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Project Info

Within the European Union funded ADSMIRRA (Accelerating Development of Sustainable Micro-entrepreneurship in Rural Regions of Azerbaijan) was implemented by Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) in the economic regions of Ganja-Gazakh, Guba-Khachmaz, Shaki-Zagatala and Aran between 2018 and 2021 in cooperation with Microfinance Centre in Poland (MFC), National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers’) Organizations of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASK), and other associate partners. This project was born thanks to the EU contribution of 418 324 Euros, i.e. 90% of the total Project budget. The remaining 10% was funded by Islamic Development Bank and AMFA members – Non-Bank Credit Institution “Finance for Development” (FinDev) and “TuranBank” Open Joint Stock Company (TuranBank).

Results given just in figures below, which considerably exceeded the originally intended Project outcomes, describe only some part of the achievements, the long-term impact yet to be assessed will certainly reveal more accomplishments.

  • 510 persons have benefited from the Project in total: 64% – women and 36% – men;
  • 113 beneficiaries have been provided with seed capital amounting to 277 780 Azerbaijani manats;
  • 37 start-ups have been established, 76 micro-businesses have been expanded further;
  • 3 cooperatives have been established an innovative way of doing business in the target areas;
  • 125 new jobs have been created by the entrepreneurs developed by the Project;
  • 202 families have increased their monthly income through skills and knowledge acquired during the Project.


Taliya Masimova and her fitness club

Ms. Taliya Masimova is a project beneficiary from Tovuz region. The project action assisted her to expand fitness club business. Trainings held by AMFA enabled her to gain new skills and knowledges about business field. Gaining financial grant helped her to buy new equipment and by this way, to attract more customers.

“Sheep Farming” Cooperative

Orkhan, with his family, lives in Hajibadalli village, Aghjabadi, Azerbaijan. He is an economist by education. Aghjabedi is a rural and heavily agricultural district. Crop and livestock farming are main types of activities that people are engaged in here. After completing his compulsory army services Orkhan left for Russia for doing business. After some years […]

Sulkhayev’s Enchanted Goods – “Magic Food”

Born in gorgeous Zagatala, Rafael wished of returning to his homeland to live and create there. After having received a degree on applied mathematics in Baku, he did what he intended to do – he went back to Zagatala, although almost all jobs for a programmer like himself were in Baku. He opened a shop […]

Accelerating development of sustainable micro-entrepreneurship in rural regions of Azerbaijan (ADSMIRRA)

“Accelerating Development of Sustainable Micro-entrepreneurship in Rural Regions of Azerbaijan” (ADSMIRRA) Project is implemented by Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) in Ganja-Gazakh, Guba-Khachmaz, Shaki-Zagatala and Aran economic regions during 2018-2021. In total, 510 persons (64% women & 36% men) benefited from the Project Action. The Project Action has supported the launch of 37 start-ups, the expansion […]


Project Info

With the project support, 44 families received training and modern production equipment, and expanded their small businesses from poultry to carpet weaving to oil production. In total, 14 capacity building and 15 expert trainings conducted, ToT programme organised and 8 video-lessons produced.

During COVID-19 pandemic, the project provided families with additional raw materials and tailored support.

Out of the 44 family businesses, 23 are women-led businesses and 12 are led by internally displaced families. The project helped to support 192 direct and 342 indirect beneficiaries.

Now family-made branded products and handicraft souvenirs are available for sale in supermarkets and stores across the country.

Regarding family branding, the Project managed to create the concept and branding of the following finished products:

  1. Oyster mushroom
  2. Hazelnut oil
  3. Dry nuts
  4. Fruit compotes
  5. Walnut oil
  6. Certain souvenirs


Nizami Musayev and his “Caravan” brand

Nizami Musayev is from Balakan. He has been doing persimmon growing and selling work for over 15 years. He joined this EU- funded project with three other persimmon growers. Nizami has remarkable organizational skills and made an interesting proposal about the other potential families. Instead of applying to the project separately and competing, he suggested […]

Handicrafts by Ahmadovs

Sheki is called the city of crafts people and it’s for certain reasons. For centuries, the arts of kalagai, silk carpet weaving, netting, painting, wood carving, coppersmithing, and pottery have been widespread here. The Ahmadovs family also keeps these traditions alive. They wanted more opportunities to sell their handicrafts and by seizing the opportunity, they […]

Ismayilovs and Nurayevs families from Zaqatala

The desire of the Ismayilov and Nurayev families from Zaqatala to set up a joint business is not accidental. The heads of families applied to participate in this EU-funded project that is implemented by UNDP with ABAD. And from the first day on they decided to join their strengths and knowledge. Sohrab Ismayilov and Harun […]

Carpet weaving with Shahla

Shahla participated in the project for families living in rural areas funded by European Union and co-funded and implemented by UNDP Azerbaijan in partnership with ABAD. As part of the project, she received online lessons from a trainer. Get to know Shahla’s success story… Since 2017, the European Union has supported more than 1,000 micros, […]


Project Info

Community-based Value Chain Enhancement in the Greater Caucasus Mountains of Azerbaijan – The COVCHEG project aims at protecting local biodiversity through tools developed by Slow Food International. Ark of Taste component promotes local biodiversity elements worldwide, Presidia component gathers farmers to form a food community and creates production protocols to increase production quality. On the other hand, Slow Food Travel, Earth Markets and Cooks’ Alliance components help for further promotion and marketing of local products by also creating alternative income opportunities. Finally, Education component raises awareness and teaches the younger generation about the importance of local biodiversity.

  • Project duration: 2018-2021
  • Pilot projects in the 5 districts: Shamakhi, Ismayilli, Gabala, Shaki and Gakh
  • Collaboration with 4 ministries and 4 government agencies
  • Meetings with 200 small scale producers
  • 31 local products have been listed in the Ark of Taste catalogue.
  • 3 Presidia have been launched (Ata-baba hazelnut, rosehip syrup, Madrasa wine), 3 Presidia in progress
  • More than 200 rural tourism actors have been involved in the project within Slow Food Travel.
  • 1 study and 1 survey have been conducted on tourism industry in Azerbaijan.
  • Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance Azerbaijan has been launched (7 members at the moment)
  • About 35 teachers have been trained within Slow Food Education program.


The Ark of Taste

The Ark of Taste (Dad Gəmisi) is an online catalogue that is growing day by day, gathering alerts from people who see the flavors of their communities disappear, taking with them a piece of the cul…

Samani halva – one of the Ark of Taste products from Azerbaijan

This is a traditional halva-type sweet distinguished by its brown-black color, which results from the use of wheat sprout juice. Traditionally, it was produced once a year, exclusively for the spri…

Development of sustainable and inclusive local agro-food systems in the North-West region of Azerbaijan

Project Info

“Development of sustainable and inclusive local agro-food systems in the North-West region of Azerbaijan”

The purposes of the project are:

  • To develop efficient and inclusive agro-food systems that support small agricultural entrepreneurship
  • To contribute to the reduction of poverty

The project covers Zagatala, Gakh and Balakan districts.

The project is expected to benefit 800 people, including 250 of them in rural areas. It is planned that 50% of the beneficiaries will be women.

6 local food products selected by the Project:

  • Hazelnut processing products (mash, cookies)
  • Dried persimmon
  • Honey
  • Walnut jam
  • Dry meat and dolma
  • Persimmon molasses

20 production groups engaged in manufacture were selected. These groups unite 186 producers

Project intended to support the manufacturers of selected products with

  • production technology
  • equipment
  • trainings and recommendations in sales, finance, business management, food safety and marketing
  • New, community-based agricultural advisory service model

The project produced 50 visual materials demonstrating the role of women in local food preparation.

The steps envisaged by the Project which will increase the incomes of region`s agri-food producers and suppliers:

  • To promote the benefits of using local food among the population
  • To develop the tourism potential of the region

One of the main contributions of the Project will be selection of 3 sites in the region and submit them for registration as the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).



Alvasova: “Do not be afraid of changes”

Ms. Malahat Alvasova lives in Hanifa village of Balaken where is the home to potential leader women since the ancient years. In this village 11 women have established a Women Development group called Ashig Sanam and they are engaged in both meat and fruit drying. The group has a variety of customers as their products […]

Najaf Mirzayev and his beekeeping corporative

Mr. Najaf Mirzayev is the leader of the beekeeping corporative which has been created in Turajli village of Gakh and have 61 members. Their main objective is to provide their product’s access to foreign markets. Mr. Mirzayev points out that to be engaged in beekeeping have the variety of benefits and nowadays the younger generation […]

From hobby to business

Some months before the country faced with the COVİD-19 pandemic, Tahmina İsayeva from Zaqatala district in the north-west of Azerbaijan started a small business of drying fruits at her kitchen. Although the pandemic challenged her business profitability, Tahmina used this as an opportunity to bring the production to a new level. Tahmina works as a […]

Bugh khangali

Bugh khangali is one of the main delicious meals of Zagatala and Balaken rayons and made from gakhaj (dried meat) and gakhaj dolma. It is a kind of dough meal which is cut possibly thin. The main feature of this meal is the usage of oil for preventing the sticking of dough pieces each other


Project Info

Socio-Economic Empowerment and Development of Small-scale vulnerable rural families in Dashkasan, Goranboy and Samukh rayons of non-Absheron regions of Azerbaijan (SEEDS project)

Overall objective of the project targets to contribute to the fostering of economic regeneration and job creation in Dashkasan, Goranboy and Samukh rayons located in the non-Absheron regions of Azerbaijan. As its specific objective foresees, 400 small-scale vulnerable rural families will enhance and diversify their agricultural engagement and community based tourism activities and will sustainably improve their socio-economic welfare thanks to increased support to community-based initiatives for market-driven income and employment generation through project interventions.

Besides, approximately 1000 female members in the target 30 communities will improve their occupational skills, social welfare and get engaged in income generating activities. In addition, business development capacity of 10-project stakeholder SMEs and their cooperation with relevant value chain actors will be improved. All these activities will also contribute to strategic objectives of state programs on socio-economic development of regions and development strategies of international organizations.

Project results:

– Approximately 400 small-scale vulnerable rural families (or 400 small-scale marginalized parents) improved and diversified their income sources and welfare via promotion of advanced and sustainable agricultural and community based tourism practices in Dashkasan, Goranboy and Samukh rayons;

– Approximately 1000 female members in the target 30 communities improved their occupational skills, social welfare and

got engaged in income generating activities;

– Business development capacity of 10-project stakeholder SMEs and their cooperation with relevant value chain actors is improved;

– Approximately 40 political lawmakers improved their responsiveness about the situation and challenges of small-scale vulnerable rural families via developing 3-4 legislative policy papers.


Gender awareness program for Ganja families

Nail participated in the European Union program for families living in rural areas. As part of the program, he attended the gender awareness group discussions. Get to know Nail’s success story…

Small family business of Mehriban and Ali

Mehriban and Ali are participating in an EU-funded program for rural families. Get to know their success story… Since 2017, the European Union has supported more than 1,000 micro, medium and …


Project Info

 “The agricultural initiatives for market-driven income generation in the Telishli ecomigrant community” project funded by the EU and implemented by the “Ruzgar” Ecological Society was carried out in 2018-2020. The target group of the project is the residents of Telishli eco-migrant settlement in Imishli region, whose houses and farms were damaged in the Kura floods in 2010. According to their life style, population of the community consists of Tarakama. Currently, 1250 people in 276 families live in Telishli community.


Telishli eco-migrant settlement

The work carried out under the project included improving the irrigation system, establishing a carpet production workshop, setting up of a roadside service cooperative, building a Helep goat farm …

Malik Shahmurov and his Damascus goats farm

Malik Shahmurov, eco-migrant village in Imishli region, built a farm and bought 20 Damascus goats with support from the EU project. Damascus goats are famous for their abundant and high-quality mil…