By Sara Israfilbayova
To date, the self-employment program in Azerbaijan covered about 1,400 people.
Minister of Labor and Social Protection of the Population Salim Muslimov made the remarks at an event dedicated to the results of the journalistic contest ‘Self-Employment: Create Your Employment and Get a Family Business’ on July 14.
"Within the framework of the program, there were selected 1,400 people, who passed relevant trainings and whose business plans were recognized as successful. Of the total number, 322 are women and 303 are young men. Since February, the process of providing these individuals with assets has started. The process of issuance of assets is planned to be completed next month,” Muslimov said.
Based on the assessment - the purpose, structure and content of the business plan, the relevant commission under the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population provides the applicants with goods and materials, helping them to create and manage family business. Only those who are able to justify their business plan benefit the program.
Enlarging self-employment has been determined as a perspective business task in Azerbaijan.
In September 2016, “Simplified support to family business” (ABAD) under the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations operating under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (ASAN) was created in order to support the active participation of citizens in the social and economic development of Azerbaijan, the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), increase of employment of the population.
Moreover, it is planned to create the Agency of Small and Medium Enterprises and the Guarantee Credit Fund in 2017-2018. Similar agencies already operate in Europe, the UK, the USA, China, Singapore and other countries, stimulating the development of small and medium-sized businesses.
In these agencies, any representative of SMEs can relatively quickly and easily find out about all the opportunities for the company's development, new methods and technologies, about raising the qualification of employees, and assessing the risks of working in another country. Also, the Fund introduces a huge number of various programs on concessional lending, which include special loans, credit risk insurance and subsidies. In general, the agency's mission is to help and protect the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises, create free market competition, and support and strengthen the country's economy in whole.
People engaged in business in Baku pay 4 percent of the income, while in other regions they must pay 3 percent. In the sphere of trade and public catering, income tax equals to 6 and 8 percent, respectively.
To assist to self-employment the Presidential Reserve Fund allocated 6 million manats ($3.5 million) to the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Azerbaijan.
That will ensure the transition from activities on the unsustainable passive social security of low-income families to the activities of sustainable active employment programs.
Unemployment rate in Azerbaijan is 5 percent, while the poverty level equals to 5.3 percent.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz