ImpactAlpha, July 18 – Armenia, with fewer than three million people, punches above its weight in tech entrepreneurship and VC. But impact capital for the country’s roughly 150 social enterprises is scarce.
VIA Fund, which has raised €560,000 ($630,000) for a planned €1.5 million fund, made its first four investments, totaling €85,000. The portfolio includes HDIF, a women-led artisan marketplace that supports women, refugees and people with disabilities.
ZarMan Toys makes non-toxic, environmentally-friendly educational games for young children and donates a portion of proceeds to early education for disadvantaged kids. TMM Soft offers workforce and skills training for autistic individuals. Aregak Bakery in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city, provides employment opportunities for youth and people with disabilities.
VIA Fund is managed by Impact Hub Yerevan in Armenia’s capital. It was launched through the European Venture Philanthropy Association’s “Collaborate for Impact” initiative, which is helping set up impact fund managers in Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The initiative also supported the launch of Actio in Georgia and Social Venture Fund in Ukraine.