Promotion of women's entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan (ANALYTICS)

Women in Azerbaijan play a significant role in the country's economy, contributing to various sectors and holding key positions in both the public and private sectors.

Azerbaijani women have been increasingly involved in entrepreneurship and business ownership. They have founded and managed businesses across different sectors, including retail, technology, and services. If the weight of women among individual entrepreneurs in 2018 was around 19%, the statistics say this indicator exceeds 22% in 2023.

Azerbaijani government launches programs and initiatives aimed at empowering women in entrepreneurship. These initiatives often include providing financial assistance, training, and mentorship programs to help women start and grow their businesses.

Providing access to funding and financial resources is crucial for women entrepreneurs. At the beginning of the 2000s, the awareness level of Azerbaijan's women entrepreneurs about loans and financial tools was only 4 percent, while today this rate reaches 30 percent.

Microloans, grants, and subsidies specifically targeted at women-owned businesses can facilitate startup and expansion efforts.  Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA) implements projects to expand the access of women entrepreneurs to financial resources. One of the main goals of the strategic plan of AMFA for 2021-2023 is to create a favorable environment for AMFA members to quickly address changing market trends and serve customers through the application of high ethical and business standards.

Government agencies, such as the State Committee for Family, Women, and Children Affairs, can implement policies and initiatives aimed at supporting women in business. The Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SMBDA) promotes the development of social entrepreneurship in the country, and together with the relevant state agencies and the private sector, takes various measures and implements projects in this area.

Collaborating with international organizations and agencies that focus on women's empowerment and entrepreneurship can provide additional resources and expertise. A Protocol of Intent for Cooperation in the field of the development of women's entrepreneurship in the country was signed between United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA) and the SMBDA. In accordance with the Protocol, it is envisaged to take measures in the areas of the development of women's entrepreneurship and expansion of employment in the regions, strengthening business skills, organizing inclusive and high-quality preschool education programs in the private sector, as well as supporting the UAFA "My School" program.

Offering training programs and workshops on entrepreneurship can help women entrepreneurs develop the skills they need to succeed in their ventures. SMBDA holds different programs in the cities and rural areas for the development of women's entrepreneurship.

Providing support for women entrepreneurs to balance their business responsibilities with family and personal life is crucial for long-term success.

These initiatives and strategies collectively contribute to the promotion of women's entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan, ultimately leading to a more inclusive and dynamic business environment. Encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs can have a positive impact on the country's economic development and social progress.

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The article focuses on the theme of "promoting free entrepreneurship and a liberal economy"

The article was published with the support of the Media Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MEDIA)

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