Projects

PROJECTS

You can get more information about projects implemented by AMFA below.

''Plan Your Future” training on Financial Education for a Women's Shelter.

On November 27-28 AMFA and its subsidiary Finance and Social Innovation Consulting LLC conducted Financial Education training on “ Plan Your Future” funded by the Switzerland Embassy in Azerbaijan to vulnerable women sheltered by Public Union “ Clear World”
The objective of this training program is to deliver trainings to women entrepreneurs on financial education (how to access finance, how to manage finances after taking loans, how to make savings etc.)
Training was delivered using training module “Plan Your Future” module, which helps to change negative attitudes towards long-term financial planning and saving. After the training course, participants have identified financial goals, developed household budget and savings plan.
Totally 25 women participated at the training. Training participants voiced their satisfaction about the content of the training and stated that they are sure about positive affect of the knowledge gained at the training to their future life. After the training all participant were awarded with certificates. Certificates along with the books published for potential business women “101 Rules for Business women” were presented by Head of mission and head of Cooperation of Baku Office Regional Deputy Director Simone Haeberli.

Event pictures

Swiss Cooperation Office funded “Building capacity of Women entrepreneurs' through development of business planning skills” Project

Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association and its established "Finance and Social Innovation Consulting LLC" organized Swiss Cooperation Office funded “Building capacity of Women entrepreneurs' through development of business planning skills” Project Closure Workshop. The project has been implemented in cooperation with the NBCO “Eurasia Credit “ LLC in Barda, Tartar

and Fuzuli regions. The workshop was held at the "Four Seasons" hotel on February 14, 2017.

 

The main objective of the project is to reveal the challenges that prevent to the  women who would like to be economically active citizens, to eliminate them, to improve their living standards such as current and potential customers, work for they to be economically active citizens and to provide access to financial resources for these women.

 

The Workshop was opened with keynote speech by Ms Jhala Hajiyeva,Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association Executive Director, Mr. Suleyman Kalashov, Chair of the Governance Board, and Ms. Simone Haeberli, Deputy Regional Director, Swiss Cooperation Office

Ten years ago the number of women entrepreneurs in the country was 2-3%, this figure(number ) varies between 25-28%” Ms. Jala said. Ms. Simone  emphsaized that according to statistics, already(more than ) 26% of the azerbaijani women have

access to  financial products .

 

Ms. Aliya Azimova, Head of the International Finance Corporation, Umud Mirzayev, Chair at the İnternational Press Fund, and founder  at NBCO “ Eurasia Credit” LLC, Vugar Zeynalov, vice President, National Confederation of Entrepreneurs, Anar Babazadeh, Research and Development Department, Central Bank, and Romanian Embassy representative and Ramila Aslanova, European Union , and member non-bank credit organizations and banks' representatives participated in the event.

 

The project team noted that under the project, women were benefited in Barda,Tartar and Fuzuli regions. It was reported that

132 women and men within the project "Plan Your Future" financial education and 48 women were benefited "Start and Improve Your Business" training programs on the basis of the International Labour Organisation Module and 18 women entrepreneurs were provided small amount of raw materials and equipment.

The main purpose  of these trainings is to meet useful family budget to women, with business planning tools and to encourage them to turn of their success to the story, to manage the family budget, focused on small business creation and development.

 

During the training, participants gained about the creation of new ideas ,its transformation into detailed business plan, knowledge and skills of implementation and development .

Participants also have learned  balance statements, income and expenses, simple financial calculation about cash flow.

 

At the end of the event, video was presented to participants covered the results of the project.

 

  

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Training program on financial education for women entrepreneurs in Ganja-Gazakh economic zone

AMFA launched training program under financial support of GIZ on conducting  of Financial Education training in Gazakh, Tovuz and Ganja regions to 67 clients from AMFA member institutions.

During the preparation to the training 2 AMFA member Financial Institutions –DemirBank OSC, NBCO “VF AzerCredit” LLC offered their contribution to the project activities by attracting rural women and their family member men to the trainings and by organising logistics.

The objective of this training program was to deliver trainings to women entrepreneurs on financial education (how to access finance, how to manage finances after taking loans, how to make savings etc) in three districts related to Ganja – Gazakh economic region,  to strengthen their abilities, to create better access to micro-finance services for rural people through educating them on budgeting and business planning which will enable them to become economically active citizens. Training was delivered using MFC “Plan Your Future” module, which helps to change negative attitudes towards long-term financial planning and saving. After the training course, participants have identified financial goals, developed household budget and savings plan.

The first trainings on Financial Education “Plan Your Future” were organized and      conducted on March 13-14, 2017 in Gazakh and was attended by 23 participants (men and women).During March 15-16, 2017 project team organized and provided FE training program in Tovuz region where totally participated 24 participants (men and women).

During March 17-18, 2017 the last FE training program on FE was conducted in Ganja region and   20 participants participated at the training.

Success stories about 2 women from each region (totally 6 success stories) was written as a result of monitoring conducted by project team and submitted to GIZ.


Event Pictures


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Financial Education Initiatives

Assessment of Microfinance Impact and Social Performance of MFIs in Azerbaijan

In January, 2008 AMFA launched "Assessment of Micro-finance Impact & Social Performance of MFIs in Azerbaijan" project. 


The researches were held with the help of the Center of Economic Development (CED) among AMFA member institutions: FINCA Azerbaijan, Access Bank, Vision Fund AzerCredit, Bank Respublika, CredAgro, Norwegian MicroCredit, Viator MicroCredit, Finance for Development, AzeriStar Microfinance, AgrarCredit, Dayag Credit, and Umid Credit. 

The main objective of the study is to carry out qualitative and quantitative impact assessment of Microfinance at individual, household including business and community levels, as well as, evaluate social performance of Microfinance Institutions. In order to achieve set objectives within the project i) impact survey was carried out among 2.000 microfinance clients (1.000 new clients and 1.000 longer-term clients); ii) discussions with microfinance clients were arranged in 6 regions, and iii) social performance of 10 microfinance institutions was evaluated. 

This research was implemented under 3 subcomponents. 

The first subcomponent of the Final Report includes results of impact assessment. Chapter 1 discribes methodological approach and implementation stages of the study. Chapter 2 provides social-demography characteristics of responders. Chapter 3 describes general online for Microfinance, including, interest rate in credits, satisfaction level of clients etc. based on indicators of clients participating in the survey. Chapter 4 focuses on negative and positive impacts of Microfinance at household level including incomes, expenditures, savings, borrowing, lending, housing, assets, business, etc. At the same time, under chapter 4 impacts of Microfinance on poverty reduction were calculated (estimated through income and expenditure methods). The final chapter 5 of the first subcomponent of the report is completed with main findings and recommentations. 

The second subcomponent of the Final Report covers outcomes of discussions held with microfinance clients in regions. These discussions aimed at defining quality aspects of Microfinance. Chapter 1 discribes methodological issues concerning arrangement of discussions. Chapter 2 deals with main findings of discussions. Chapter 3 reflects proposals put forward by clients to strengthen positive impact of Microfinance. 

The third of the subcomponent of the Final Report deals with findings of assessment of social performance of microfinance institutions. Chapter 1 of the report provides information on assessment and methodological approach. Chapter 2 reflects current status of social performance of microfinance institutions. Chapter 3 of the report includes recommendations aimed at strengthening social performance of microfinance institutions.

Report on "Assessment of Microfinance Impact and Social Performance of MFIs in Azerbaijan" - AZE

Report on "Assessment of Microfinance Impact and Social Performance of MFIs in Azerbaijan" - ENG
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Project on “Economic Empowerment of Rural Woman to Start Professional Career in Financial Sector” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

AMFA has been launched a project on “Economic Empowerment of Rural Woman to Start Professional Career in Financial Sector” funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The objective of the project is to increase the number of trained female loan officers in PI’s rural branches and to provide relevant training to female loan officers with the aim of encouraging and attracting women clients.

 The first training for the loan officers was conducted on 5-8th November, 2013, in Yevlakh region. After the completion of the training session four participants were employed as a full-time Loan Officers and volunteers for the Loan Officers position by VF AzerCredit, Turanbank and Caucasus Credit. In total 22 women attended training from Ganja, Barda, Yevlakh, Zardab, Ter-ter, Shemkir and other regions.

The second training was held on the 22-24th January, 2014 in Imishli region with 10 participants from Bilasuvar, Saatli, Sabirabad, Beylaqan and Imishli region. It is expected that the majority of training participants after the final interviews will be recruited by Partner Institutions. The training was conducted by Sevinj Rustamova, AMFA Consultant. We would like to convey special thanks to VF AzerCredit as one of the active  partners of the project. 

On 27 – 29th March, 2014 the third training for female Loan Officers was conducted in Baku. The training was held in Anatolia Hotel. The training was conducted by Sevinj Rustamova, AMFA Consultant. In total 8 women attended training from Saatli, Salyan, Sheki, Shamakhi, Agdash and Gakh regions. 

Training program was designed to acknowledge participants with the best practices and principles of microfinance, with the specific tasks and responsibilities that loan officers perform in the day to day operations. Training program identified the stages of the lending process and showed how they could be streamlined for greater efficiency. It also described the importance of post-contact with borrowers.

Successful training participants were recruited by the project Partner Institutions as a Loan Officers. In total 21 loan officers were recruited during the 9 months project life.

SDC Newstletter - 1st edition

SDC Newsletter - 2nd edition

SDC Newsletter - 3rd edition

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“Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs through Life Planning ” funded by Islamic Development Bank (ISDB)

Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association is pleased to announce launching a project on “ Empowerment    of Women  Entrepreneurs through Life Planning ” funded by Islamic Development Bank (ISDB). The project is in line with Azerbaijan State Program for poverty Reduction and Economic Development which focuses on creating and enabling environment for income generating opportunities and developing the economy outside the oil sector and encouraging opportunities for women’s economic participation.

The objective of the project is  to develop the capacity of rural women in Azerbaijan  to identify and overcome the barriers that prevent them from becoming economically active citizens, improving their living standards and achieving the life they envision for themselves as current and potential micro-finance clients. The partner within the project was Eurasia Credit LLC.

Project team emphasized that women, living in Beylagan, Aghdam, Aghcabadi, and Barda regions which are one of the war affected territories, were trained under this project. During noted project 42 women were acknowledged on GALS (Gender Act Learning System). Gender Act Learning System (GALS) were created by WEMAN (Women's Empowerment Mainstreaming and Networking). Main goal of this training was to help participants develop individual life and livelihood plans by equipping them with the necessary mapping and diagram tools to enable them to clearly visualize and understand their situation in order to mitigate the obstacles they may face in achieving their goals and gaining control over their lives

48 women participated at “Start and Improve Your Business” trainings originated by International Labor Organization (ILO). Generally 48 women were trained and most of them started or improve their businesses. This training is focused on starting and improving small businesses. During the training, participants were able to learn about how to generate their idea into a detailed business idea, how to start their business and to improve it accordingly. Participants were taught on basic financial calculations and projects as balance statement, income and expenses statement, cash flow.

32 women were provided with concession loans with grace period by the partner “Eurasia Credit”-Non-Bank Credit Organization. 15% of those women closed their loan thanks to their successful businesses.

On December 19, 2014 Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association organized Closing workshop of the project on “Empowerment of woman entrepreneurs through life planning” funded by Islamic Development Bank and in cooperation with Non-Bank Credit Organization “Eurasia Credit”. 

On December 19, 2014 Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association organized Closing workshop of the project on “Empowerment of woman entrepreneurs through life planning” funded by Islamic Development Bank and in cooperation with Non-Bank Credit Organization “Eurasia Credit”.  

Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association Executive Director Mrs. Jhale Hajiyeva, Information and Research department director of State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs Mr. Elgun Safarov, “Azerbaijan 100 Business Women Association” director Ms. Tatiana Mikayilova, “Islamic Development Bank” Representative in Azerbaijani Mr. Tamerlan Taghiyev and “International Eurasia Press Fund” Chairman Mr. Umud Rahimoglu made opening speech of the ceremony.  

The  Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Economy and Industry, Development of Entrepreneurs Department Director Mr. Elchin Ibrahimov, “Azerbaijan Confederation of Entrepreneurs” general secretary Ms. Natavan Mammadova, European Union Representative Mr. Parviz Yusifov and Ms. Maryam Haji-Ismayilova and “Women Entrepreneurs Public Union” President Ms. Zemfira Aghayeva, IFAD   Representative Mr. Mutalib Shirinov and member non-bank credit organizations’ and banks’ representatives participated at this event. 

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European Union funded “Building female professionals and promoting women entrepreneurship development in rural regions of Azerbaijan” project

                                 


European Union funded “Building female professionals and promoting women entrepreneurship development in rural regions of Azerbaijan” project

The project implemented by Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association (AMFA) in cooperation with Micro - Finance Centre  Poland (MFC) was officially launched in January 2014.

The main objective of the project is to contribute to women professional development in rural areas in Azerbaijan; to increase employment opportunities among women in the rural areas in Azerbaijan; to strengthen women capacities in rural area to enable them to manage the household finance and to start own business or find job in financial sector.

The project is implemented in Shemkir, Zaqatala, Bilasuvar and Goychay regions with the partnership of Ganja Women Entrepreneurs Association, Guba based “Carpet World” Association and Micro-Finance Institutions such as, Demirbank OJSC, VF AzerCredit LLC, Finance for Development LLC, FINCA Azerbaijan LLC, AzeriStar LLC, Viator Microcredit LLC.

The main role of Regional Associations is raising awareness about project activities with engaging members in the region and villages to attract potential candidatures; distributing  detailed TOR of  potential Female Loan officers among rural women; support implementing of financial education activities.

The main role of Microfinance Institutions is supporting implementation of financial education activities; interviewing successful rural women and offering employment opportunities within the regional branches.

For building capacities of local partners and final beneficiaries, training on financial education “Plan your future”; training for potential Loan Officers and training on “Start & Improve your business” is conducted.

It is expected that in 36 months the project will achieve the following results:

  1. At least 300 women improve managing their home or business finances;
  2. At least 60  women will be employed by financial institutions;
  3. At least 300 women will start or expand own business;
  4. At least 6 financial institutions will expand their employment offer to rural women in 4 regions;
A Lessons learnt case study describing best approaches to developing  regional women professionals in Azerbaijani and English 



Project European Union  2014




Project European Union 2015


Project European Union  2016

6.  Project Closure Conference


CASE STUDY

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"Promotion of Gender Equality in the Financial Sector in Azerbaijan" Project funded by ERBD

As part of the EBRD’s Gender Action Plan, this project was implemented by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and its local partner, the Azerbaijan Micro-Finance Association (AMFA), as a pilot project to mainstream gender in the financial institutions sector in Azerbaijan.

The project goals were to improve human resources practices and policies within EBRD partner institutions (9 banks and 5 non-bank microfinance institutions), identify and address constraints

and barriers to women’s employment in the financial sector as well as to women accessing loans.

Within the project, the baseline assessment survey was done within PIs. Based on the findings of this assessment, gender sensitivity workshops were provided for executive and middle management staff, current and potential female loan officers, HR staff, as well as the training of trainers’ seminar on gender awareness to the institutions’ internal trainers.

In parallel, project team developed and introduced a set of gender focused measuring indicators appropriate for socio-economic context of Azerbaijan.

Finally, gender issues were promoted beyond the project through development of a quarterly e-newsletter and establishment of the annual Gender Equality Award for the financial institutions

which succeed in achieving gender equality goals. In brief, the achievements of the project can be summarized in key fact and figures as follows:

Key facts about the project

- The project “Promotion Gender Equality in the Financial Sector in Azerbaijan” was launched with the introductory workshop on the 20th of September 2012 in Baku.

-  Within the Project, FS is cooperating with the Azerbaijan Micro Finance Association as a local partner. The 14 partner institutions, commercial banks and MFI, participating in the project are to the few exception members of the Association.
  The key objective of this pilot project is to promote gender equality (employment of female loan officers and other staff in Azeri financial institutions, and through attracting more female clients) in the financial sector of Azerbaijan.

Key figures and achievements of the project

- During the course of the Baseline Assessment of Partner Institutions, in total 80 focus groups and stakeholder interviews were held by the expert team.

-  Each of 14 partner institutions received individual “Expert Notes” – short recommendations report on how to improve the institutions’ approach to gender equality based on thorough analysis of PIs’ HR policies and practices as well as gender disaggregated data

-  In total, seven workshops has been organized in the course of the gender-sensitivity training program: for senior management, HR professionals, loan officers and internal trainers of PIs.

-  To appreciate the efforts of PIs in promoting gender equality goals, Gender Equality Award was established to be granted to the best performing PIs on the annual basis.

Gender equality toolkit of the project:

The methodology of BA was developed. It included five components: 1) focus groups with at least three target groups, 2) interviews with the senior management of the institution, 3) survey form with statistics, 4) review of the HR policies and 5) preparation of the final document with recommendations to PIs;

- FS developed a BA Toolkit (all checklists, info emails, questionnaires) to be used in BA by expert team, tested it in a pilot assessment with two institutions (FINCA Azerbaijan and DemirBank);

-  Training materials (including handouts, PPPs, videos) for several target groups were developed and tested in the course of the capacity building program (loan officers, HR staff, management, internal trainers);

-  The Training Manual and DVD-Toolkit which included the guidelines for conducting and preparing gender sensitivity trainings to different target groups was developed and shared by the team with the PIs

- Two sets of gender measuring indicators (including excel format for monitoring and collection);

- The format of the gender application form and evaluation matrix for gender equality award.
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Universal Standards for SPM Project

In June 2012 annual meeting, the SPTF officially launched the Universal Standards for Social Performance Management (Universal Standards). The Universal Standards were developed collaboratively from 2010-2012, with active input from Task Force members representing all major stakeholder groups. Reception of the Universal Standards was very positive at the SPTF 2012 annual meeting, but Task Force members, including networks, agreed on the importance of spreading awareness of the Universal Standards as the first step of their implementation, as many institutions do not yet know they exist. 

AMFA engaged in integrating Universal Standards for Social Performance Management

 Being the SPTF member since 2008, AMFA also contributed to the working out of the USSPM. Along with that, AMFA was also able to bring best practices to its members and started to work with its members on integrating the standards to their business.

Starting from January 2013, AMFA implementing a project of Implementation USSPM in member institutions funded by the Social Performance Fund and Social Performance Task Force.

The major focus within the strategy of building member buy-in and commitment was stressed on face-to-face meeting of AMFA Director with the CEO of respective member organizations. To ensure member buy-in and commitment to share the tools and practices that are in full and partial compliance  AMFA undertook :

1) Organized 1day introductory workshop on USSPM

2)  Organizing Call for Tools of the best practices of AMFA members and collected the best tools to the SPTF for global dissemination. AMFA was the first network to collect biggest number of the tools among all other 10 networks.

3) AMFA member Finance for Development gained scholarship to attended SPTF meeting in PANAMA for being open and transparent to share its tools and practices.

4) To ensure member buy-in and commitment to introduce improvements in line with the selected sections of USSPM to achieve full or partial compliance AMFA  organized  a seminar on Sharing the Tools

5) By making gap analyses / assessment in the partner member institutions, AMFA work out action plans together with its members and called for improvements in order to achieve full and partial compliance with the standards.

6) AMFA organized roundtable meeting with PPIs to develop communication strategy for dissemination of the tools and as the result of this meeting case studies were translated into Azerbaijani

7) In total 4 case studies were developed expressing best practices of AMFA members:

-       Vision Fund AzerCredit’s Code of Ethics: Putting Values into Practice (put link to the case)

-       FINCA Azerbaijan’s Client Complaints Handling system: Transforming clients complaints into loyalty for life (put link to the case)

-       Finance for Developments Staff Performance Appraisal System: Retaining Key staff through “Pay for Performance” culture (put link to the case)

-       FINCA Azerbaijan’s Privacy system: The higher security of client data, the higher trust to institution (put the link)

8) As the final stage, AMFA will organize a Practical Workshop for the Project Partners for sharing their experiences and project achievements / improvements in September, 2014. 

SPM Experience of AMFA

SPM represent an integral part of AMFA’s 2 Strategic Pillars – Industry Expertise & Innovative Products/Services effective FY 2009. Industry Expertise pillar supports projects and international initiatives that promotes and also introduces  innovative practices promoting positive image of microfinance such as SPM, Client Protection, Financial Education, Financial transparency etc. Innovative Products & Services Pillar supports development of industry demanded services within membership such as benchmarking, social audit, client assessment, impact assessment etc.  As a result of it AMFA offering SPM Quality Audit Tool during 2009 as fee based service to its 5 member organizations and 3 MFIs in FY 2010 that highly appreciated across the membership and strategic stakeholders like MFC, SEEP Network, MIX and social investors. Till date AMFA have been awarded with Recognition Certificates for facilitating support in SPS reporting to the MIX in 2009 & 2010 and in 2011 was awarded with the MIX Gold Network Award for achieving 92% of membership reporting on SPS to the MIX. The business plan for FY 2012 has the following measurable objectives related to SPM: 1- achieve 100% membership SPS reporting to MIX; 2- 50% of members passed validation by the MIX on SPS reporting; 3- at least 3 members receive international recognition in the field of SPM; 4- at least 1 SPM related initiative/project is implemented with member support; 5- at least 2 members invest in capacity building of its personnel in the field of SPM; 6- proactively seek for international cutting edge projects enabling to enhance  capacity of AMFA’s program team in the field of USSPM

 VF AzerCredit’s Code of Ethics: Putting values into practice

FinDev_SP_Fund_ENG

FINCA_SP_Fund_draft 1.4

FINCA_SP_Fund_ENG

Social Performance Management in the Azerbaijani Microfinance Sector 2016

Presentation

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