Azerbaijan hosted the International Social Entrepreneurship Forum for the first time.
The first International Social Entrepreneurs Forum (online) organized by Education HUB, which specialized in civic education and social entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA) and technical support by Eastern Partnership Civil Society Facility was held in Azerbaijan on October 28, 2020.
The purpose of the forum is to highlight the role of social entrepreneurship in the socio-economic development of the country, to stress SE as an innovative tool to achieve a number of goals of the government and to study international experience in this field. Parliament members, representatives of governmental agencies, international organizations, embassies, non-governmental organizations and international participants from Europe.
Chairman of the Board of SMDBA (Small and Medium Business Development Agency) Orkhan Mammadov shared his thoughts on the importance of social entrepreneurship and the work done regarding the promotion and development of this field in our country. It was noted that increasing self-employment, involvement of vulnerable groups (including low-income families, people living in the regions, especially women) in social business is very important, and in this regard, Azerbaijan constantly implements state support to the field. SMBDA actively supports the development of social entrepreneurship in the country and successfully continues the projects related to socially vulnerable groups launched over the past period. The Agency will continue to support and participate in the improvement of the legal framework, which includes additional support and promotion mechanisms in the field of social entrepreneurship, and will also support social entrepreneurs in implementation of their social projects. He highlighted the role of Education HUB in this sphere and continuation of cooperation in future.
Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Sadagat Gahramanova, Chairman of the State Employment Agency Mustafa Abbasbayli, Parliament member Mushvig Jafarov and others gave a speech about the importance of social entrepreneurship and the promotion of this field in our country during the online event.
Speakers from Azerbaijan, Germany, the United States, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Georgia shared their experiences in the field of social entrepreneurship and were informed about the legislation of different countries in the field.
Additionally, the creation of social business, innovative solutions for social development and cross-sectorial cooperation for sustainable development were discussed on the panel discussions. Arzu Ismayilova, EU Civil Society Facility alumni emphasized the importance of Forum during a pandemic period which brings new cooperation opportunities between cross countries and cross sectors in future.