Outside the oil sector, doing business in Azerbaijan often remains a challenge – particularly for SMEs. Although they account for over 80% of all registered companies SMEs only contribute around 3% to the country’s economy. International trade is dominated by large companies. EU4business works with the government, associations and SMEs to develop Azerbaijan’s SME sector by improving access to finance and markets, encouraging women entrepreneurs and building business skills. The EU also 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.

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workshop on the monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME roadmap
The OECD held a workshop on the monitoring of Azerbaijan's SME roadmap on 15 February 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The meeting was part of the EU4Business project ‘From Policies to Action’. The main objective of the workshop was to discuss and refine...

Success stories

Bakhtiyar Meyvaddin Novruzbeyov
"It took me a while to realise that knowledge is indeed power. Like the knowledge that working with a bank is the best way to transform a fragile idea into a solid business," says Bakhtiyar Meyvaddin Novruzbeyov, who set up his grocery store with the help of Access Bank in Azerbaijan, the European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE), and EU4Business . “Just over ten years ago, I found myself...
Fuad Mammadali Aliyev
“For a long time, going into business on my own seemed like an impossible dream, but sometimes you get lucky and you find someone who shares the dream with you and helps to make it come true.” That’s how it all began for Fuad Mammadali Aliyev, with the help of Access Bank, the European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE), and EU4Business . Just over fifteen years ago Aliyev gave up his job as a...
Rizvan Garayev
“When they left the business to me, I don’t think my parents ever imagined that their little café would ever change. [...] however, they planted the seed of entrepreneurship in me. And some good common sense to find the right (financial) partner,” says Rizvan Garayev, who transformed the café he in herited in Baku into a chain of bakeries and restaurants, with the help of Access Bank, the...