USAID and Small and Medium Business Development Agency Launch Initiative to Support Business and Professional Associations

USAID and Small and Medium Business Development Agency Launch Initiative to Support Business and Professional Associations
Over 160 representatives from the private sector, business associations, civil society, international organizations, and the Azerbaijani government attended the partnership summit. 
USAID

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
USAID/Azerbaijan
(+99412) 498-18-35

 

BAKU – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Azerbaijan and the Small and Medium Business Development Agency of Azerbaijan (SMBDA) held a partnership summit to launch a new initiative called Supporting Business and Professional Associations in Azerbaijan. Over 100 representatives from the private sector, business associations, civil society, international organizations, and the Azerbaijani government attended the partnership summit. 

Mr. Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Small and Medium Development Agency; Dr. Jaidev Singh, USAID Mission Director in Azerbaijan; Mr. Nuran Karimov, Chairman of American Chambers of Commerce opened the event. During the summit, local and international experts from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the United States talked about models of business and professional associations around the world and best practices to make them effective institutions. USAID experts also described the steps and processes for local partners interested in working with USAID under the Supporting Business and Professional Associations initiative. 

“The partnership summit is the beginning of a months-long, highly collaborative, locally-led process to design and award funding to the best project ideas to support associations from groups or consortia of local stakeholders,” said USAID Mission Director Jay Singh. “We are excited about this project because associations can make the technical assistance USAID provides available to a greater number of small and medium sized businesses across Azerbaijan, multiplying our impact.” 

Chairman of the SMBDA Orkhan Mammadov said that “Promotion activities to consolidate entrepreneurs of various spheres have been implemented by the government and our Agency in the recent past, as well as support has been provided to establish professional associations and public unions. It is known that the government aims to get accurate information about real business conditions, whereas the private sector seeks to achieve improvement of business climate through bringing the attention of the state to its problems. And we note the importance of current project from this point of view.”

USAID’s Supporting Business and Professional Associations initiative is made possible through funding provided to the USAID Azerbaijan Mission by USAID’s Office of Local Sustainability in Washington, DC, under a program called “Local Works”. Local Works is a unique program designed to advance locally-led development and enhance USAID’s ability to empower local actors to take the lead in addressing their own development challenges. As part of this initiative, USAID plans to design and fund multiple projects whose objective is to strengthen business and professional associations in support of the government of Azerbaijan’s economic diversification policy and reform agenda. USAID’s funding will be awarded to a local NGO, association, or public union who will be encouraged to form a consortium with other NGOs, associations, public unions and/or private companies. The initiative is aimed at promoting partnership towards shared economic and social goals among the government, private sector, and civil society.

Last updated: February 21, 2020

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