Azerbaijan Microfinance Association on access of women entrepreneurs to financial market
BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 16. The
Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (AMFA) implements projects to
expand the access of women entrepreneurs to financial resources,
Jala Hajiyeva, Executive Director of the association, told Trend.
According to her, currently, female entrepreneurs do
not face any problems while financing their businesses.
“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,” she
Hajiyeva noted that the majority of the business
projects (over 70 percent) are in need of loans and external
funding if they are implemented in the regions.
“We are working on providing financial means to women
entrepreneurs in eight economic zones of our country. Over the past
20 years, together with various international and local
organizations, we have conducted business training for over 4,000
women. Today’s statistics, if compared with the data of the last
ten years, suggests that women are interested in running their own
businesses,” she said.
The executive director of the association noted that
until 2014, there were no tools in the financial sector of
Azerbaijan that would support female entrepreneurship.
“Our joint grant program for women entrepreneurs with
the EBRD [European Bank for Reconstruction and Development] was the
first in this field; it promoted the development of women’s
entrepreneurship and also expanded the implementation of similar
initiatives by other organizations,” Hajiyeva said.
One of the main goals of the strategic plan of the
Azerbaijan Microfinance Association (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.
Another goal of the association is to support
institutional development and improve the knowledge base of AMFA
members through the introduction of new educational and expert