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IFC Launches Web Portal to Help Azerbaijan’s Small and Medium Businesses Grow

Baku, Azerbaijan, February 16, 2012 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, launched a web-based portal, , 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. 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.
About IFC
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 .
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