Support to the development of small family businesses in the Sheki-Zagatala Economic Zone through ABAD regional centre in Balakan

Start/end date: 
2017 - 2020
Implementing partner: 
EU budget: 

The project supports the development of community-based family businesses and rural entrepreneurship in the Sheki-Zagatala Economic Zone in Azerbiajan, by working with and building the capacity of the ‘ABAD’ public body for support to family business, as well with selected target families to develop skills and support the growth of micro enterprises.


The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the socio-economic development of the regions of Azerbaijan by fostering the creation of modern and sustainable family businesses in rural areas, and enabling equal opportunities and inclusivity in line with European standards and practices.

The specific objective of the action is to support community-based family businesses to produce high quality competitive value-added products in the Sheki-Zagatala Economic Zone by focusing on Balakan district.


ABAD regional centre in Balakan, small family businesses, with a focus on value-chain agricultural products and manufacture of handicrafts and other hand-made products


  • Capacity-building events (trainings, workshops, seminars) and study visits for ‘ABAD’ management and professional staff on certification, branding, product packaging, logistics, sales, monitoring and quality control activities, etc.
  • Procurement of some equipment for ‘ABAD’.
  • Identification of pilot families, based on readiness to start/expand their own businesses, possession of initial capacities and experience, and having a desire for greater market success
  • Training for selected families on skills development, including preparation of business plans, responsible management of micro-loans, manufacture of value-added products, etc.
  • Training on policy areas, including hygiene regulations, labour safety, HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), reduction of environmental impact, etc.
  • Purchase of equipment, technology and inventory for modern, clean, safe and high-quality agro-food processing, manufacture of arts and crafts, weaving and other products for target families.


By the end of the project, the following results will be achieved:

  • 30 pilot families selected, trained and equipped
  • Pre-production and pre-sale system established
  • Family brands are created
  • Production and sale process is organised  

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