Baku, Azerbaijan, February 16, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, launched a web-based portal, www.biznesinfo.az,
to support the development of Azerbaijan’s small and medium enterprise
sector. The portal will help entrepreneurs make informed decisions, identify
potential partners, and grow their operations.
Small enterprises often lack access
to business intelligence necessary for expansion. The portal provides entrepreneurs
with self-learning tools, downloadable forms and templates, and a searchable
glossary of business terms in Azerbaijani. The portal also features business
news, relevant information on Azerbaijan’s regulatory environment, and
advice on how international best practices can be applied domestically.
“Local small and medium enterprises
can strengthen their decision-making processes and increase business opportunities
by using the tools and market insights provided by the portal,” said Irina
Niederberger, Manager of the IFC Investment Climate Project in Azerbaijan.
Biznesinfo.az is a joint initiative
of the IFC Investment Climate Project and Minimax, a private sector media
company. The portal is funded in part by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic
Affairs (SECO) and BP and its co-venturers in the offshore oil and gas
fields Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli and Shah Deniz, respectively, and in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan
and South Caucasus pipeline projects.
“This initiative will provide local
businesses in Azerbaijan with relevant information in support of their
capacity growth,” said Kenan Shikhlinsky, BP’s Projects Officer. “It
will also help enhance their understanding of regulatory requirements.”
Enterprises can register in the portal’s
business directory free of charge and can set up and manage their own micro-portals
to strengthen market presence. “Our collaboration with IFC will give smaller
businesses the ability to promote their products and services more effectively
and at a better price,” said Ibrahim Baharov, Director of Minimax.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the
private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth
by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and
governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.
In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our
clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute
to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time
high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.