepreneurship Hub (CODE-SE HUB) is an NGO registered in May 2021. CODE-SE HUB was originated from one of the first pilot projects on social entrepreneurship in Armenia “Community Development through Social Entrepreneurship”, which was a long-term project implemented from 2015-2018 with total funding of 360.000 EUR for 3 years. Among the achievements of the project have been support in the establishment of more than 10 social enterprises, development of E-learning platform for educating social entrepreneurship, as well as initial, but full-scale incubation process etc.

After that CODE-SE HUB has been a non-formal group based on some members of the project team, we took part in various international development projects for social entrepreneurship field as an expert platform, took part in the development and implementation of more than 3 projects which aiming at development of customized tools for social enterprise (including business model, planning, team management, financial management, sales and marketing for social enterprises) and implementation of training of trainers both on national and international levels. Team members of the organization have been fully involved in those processes, as well as in various activities in SE ecosystem in Armenia, such as organization of conferences, participation in the development of draft state concept paper for this field, team members combined have trained more than 4500 young people on social entrepreneurship and personal development, as well as several manuals, methodological guides and researches have been developed.


The team of CODE-SE HUB is composed of young people and youth workers, and we have collected much experience and are considered among the first pioneers in the field of social entrepreneurship in Armenia.

Our activities are aimed at solving the issue of unemployment, especially of young people and people living in the communities through entrepreneurial (and preferably social entrepreneurial) activities.

We are committed to support the self-development of young people, especially from deprived regional areas, in the process of identifying, relieving and developing their talents and potential for the benefit of their communities.

Our group members are primarily youth workers, and are representing various organizations in multidisciplinary field. Some of us are working in education sector (formal and non-formal education development), some of us are individual entrepreneurs running various trainings, providing coaching, mentoring and expert work on various aspects of social entrepreneurship / entrepreneurship development. And some of our members are from IT and creative industry sector, which is supporting to the digitalization of our processes (e.g. through online education).

The question is WHY DID WE ESTABLISH A NEW ORGANIZATION, considered that we have been involved in various well-structured and well-known organizations?
CODE-SE HUB, as an organization, is really aiming to be such an NGO, which is working differently, which is using the current technologies, new methodologies, new developments, is future-oriented, but acting from now and here beginning just from the grassroots.

Yes, there are many challenges in various fields, in our communities, in Armenia, worldwide. And we are dedicated to solvation of those problems through development programs and self-development and realization of the potential of young people. And yes, there are many ongoing projects, and many project opportunities, but then the question is arising why are we continually having the same problems, or new ones emerging in various fields.

We see huge opportunities from the other side, we do believe that we need such organizations that have totally new way of thinking, have totally another type of funding which are different from traditional grant schemes, and are incorporating investments, social entrepreneurship initiatives themselves and such ones, that would really work well and cover most of their expenses and even generate income for other project initiatives. We need new type of leadership and management, which are transforming and based on professionalism, inclusion and care. We need new type of communication in the teams and cooperation with stakeholders. We need champion organizations that are really strong, but are also continuously growing and developing further.

We do believe that CODE-SE HUB can become such organization and act as a good practice for other actors in the field. We are dedicated to open up boundaries, to get rid of competition in this field, and start large-scale and multipurpose projects run by strong cooperation between various organizations. We want to bring new type of energy, new and innovative practices, and we believe that we have all the prerequisites for that.

The problem we are trying to solve:

"Below we will present the problem that we are trying to solve. But also it is important to mention that our proposed project is not only trying to solve the issues but to use the huge opportunity that is available from the other side. We want to use the energy that has been down and transform it into positive force for starting initiatives which are beneficial in their core and are generating huge impact.


The field of social entrepreneurship is rapidly developing in Armenia and beyond. It is a great tool for personal development, social transformation, solving social challenges and issues, creating social value and making difference in other people’s lives.

There are many SE initiatives going on, and the sphere is affecting more and more the way of functioning of civil society organizations, who are becoming active actors in this field and educating & guiding young people in their initiatives. The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the recent conflict situation in Armenia have created lots of consequences and challenges for CSOs, but from the other side huge number of various new opportunities and investments have been emerging for CSOs and SEs. But there are some main aspects to be considered which are leaving those opportunities untapped, where CSOs and SEs are not being able to have access and use those project opportunities.

One of the main success factors in project development and its successful implementation are human resources, and namely project developers and managers who are fully involved in all the related processes. But the main hindering factor is that nevertheless there are large number of CSOs working in the field, as well as more than 100 social enterprises functioning in Armenia, but there is huge lack of project developers and managers in SE field in Armenia, who could get involved and support the SE initiatives."

There are various needs in SE ecosystem in Armenia, e.g. supporting social enterprises in their social impact planning and measurement; marketing and sales implementation strategies; raising awareness about the field and SEs; state recognition (and legal aspects); information platforms; adapted tools/methodologies; eLearning courses; development of SE education at schools, VETs and HEIs and many more. All those directions could possibly become separate projects and bring huge impact on SE ecosystem in Armenia. But still CSOs are lacking necessary competences and capacities to develop quality projects (or to compete with well-established structures) and to implement them successfully.

The solution we are proposing:

We want to create a solid base for solving numerous gaps in social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Armenia through strengthening the capacities of organizations working in the field to develop and implement SE related projects.

"The overall aim of the project is development and realization of an incubation system for building project development and management capacities in young people, and providing them new methodologies, tools and support needed for further project development and implementation activities with actors working in SE field in Armenia (CSOs, municipalities, social enterprises, educational institutions etc.). Also we are aiming at building a platform, which will be useful for social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Armenia, and will combine information about the expert field, opportunities, possible cooperation, social enterprises, learning materials and resources, news etc.

As this will be the first project in its kind in Armenia, and considering that the success of the project largely lies on the participants, hence a very dedicated process will be implemented in choosing the final teams of young people, who will take part in the core activities. In the initial stages large dissemination activities will be implemented across the target networks and possible beneficiary groups. It is also planned to have physical events to promote the project and head-hunt participants, who can be the best candidates. Hence initial introductory training courses and online seminars will be conducted for shortlisted 100 participants. This will give an opportunity to directly meet possible final participants, will have larger impact on more target groups and will be one of the outcomes of the project itself.

Why do we want to implement it in that way, because we believe that young people are at the core of such needed transformations and reforms not only in social entrepreneurship field, but also in others. And this project as an outcome will have its impact not only on SE field, but also in various other fields, as participants will be ready to join multi-purpose organizations, who are running projects in other sectors as well (e.g. community development, human rights, start-up ecosystem etc.)."

"We believe that through this proposed project we can profoundly change the status-quo and situation in SE field in Armenia. We want:

-to support development of projects in SE field beyond the end of this project

-to equip young people with necessary competences for actively engaging in SE related structures and activities, hence promoting their employability

-to support the sustainability of SE actors in Armenia through having access and using various project opportunities

-expand durable civil-society cooperation between actors of SE field"

What success looks like for us:

"There are huge amount of opportunities, which are not being used, as simply there are not enough human resources, and the projects that are ongoing or newly starting still are lacking the necessary human resources that could join and make the project successful.

As an impact of our project, we would like to see:

• 30 teams of young people active involved in cooperation with SE actors towards running

projects/initiatives in social entrepreneurship field • More than 40 stakeholders are informed about the project, its results and teams of young people

• At least 15 projects have been developed as a result of this proposed project during the 2-year period

• A toolkit and blended incubation program is developed, and is ready to be implemented not only in social entrepreneurship field, but also other development fields both in Armenia and abroad

• CODE-SE HUB is becoming an excellence center and growing its partnership and experience exchange"

Where we are are based:

Yerevan, Armenia

Funding we are applying for:

$14,000 - $15,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

"With the support of this funding, we will be able to:

1. develop necessary materials, resources and online course for incubation of project developers and managers in SE field; consolidate an innovative toolbox with the support of international experts as well

2. develop expert base for implementing capacity building activities and further consultancy/mentorship support

3. conduct researches, as well as round-tables and focus groups with state authorities, CSOs, social enterprises, young people etc. for identification of needs/gaps in SE ecosystem in Armenia, as well as possible project directions

4. implement introductory courses for 100 young people on basics of project development and management (F2F and online seminars)

5. implement a blended (face-to-face trainings and online learning) incubation program for final 30 teams of young people in project development and innovative project management in social entrepreneurship field

6. conduct dissemination and awareness raising activities

7. coordinate work with partners CSOs, state and local authorities, social enterprises, educational institutions etc.; develop and strengthen partnership links with the teams of young people

8. consolidate results, as well as various collected data (e.g. project opportunities with various donors, SE actors etc.), which will be made available in the planned online platform for social entrepreneurship field in Armenia"

How this funding will strengthen our group:

"When we saw this project opportunity and especially the following sentence: “This innovative fund puts key decisions in the hands of youth and provides young leaders and their organizations, networks, and movements with flexible funding and capacity development”, - we knew that we are in the exact place where we need to.

Yes, we are youth-led organization, and we want young people to be actively involved in the processes of the design and implementation of projects towards the development of social entrepreneurship ecosystem. We see that social entrepreneurship field is growing and being trendy, many people are joining the ecosystem, developing projects and trying to implement them, but the problem is that the human capital is not growing along with the development of SE field in Armenia, and the projects and processes are much more than the implementation teams and experts ready and able to deliver the successful realization of the projects. We see many organizations which are not functioning well.

And we want to build organization as a good practice. If approved this will be the first project with our officially registered organization. We want to implement these processes and continue our activities in any scenario, but this program can quicken the processes several times, and in very short time period we will be able to become well-structured organization and dedicated most of our time on the development of our organization."

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

Besides the funding scheme we the opportunities that are offered by Spark Fund are of a big use and support that our organization really would need, including support in the strategic planning processes, in cooperation with international community of Spark Fund. We have many questions, and whenever possible we would like to receive the professional support.

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

"The main directions of our costs would be.

-Some staff costs, which will not exceed 30-40 percent of the total funding. We believe that full-time working team members are needed who will coordinate the general processes

-Costs such as for local trainers, designers, publications, translations

-Travel and accommodation costs for the events and trainings

-Online platform/website development

-Printing materials, some supplies, consumables "

Our Annual Income:

The organization is newly established, officially launching in May 2021. Though it has not implemented projects so far, but in the recent few years it has been actively involved in cooperation with numerous projects in their design and implementation.

Our Organization Structure:

"As we have mentioned we want to adopt other type of practices for team formation and development. What we mean is that most of the times we see organizations, which are based on very few persons, or even one person (we call them “person-institute”), and all the decisions, all the processes are being coordinated and controlled by just one person or very small group.

In our team we are adopting the concept of “self-managed teams”, where we as a team are deciding what projects we are going to apply, towards what we do really have motivation and see clear needs in the fields, and based on mutual discussions we are choosing how to move forward. We have the concept that “everybody is a leader”, and each of us is free to come up with suggestions, initiatives, ideas, after which we are choosing the development strategies and next projects."

Of course we have team members who are much experienced than others in our team, but even so, they are acting as mentors and the decision making is not concentrated on just one person. We can say that we are trying to share the power between all the members of the organization, and make collective decisions.

CODE-SE HUB is totally youth-led organization. Our President Suren Mkhitaryan is 28 years old, but is considered one of the leading specialists in Armenia, and is well-recognized in various countries through large-scale cooperation with numerous organizations. All our members are young people. We want to keep the organization “young” and bring new type of practices. But from the other side we have very large network of advisors and partners, who are very experienced and have more than 20-30 year of experience. But they are not officially involved in the organization’s government structures and are only acting as mentors and consultants for our team.

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