“In general, impact investment and social entrepreneurship is relatively new development for development organisations, nevertheless, UNDP starts leading the overall impact investment trends in the UN system working on the several related platforms addressing various stakeholders” said Artak Melkonyan, Senior Advisor at UNDP Armenia, who moderated the session related to cross sectorial collaboration between governments, entrepreneurs, investors and international organizations.

Aggregating data, matchmaking platforms, introducing enabling regulatory environment and de-risking mechanisms are amongst the approaches considered. Mr. Melkonyan UNDP’s new initiative in Armenia aimed to support social enterprise at all are stages of its development. The concept, that has been designed based on inputs from Venture Capitals and Social Entrepreneurship scholars in INSEAD and Stanford University, combines incubator/accelerator, impact venture fund as well as advisory to support ventures and attract both private and public money for funding.

The event brought together also the five finalists of  Accelerate2030, a global initiative of Impact Hub and UNDP aimed at supporting impact-driven ventures that contribute towards the achievement of the SDGs. Initially, 177 applications were submitted by ventures from 10 countries for the first round of Accelerate2030, in sectors ranging from access to education, health services, agriculture, sanitation and deforestation.

Dasaran.am, a cloud based educational platform from Armenia was among the five international finalists that were selected by an international jury based on their proven business models and readiness to scale internationally. Suren Aloyan, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dasaran Educational Program, gave a short expose about the program and answered questions from the audience on program’s achievements and challenges, as well as the potentials for future development.

Armenia’s first comprehensive e-learning portal currently calls around 1 million students, teachers, principals and policymakers as registered users. The program integrates technology and gamification with educational modules to provide equal access to education. By uniting all the public schools in the country under a single online platform, the program bridges the learning and technology divide between remote regions and cities as well as contributes to extensive education reform.