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Baku, 24 February 2022 – The European Union (EU) and UNDP launch policy discussions to support development of social entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan.
‘Social Enterprise Policy – a Global Landscape’ webinar was held as part of the EU-funded ‘Developing innovation-driven and sustainable civil society in Azerbaijan’ project. The webinar intended to kick-off a policy dialogue aimed at advancing social enterprise ecosystem in Azerbaijan. The webinar covered various aspects of policy framework ranging from definitions and business models of social enterprises to challenges and best practices in policy development.
The event brought together over 100 people from a wide range of stakeholders including social entrepreneurs, high-level officials, government representatives, civil society organisations (CSOs), business support agencies, international and local experts, and other ecosystem players.
“Through social entrepreneurship CSOs can become key players in achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs). For this there is a need of a legal framework that enables social entrepreneurs to thrive. Also, there is a need to build capacities of social entrepreneurs so they can make the right choices. This project will address these two challenges as well”, mentioned Victor Bojkov, the Head of the Cooperation Department of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan.
“Entrepreneurship can be an important driver for sustainable development. Especially social entrepreneurs aim to explore market opportunities and to create innovative sustainable solutions for economic, social, and environmental challenges. Thus, we strongly believe that social entrepreneurs have a key role to play in contributing to advancing the 2030 Agenda and contributing to the SDGs in Azerbaijan”, said Charu Bist, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
During the webinar, a panel of international social enterprise policy experts shared their learnings and experiences, and showcased differences and similarities of social enterprise ecosystems in various countries. The participants also learnt about a story of a local social entrepreneur from Azerbaijan.
Following this introductory event, the project will host more focused and interactive workshops where participants will have a chance to contribute to the development of policy papers in the area of social entrepreneurship.
This project is funded by the EU and implemented by UNDP, and it aims to help increase CSOs capacities to engage in policy-making processes, foster local development, and promote social entrepreneurship and social innovation.