BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 6. Azerbaijan could boost the adoption of digital solutions by SME by improving their ability to access external financing, the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) told Trend, as it presented the report on Promoting Enterprise Digitalization in Azerbaijan.
“The Entrepreneurship Development Fund and SMBDA could consider expanding their existing financial support programs or launch new initiatives targeting SME digitalization specifically. For example, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund could provide loans with preferential interest rates for SMEs that aim to purchase digital software and hardware and SMBDA could provide small grants for companies that want to establish an online presence or launch an e-commerce initiative,” said the organization.
OECD notes that Azerbaijan should ensure that the support programs provided by public institutions fulfil requirements on their quality, impact and effectiveness. Systematic monitoring and well-planned evaluations of support programs, especially those providing continuous training and consulting services, can provide decision makers with necessary evidence and feedback on the quality and impact of provided support services.
“It should be based on measurable indicators and on the level of satisfaction. It will provide information on the impact of the services and can also serve as a change-management tool in the context of future support. During the implementation of support programs, service providers should keep records on process indicators such as: (i) number of self-assessment reviews completed, (ii) number of SMEs provided with support, (iii) number of participants attending each training session, (iv) level of satisfaction of participants with trainings and consulting sessions. Monitoring and evaluation should start before the implementation of each program and would continue after its delivery against a set of KPIs. KPIs should measure the outcomes for the beneficiaries and assess the effectiveness of the program in supporting adoption of digital solutions by program beneficiaries,” said the organization.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn