On May 18th, the Chairman of the Board of SMBDA, the Small and Medium Business Development Agency of Azerbaijan, INSME member, Orkhan Mammadov attended an OECD webinar titled “Promotion of Digitalizing SMEs in the Eastern Partnership Countries”. The discussion revolved around the ways through which Eastern Partner countries can support the digital transformation of their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Senior policy makers from the Eastern Partner countries shared their latest efforts in promoting SME digitalisation while experts from OECD members described their experience in designing and implementing policies and programmes promoting SME digitalisation.
It was noted that SMBDA promotes the digitalisation of SMEs through various support mechanisms, such as by raising the level of knowledge and awareness, and by expanding the electronic infrastructure. Also, it provides important financial support for digital economy supporting mechanisms for market research, education, scientific research, and the issuance of start-up Certificates. Furthermore, work is underway to transfer services provided to entrepreneurs in a single space in the SME houses to an online platform, and to do this, an e-SME House portal is being created.
At the event, it was also stated that the project ‘Promotion of Digitalizing Small and Medium Businesses in Azerbaijan’, recently launched with OECD support, could contribute to the government’s efforts on developing the digital economy.
“Micro, small, and medium businesses are the driving force of the modern economy, and the level of proficiency in digital technologies is among the indicators of the innovative development level of the country as a whole. The global pandemic has once again proven the importance of digitalization for the stable and sustainable development of SMEs. Digitalizing SMEs is among the important elements of the socio-economic development strategy until 2030 within the framework of the National Priorities developed by the Azerbaijani Government” as importantly stated by Mr. Mammadov.