Business for the Sake of Social Welfare

Social Entrepreneurs from Armenia and Turkey Discuss Ways of Cooperation for the Sake of Social Welfare


Is it possible to focus business activities on public benefit? Yes, it is if you have a way of thinking typical to a social entrepreneur.

And how is different the thinking of social entrepreneurs from the thinking of other businessmen? Social entrepreneurs perceive their business as a means of achieving social welfare and initiating social change.

Social entrepreneurs and innovators from Armenia had an opportunity to discuss the peculiarities of social entrepreneurship and look for ways to make our region more human-centered within “Social Entrepreneurship: Armenia-Turkey Exchange Project” from November 25 to November 29.

The visit provided an opportunity to meet the successful social entrepreneurship founders of Turkey, to participate in a workshop to master tools to measure the impact of social enterprise activities, as well as a networking event.

Visit to Social Entrepreneurs

"We try to show that social change is possible," Ercan Tutal, Founding President of Alternative life foundation (AYDER), said, telling the social entrepreneurs and innovators from Armenia about Dreams Academy in Turkey. It is a model of social change operating in #Istanbul and proposes exciting solutions to social issues.

Dreams Academy – a model of social change applicable also in Armenia/Video

Impressed by the visit to “Dreams Academy” Anush Aslanyan, Co-Founder and CEO of “Lori Art” Social Entrepreneurship, says that activities are conducted there about which their community has been dreaming for many years. "It is one of the highest goals of our NGO, the implementation of which will raise the quality of life of many people with disabilities.”

Meetings were held also at b-fit social enterprise including with Bedriye Hülya, cofounder of Bi-Fit.

This company provides services for women at every age and from every income group to live a healthier and happier life. The company sells the business rights only to women entrepreneurs. It enjoys great reputation today in Turkey, but the founders are eager to expand business.

Bedriye Hülya highlighted that he is interested to open business branch in Armenia if there is an appropriate partner.

“We have seen here some clear situations, clear examples that the enterprise is simply an enterprise but with a very strong social component where vulnerable groups are a beneficiary,” Lilit Asatryan, Founder of “Nurik” Social Enterprise, member of the delegation, said.

Nazareth Seferian, CSR/SE consultant, member of the delegation, comparing the experience of social entrepreneurship in Armenia and Turkey, underlines that Turkey is a big market which explains the success of social enterprises in a short period of time, unlike the social enterprises of Armenia. At the same time, he mentions that the donor community in Armenia, the international organizations are actively trying to develop social entrepreneurship and proceeding from the nature of their work, they work very closely with non-governmental organizations.

“NGOs are well aware of social issues in Armenia, and they have a good basis to create social enterprises. They just need to develop business intelligence and business thinking or to expand their team with those people who have that knowledge and skills. It is also important that we also have social businesses in Armenia too that do not have adjacent NGOs, in order this approach is also developed,” Seferian said. 

Social Entrepreneurship. What is it and what perspective does it have in Armenia?/Video

Besides the meetings with entreprisers, members of the Armenian delegation visited Kadir Has University where they met head of International Relations Department of Kadir Has University and students. At the meeting, social entrepreneurs from Armenia presented their business projects. An important discussion was also held on the developments in Armenia-Turkey relations.

Seda Muradyan, Head of the Public Journalism Club, notes that in the previous years, during the implementation of the Exchange of Entrepreneurs Project with the TEPAV Foundation, has become evident that social entrepreneurship in Turkey is just a few steps ahead the rates of social entrepreneurship in Armenia. Accordingly, the visit of the delegation of Armenia was initiated to Turkey jointly with TEPAV to study the Turkish experience.

“The primary goal is to create professional networks and explore the ongoing developments, successes and failures here, compare it with what we have. We hope to build projects based on the results of this project for a longer term and deeper cooperation.”

Measuring the Impact of Social Enterprises

With the support of Mikado Consulting, the Armenian delegation also participated in a capacity building workshop conducted by experts from Mikado Consulting, Koç University and Ashoka Turkey, presenting social innovation, social impact and sustainability.

Participants were presented with a tool that can measure the impact of social enterprise. It gave new opportunities to Armenian entrepreneurs who expressed an opinion that a more in-depth study of such a tool would be useful.

Meeting at Impact Hub

The networking event at Impact Hub Turkey on November 27 brought together entrepreneurs from Armenia and Turkey, representatives of the field.

Nazareth Seferian presented an interesting report on social entrepreneurship in Armenia, touching upon the peculiarities, advantages and opportunities.

Social entrepreneur Lilit Asatryan presented details on women's involvement in social entrepreneurship, as well as on Nurik Social Enterprise.

Siranuysh Gevorgyan presented the social enterprises of the members of the Armenian delegation.

“It was a great experience to know Turkish social entrepreneurs, to learn about the activities in the social entrepreneurship field, share and exchange our knowledge and experience with them,” Siranuysh Gevorgyan says.

The video summary of the visit can be found here.

The next meeting-workshop within the framework of “Social Entrepreneurship: Armenia-Turkey Exchange Project” is anticipated in February, 2018. Follow the Facebook page of Public Journalism Club to learn about the updates.

Armenia-based Public Journalism Club (PJC) and its Turkish partner the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), initiated “Social Entrepreneurship: Armenia-Turkey Exchange Project” which will bring talented Armenian and Turkish Social Entrepreneurs together for the purpose of building a strong social network for sustainable cooperation.

The initiative is supported by the US Embassy in Armenia and will be kicked off in Istanbul with the support of Mikado Sustainable Development Consulting.

About the Project Team

The Public Journalism Club (PJC) is a non-governmental organization, established in March 2011 in Armenia. PJC’s projects aim at the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, development of democratic environment and civil society, as well as building regional dialogue and peace through innovative ideas. In realizing our mission and core values, we are guided by the principles of promotion of media literacy, freedom of expression, diversity and pluralism, raising awareness among the society in Armenia, as well as addressing social issues through trailblazing and ambitious projects. We envision a more democratic, prosperous and sustainable Armenia, which encourages social activism and endorses a more cooperative, educated and competitive society.

Address: 12 Saryan str., 3rd floor, Yerevan, Armenia, 0002

Tel. +37412 755898, +37499 755 898
Email: [email protected]   

Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) was established by a group of businessman, bureaucrats and academicians for the purposes of conducting data-based policy analysis and policy making contributions. TEPAV became operational on December 2004 with the goal of enriching the content of information/data in ideological discussions and arguments. TEPAV is strictly non-partisan and pursue the highest in ethical and academic standards. It produces vigorous, data-driven analysis and contributes a technical outlook to various fields of study. In this sense, the most important quality setting TEPAV aside from many other think tanks being established in Turkey is its full-time staff and the importance it attributes to program-based capacity building. As a think tank it has conducted projects 49 of Turkey's provinces and 21 countries across the world, maintaining a deep and wide-ranging network.Since 2014, TEPAV is a member of General Consortium which is focusing on the Armenian-Turkish Normalization Process.

Address: SöğütözüCaddesi No:43TOBB-ETÜ Yerleşkesi 2. Kısım06560 Söğütözü Ankara

Tel: +90 (312) 292 55 25

E-mail: [email protected]


Mikado Consulting, established in September 2007, is a social enterprise committed to serve sustainable development and to yield social impact through crafting innovative models and solutions. Mikado believes in and strives to create partnerships among private sector, civil society, academic, public and international organisations for multi-dimensional development. Mikado is a catalyst, strengthening organizations' capacities and mobilizing their resources efficiently so that they can fulfill their responsibilities and contribute to sustainable development. Mikado supports private sector companies to form and implement their sustainability and inclusive business strategies; develops and implements capacity building and social impact maximization projects with NGOs to create a transparent civil society by democratization and active citizenship; and through its innovative approach Mikado crafts social innovative projects in collaboration with private sector, academic institutions and NGOs. Social innovation, social impact and sustainability are main pillars of Mikado. Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are developed for all the programs and social impact is measured. Mikado believes "what can be measured can be managed". Mikado Consulting is proud to be Turkey's first certified B Corporation - as well as to take part as one of the "Best for Overall Impact" enterprises in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.Many projects developed by Mikado in cooperation with companies, academic institutions and NGOs are found worthy of various awards.

Address: Valikonağı Cad. Modül Apt. No:11 K:7 34371, Nişantaşı, İstanbul

Tel.: 0212 2345151

E-mail: [email protected]



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