What do the social entrepreneurs say about the ecosystem in Azerbaijan?
02 August 2022
- The European Union (EU) and UNDP help progress the social entrepreneurship in their development agendas for Azerbaijan.
As part of the EU-funded ‘Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan’ project, a survey was held amongst social entrepreneurs working in various spheres such as promoting healthy lifestyles and well-being, supporting the employment of rural women and people of all abilities, improving education opportunities of youth, and providing environmental services.
The aim is of the survey was to better understand the profile of social enterprises, their most faced challenges and types of support needed in the future. The results of the survey will be used in preparing policy recommendations to support development of social entrepreneurship.
Collected from 25 respondents, the results show that majority of these enterprises are established in Baku and sell their goods and services in the local market. Most of these enterprises have small and gender – balanced teams of 5-10 people.
These social enterprises cover the startups and digital businesses alongside traditional businesses and focus on tackling the wellbeing, employment, and decent work, addressing the needs of people with disabilities, and sustainable production issues.
The legal definition of this type of enterprise, funding opportunities, public awareness, and economic climate are mentioned as challenges by the entrepreneurs, and investment support is at the top of their needs to scale up their businesses.
Through the workshops, meetings and advisory support within the social entrepreneurship component, this project aims to boost the country’s efforts to build an enabling policy framework which will help more people to start and grow businesses addressing socio-economic and environmental challenges in Azerbaijan.
This series will be continued with the next round of the international expert’s visit to Azerbaijan in September 2022 and certain steps for the future policy actions will be offered. Lana Lovasic, international expert leading the process, has been to Baku in mid- April and worked with social entrepreneurs on co-creating solutions to overcome existing barriers.