TODAY.AZ / Business

Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association to help develop female entrepreneurship

11 March 2019 [15:26] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Leman Mammadova

Today, development of small and medium-sized businesses and improvement of women’s role in entrepreneurship are considered important directions of Azerbaijani economic policy.

Promotion of female entrepreneurship in the country is among the main activities of the Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association (AMFA) in 2019, Jala Hajiyeva, the director of the association, told Trend.

"We will also continue measures to improve financial literacy, as well as expand our activities in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. We will hold training sessions in Nakhchivan with the joint support of the U.S. and the UN," Hajiyeva said.

She noted that training sessions will be held for those entrepreneurs who want to start their business, but do not know how and where to start.

She further said that the association has begun operations in four economic zones, and the work in this direction will continue in 2019.

Also, a fair for investors, which is held every two years, is planned to be held in October 2019, Hajiyeva said.

"We hope that foreign investors will show a great interest in the fair," the director said.

The growth of entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan is one of the priority directions of the economic policy and it is closely related to the development of small and medium-sized businesses, and in particular to the development of women's business in the country.

Every day, the role of women in entrepreneurship and their number grows in the world. According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, the share of women among entrepreneurs is 21.5 percent.

Azerbaijan in recent years has taken major measures to improve the entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, despite this, today there are a number of problems, such as high taxes, problems with the sale of entrepreneurs’ products, which greatly impede the development of entrepreneurship in general.

Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurs Association was established with the support of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs in October 2017, primarily aimed at strengthening the role of women in the field of entrepreneurship, as well as the dynamic development of small and medium-sized businesses in Azerbaijan.

Microfinance organizations have always played a special role in the development of Azerbaijan’s economy, reducing poverty and supporting entrepreneurship. At present, the loan portfolio of microfinance organizations in Azerbaijan amounts to $273 million.

Microfinance has been submitted to Azerbaijan in the mid-1990s as a strategy for repatriation of 1,000,000 IDPs and refugees who have been expelled during the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia.

On December 19, 2001, a number of organizations signed the Memorandum of Understanding, incorporated the Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association (AMFA).

AMFA main mission is to strengthen the potential of microfinance organizations in the country and create conditions for joint rational activities within the interests of the microfinance community.

AMFA currently includes 35 structures, including commercial banks, NBCOs, credit unions, insurance companies, leasing companies, and others.


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