A conference on New Opportunities on the Horizon: Green Light for Women Entrepreneurs was held on November 15, organized by the Association of Women Entrepreneurship Development in Azerbaijan.Making an opening speech, the chairman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova stated that the main purpose of the conference was to support the development of women's entrepreneurship and to create new opportunities for them.
It was noted that the World Business Development Week is celebrated on November 12-18. The conference is also aimed at supporting this initiative.
It was informed that the Association for Women Entrepreneurship Development in Azerbaijan was established by the Ministry of Economy, the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers') Organizations and at the initiative of female entrepreneurs in the country. The main purpose of the Association is to bring together women entrepreneurs who are engaged in small and medium-sized businesses, to promote their development to the local and world arena. The goal is also to organize the participation of women entrepreneurs at local and international events, forums, conferences and trainings at the initiative of the association. In a short time, the association has achieved great success, expanded its domestic and international relationships, and currently represents our country in international arena with entrepreneur women.
Hijran Huseynova mentioned that today entrepreneurship is greatly supported in Azerbaijan. Our country became the party of many international conventions in this area. These conventions have important issues for our country, particularly gender issues. Previously, women entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan made up 4 percent, but now this number has reached 30 percent. More than 4060 women entrepreneurs have been allocated 72.5million manat credit in Azerbaijan over the past 15 years. It means that there are major changes in this direction in Azerbaijan .
Speaking at the ceremony Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov noted that one of the issues that the government is focusing on is the easing of women's labor in the family sector and their involvement in small and medium-sized businesses. This is part of the policy determined by the government. Azerbaijan government is implementing programs to increase the level of women's involvement in small and medium-sized businesses. "We are taking measures to encourage women to engage in small and medium-sized businesses. As our women have the burden of most of their family care, their opportunities to engage in small and medium-sized businesses do not complement one another, "he added.
The Deputy Prime Minister noted that self –employment is appointed as a form of small entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan. It creates an additional opportunity for women to increase their labor activity. Azerbaijani government intends to make significant incentives for self-employment with the help of the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population, as well as to allocate funds for it. By participating in government-sponsored programs to develop self-employment, women will gain some skills and knowledge for small production and service.
The level of employment of Azerbaijani women is high in some fields, especially in the field of education and health. Even in these two fields women are superior to men due to their level of participation.The equal representation of women and men in all spheres is important factor. We also encourage it. In this sense, increasing women's participation in entrepreneurship is one of the most important tasks. Women's activity is one of the most important indicators of public progress. Where there is women's activity, there is public progress there. The Azerbaijani woman demonstrates public activity in all spheres and participates in public opinion.
It was noted that according to the requirements of the free market economy, one of the issues that Azerbaijani government pays attention to is care for the development of entrepreneurship, especially small and medium-sized businesses. In this field Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurship Association has achieved certain success. Our goal is to make women more active in the small and medium-sized businesses with more commitment and more women entrepreneurial engagement.
Afterwards, UN Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan, Gulam Isaaczai spoke about the importance of the conference. He noted that such events play an important role in increasing women's entrepreneurial activity, protecting their rights and ensuring decent work, as well as identifying perspectives. There is a need for continued support by all participants, including relevant government agencies, civil society, media, and the expert community in order to strengthen entrepreneurship among women.
The chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurship Development Association Sakina Babayeva emphasized that successful socio-economic policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev contributed to the dynamic development of our republic. In the last 15 years the formation of a socially-oriented economy has been fully ensured in macroeconomic stability, diversification of the economy, the development of the non-oil sector and regions has been accelarated and state support for entrepreneurship has been strengthened. S.Babayeva said that women constitute 50.1% of the population in Azerbaijan, 21.5% of individual entrepreneurs operating in the country.
Enabling women to have equal rights with men in the labor market in the country results in greater representation in management, business, and government structures. Today, 47 percent of every 100 educators in Azerbaijan, 49 percent of the workforce, 48 percent of the employed population, and 53 percent of scientific workers are women. As a real result of the activity of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Commission up to 400 women entrepreneurs have gathered around the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Azerbaijan.
Ziyad Samadzade, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Policy, Industry and Entrepreneurship noted that today's event will play a pivotal role in the development of the Azerbaijani women's movement. The Azerbaijani woman's success is enough. The role of women entrepreneurs in the economic development of our state is great. The development of entrepreneurship, especially women entrepreneurship is one of the most important issues for the country's leadership. Today, the role of Azerbaijani women in the socio-economic, socio-political life of the country is growing day by day.
Noting that the amendments to the Tax Code have been recently announced, the Chairman of the Committee stated that the proposed change will open up opportunities for small entrepreneurs.
Deputy Minister of Economy Niyazi Safarov stated that favorable conditions for entrepreneurial activity were created in our country. One can say with pride that Azerbaijan is rapidly developing. Special attention is paid to entrepreneurship, especially women entrepreneurs in our country. The fact that Azerbaijan is on the forefront in the international reports is the proof for it.
Speaking at the conference, President of the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of Azerbaijan Mammad Musayev, Project Manager of GIZ, SLRD Gulnara Mammadova, Chairman of the Women's Society of the Republic of Dagestan Republic Intizar Mamutayeva, Representative of the Georgian Business Women's Union Mzii Kereselidze and others spoke about the importance of holding such events and wished good luck to the future activities of the association.
Later, the conference continued its work on the topic Women in Entrepreneurship: how to balance business and family responsibilities and Mentor time with investors.
It must be mentioned that within the framework of the conference an exhibition Eye light and Handicraft was organized by the women’s handmade which is of 13th series.