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From cotton growing to cooperative


The European Union (EU) is implementing projects to support the development of regions and rural areas in Azerbaijan. Some households have the opportunity to develop their businesses by benefitting from these projects. One of the families that received support from the EU project is the Naghiyevs living in Agjabadi.

The head of the household, Orkhan Naghiyev, is 41 years old. Mr. Naghiyev has two children and is an economist-lawyer by profession. He was growing cotton. Although he had previously considered expanding and diversifying his business, he was both hesitant and in need of financial support.

Orkhan gained an opportunity to implement his business plans after receiving information about the EU-funded project “Accelerating the development of sustainable micro-entrepreneurship in rural regions of Azerbaijan” through Turan Bank.

Mr. Naghiyev, who participated in training with his brother, uncle and cousin for three days in Barda and two days in Shamkir, said: “We would have to spend a few days on these training. It would be a waste of time if it did not benefit us. Then, we thought that we would at least learn something about our work and about expanding it. We can come up with new ideas. Knowing the details is a necessary part of the job. Joining the training was a door to implement our business plans”.

Naghiyevs having gained practical knowledge on establishment, expansion, and management of cooperatives, ways to reinvest their profits and other topics, felt more confident to carry out the work they have been thinking about for a long time after the training.

Touching upon the importance of the project, Orkhan Naghiyev said that they have already established a cooperative: “One of the most important parts of the work was to receive 12,000 manat investment capital for our cooperative from the EU project. We are on the verge of state registration of our cooperative and we are working to expand our business. We are just beginning, we will learn and earn more as we expand our business”.

The entrepreneur says that his cooperative sells small livestock and mentioned that they have butcher shops. Previously, they only sold the meat of small livestock that they bought from other suppliers. Now they supply meat to the shop from their farms. Their plan is to expand their activities not only in the village they operate in but also in other villages and districts. “The cooperative allows me to distribute our own meat products. This is more profitable. Now I make more profit, in comparison to when I bought livestock from the market and distributed it. We are also looking for new enterprises and shops that will accept our products”.


Title of the actionAccelerating development of sustainable micro-entrepreneurship in rural regions of Azerbaijan
Priority sectorEmployment and entrepreneurship
Contracting partyAzerbaijan Micro-finance Association
PartnerThe Small and Medium Business Development Agency, The State Committee for Family, Women and Children’s Issues
Duration of project30 months (01.09.2018 – 28.02.2021)
European Union budget (EUR)EUR 464805
Main objectives of projectThe project specific objective is to strengthen rural micro entrepreneur’s capacities to enable them to start or expand own businesses by building their skills, facilitating market opportunities and providing seed capital in the Ganja – Gazakh, Guba – Khachmaz, Sheki – Zagatala and Kur – Araz (Aran) Economic Zones.
LocationsGanja-Gazakh, Sheki-Zaqatala, Guba-Khachmaz and Aran Economic Zones