The Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) through the financial support of the US embassy in Azerbaijan, is implementing a project entitled "Advancing Women Economic Empowerment in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic" in Nakhchivan, Executive Director of AMFA Jhale Hajiyeva told Trend on June 25.
“The objective of the project is to educate women from Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic with the tools necessary to strengthen women’s abilities to increase their entrepreneurship opportunities by equipping them with the necessary skills and financial support to start their own business,” Hajiyeva added.
“The project will help at least 20 women from rural communities, including women with disabilities, to improve their business proficiency, financial literacy, access to financial resources and organizational skills,” executive director said. “Certain women on the program will also receive seed funding to establish their own businesses.”
“Some 25 women took part in the financial literacy training in May this year, including four women with disabilities,” executive director said.
Touching upon the development of microfinance in the country, Hajiyeva stressed that it is also planned to implement the projects in the field of microfinance in the Azerbaijani lands liberated from the Armenian occupation.
"The country is working on the concept of several projects aimed at the development of microenterprises,” executive director of AMFA added. “It is planned to promote the activity of our member-organizations towards the development of microfinance in Azerbaijan. AMFA will work on the development of new services for the members of the Association to increase financial inclusion in the country."
Hajiyeva reminded that the EU-funded project "Support for Youth Entrepreneurship", being implemented by AMFA in cooperation with the National Assembly of Youth Organizations of Azerbaijan, will be completed in late June 2021.
"AMFA has implemented two projects funded by the EU,” executive director of AMFA added. “The first one was the project “Accelerating development of sustainable micro-entrepreneurship in rural regions of Azerbaijan”. The project was successfully completed this year."
The executive director said that the project entitled "Supporting Women's Entrepreneurship during COVID-19" in Ismayilli district was completed in March 2021.
Microfinance was introduced in Azerbaijan in the mid-1990s to meet the economic needs of up to one million internally displaced people and refugees who appeared as a result of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The International NGO Group began to offer microfinance services to low-income, war-affected communities to create opportunities for getting income and employment in 1996.
The process of holding informal meetings was launched to exchange business experience and remove restrictions on the issuance of loans at interest rates.
The members of the International NGO Group decided to formalize the group as an association that will act as a coordination center on microfinance in Azerbaijan in December 2001.