EU and UNDP present policy recommendations to develop social entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan

October 31, 2022


The European Union (EU) and UNDP presented policy recommendations to support development of social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Azerbaijan.

The event is aimed to present, review and discuss these recommendations with the participation of social entrepreneurs, innovation/acceleration labs, international organizations, individual experts, the potential funders and the other related sides.

The workshop is organised within the EU-funded ‘Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan’ project.

These policy recommendations are the results of nearly a year-long research and consultations involving review of international practice, local context analysis, as well as benefiting from extensive inputs from the local social enterprise (SE) ecosystem.

At the event, UNDP Resident Representative a.i Charu Bist highlighted alignment of these efforts with the "Socio-economic development strategy for 2022-2026 of the Republic of Azerbaijan". She mentioned that the document underscores the introduction of mechanisms leveraging the social entrepreneurship under the priority on the sustainable and competitive economy, but also shows overarching relations with the other four priorities from inclusive society to “green growth country” which are in line with and contributing to achieve Sustainable Development Goals in the country.

The final workshop is led by Ms. Lana Lovasic, the international expert with over 15 years of experience in impact ecosystem building with an emphasis on innovation, research, and policy work.  

The expert presented key policy recommendations for creation of an enabling environment to support social enterprises in Azerbaijan. Policy recommendations include to formalize a working definition of social enterprise that is inclusive and relevant; to create a Social Enterprise Certificate; to build fiscal incentives for social enterprises and their supporters; to provide grants to social enterprises and incentivize other funders in the long term; to provide funding for capacity building of SEs; to provide funding for research and awareness raising; and to increase public procurement from social enterprises.

Going beyond the policy, the report also recommends more general actions to support ecosystem development including establishment of a network for social enterprises and ecosystem players; expansion of capacity building activities and mentorship; mobilization of funds for social enterprises; facilitation of research and case studies on local social enterprises; increase of awareness raising and public outreach.

Following the workshop, the report reflecting detailed recommendations and policy roadmap will be finalized and presented to all interested sides.

The component is delivered by the ‘Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan’ project, funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP. The project aims to help increase civil society organisations’ capacities to engage in policy-making processes, foster local development, and promote social entrepreneurship in the country.