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Similar to the current situation observed almost all over the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Azerbaijan the resilience of the small business ecosystem to the massive economic disruption caused by the pandemic is under concern. With the goal of exploring deeper into the effect of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on micro and small businesses, AMFA initiated a research project to interview 1000 micro and small entrepreneurs covering all regions of Azerbaijan.

With the financial and technical support of Swiss Cooperation Office, the Project started in November 2020 to end in March 2021, the key contractor-implementer being AMFA’s subsidiary “Finance and Social Innovation Consulting” LLC (FSIC).  

The interviews are to be conducted with 800 male and female client-entrepreneurs of financial institutions that are AMFA members and 200 members of Azerbaijan Women Entrepreneurship Development Association (AWEDA).

The research is conducted based on the best international practice and the COVID-19 Client Interview Tool for Financial Service Providers, developed and globally applied by the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF), is used as the key tool, being localized and tailored to Project Partners’ objectives.

The Project aims at revealing what kind of financial assistance is needed by micro and small entrepreneurs, what policy or regulation changes could benefit them, and what additional forms of support could be necessary to support their businesses to generate income.

AMFA and FSIC in November and December 2020 held meetings with AWEDA and interested NBCIs, namely Finca Azerbaijan, Aqrarkredit, Finance for Development, Viator Microcredit Azerbaijan, Avrasiya-Kredit, Caucasus Credit, and Embafinans to engage them in the Project via concluding respective memorandums and arranged trainings for the interviewers.

The interviews have already started and the results of the Project will be summarized in the format of a special report, brief policy paper and press-release.