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What types of support does EU offer to SMEs to withstand the crisis?
Through its EU4Business Initiative, EU is supporting small and medium businesses (SMEs) in the following 3 areas:
Access to finance and markets
Special credit terms in partnership with selected Azerbaijani banks, as well as grants for SMEs in certain business sectors.
Anti-crisis business support services
Encouraging women entrepreneurs and building business skills.
Better regulation
Supports the government in the development of a more coherent policy towards SMEs allowing the country unleash the potential of SMEs for long term socio-economic development.
Where can I get a credit or a loan?
JSC Accessbank
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Where can I get advice for my business?
Azexport.az is an online platform, managed by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication. Companies and individual entrepreneurs can register on this platform and upload information about their products and services, to ensure that foreign buyers can easily find them. Azexport is integrated with the most popular electronic trading platforms.
“ABAD” public legal entity provides the following services: business planning, equipment supply, marketing, training courses, branding and design, financial accounting and legal assistance services to family households, working in the spheres of arts and agriculture, through centers located in different regions. "ABAD" also manages certification of products and arranges sales and logistics issues.
Entrepreneurs can contact AZPROMO if they are interested in exporting their products abroad or facilitating cooperation with foreign partners. Foundation also organizes trade missions and helps local businesses to participate in foreign exhibitions and manages activity of sectoral export assosiations.
The National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) Organizations coordinates the activities of entrepreneurs on a voluntary basis, protects their legal and economic interests.
Entrepreneurs can apply for a number of services, including local market research, trainings, consulting. The Agency also ensures coordination and regulation of services rendered by government entities to SMBs.
The Women in Business programme helps women-led small and medium-sized enterprises to access the finance and the know-how they need to grow.
State Agro Trade Company supports farmers in their efforts to sell agricultural products both on domestic and foreign markets by helping them to find new clients and providing consulting services.
A comprehensive program of supporting small and medium-sized entreprises with business advice to improve their performance and growth.

What help is available from my government?
The Government of Azerbaijan is taking measures to battle the outcomes of the economic lockdown and respond to challenges that all businesses, especially SMEs, are facing.
Immediate fiscal inputs
  • The Coronavirus Response Fund was established on March 19, 2020, and funded by donations from state and private sector. The purpose of the Fund is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection in the Republic of Azerbaijan and provide financial assistance to the counter-measures. For loan terms visit website.
  • İnterest rate concessions on current credit portfolio.
  • Concessions on new credits.
  • Financial support to individual micro-entrepreneurs. For loan terms visit website.
  • Immediate cash to unemployed citizens (non-SMEs), 100 EUR per person during April and May. For loan terms visit website.
  • Partial coverage of salaries of temporary employees. For loan terms visit website.
Deferral programmes and initiatives
  • Extention of deadline for taxes on some economic activities.
  • Extention of deadline for 1 more year for agricultural credits, and triple increase of credit amounts.
  • State coverage of 10% of the interest rates of current business credits, as well as state coverage of 7.5% of the interest rates of future business credits (provided that interest rate doesn't exceed 15%).
  • Taxes consessions(50% discount) for public catering and public transport services.
  • 50% discount on taxes for real estate rent.
  • 50% discount for taxes for micro entrepreneurs and tax holidays until 01 September 2020.
  • Temporary VAT release for some medical and food items.
  • Temporary VAT release for imported medical equipment needed for fight with Coronavirus pandemic, some food items, baby food.
  • Discounts in social secutiry payments for farmers not to pay rent if they cannot use their property due to quarantine.
  • Other liquidity/guarantee measures
    • Ban for employers to dimiss employees or sending them to unpaid leave; State compensation is offered for employers (from 250 to 5000 AZN, or from 133 to 2,666 EUR). To apply, employers should visit this website website.

This information is based on information from publicly available websites on 22 May, 2020. EU4Business is not responsible for accuracy and continued availability of these facilities.

Do any EU4Business projects give grants for SMEs?

Grants for SMEs are available through 2 programmes.

Support to the development of small family businesses in the Sheki-Zagatala Economic Zone through ABAD regional centre in Balakan.
The objectives of the programme:
To contribute to the socio-economic development of the regions of Azerbaijan by fostering the creation of modern and sustainable family businesses in rural areas, and enabling equal opportunities and inclusivity in line with European standards and practices.
Support community-based family businesses to produce high quality competitive value-added products in the Shaki-Zaqatala Economic Zone.
Address the challenges that prevent and impede the development of community-based family businesses and rural entrepreneurship, economic regeneration and job creation in the Shaki-Zaqatala Economic Zone.
Valid until 14.11.2020 with total budget for grants € 492 000. Read more

Accelerating development of sustainable micro-entrepreneurship in rural regions of Azerbaijan (ADSMIRRA) implemented by AZERBAIJAN MICRO-FINANCE ASSOCIATION ICTIMAI BIRLIYI.
The objective of the project is to support the establishment and development of micro-businesses and help them generate income and create jobs. Specifically, the project aims to teach men and women in selected rural areas to manage their household finance. It also aimes at teaching them skills and providing with seed capital needed to start their own business.
Valid until 30.06.2022 with total budget for grants € 125 497. Read more

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