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 Press release - Eurasia Foundation Approves Over $96,000 in Grants for Azerbaijan (EF)

 Press release date: 19.05.2003

For Distribution Contact: Dena Hawes
May 19, 2003 dena@efazerbaijan.org

Eurasia Foundation Approves Over $96,000 in Grants for Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan - The Eurasia Foundation's Baku Advisory Board has recommended $93,147 for four new grants and one amendment to a previous grant to organizations in Azerbaijan to promote development of private enterprise and civil society.

Private Sector Development

'Karvan' Center for Independent Social Research $24,511
To enhance competitiveness of SMEs by introducing e-business practices. Azerbaijan is just beginning to enter the area of e-commerce, and this project aims to provide education and practical support. The project includes conducting the first conference on e-business in Baku, developing of e-strategies for fifty SMEs, and providing on-going information support to businesses through seminars, written materials and a website.

Society of Marketing $23,636
To support the development of practical marketing skills of entrepreneurs, representatives of small enterprises, non-governmental organizations and youth, to improve their knowledge and access to opportunities that can be gained through modern marketing techniques and which, in turn, can strengthen their organizations. The NGO will train thirty-five representatives of enterprises, NGOs and state organizations, hold discussions with students at universities, periodically update its website with information on new marketing methodologies, open a free-access library with books on marketing, publish special inserts for the independent newspaper "Zerkalo", and establish collaboration with the Russian academy of marketing.

Society of Zoologists $6,928
To support development of quail breeding, a promising sub-sector of agriculture and a new area of entrepreneurship, which can serve as a model for the diversification of the Azerbaijani economy outside of the energy sector. The project includes training sessions for quail breeding farmers in the Absheron peninsula and southeastern region, to collect data and to discuss and develop recommendations to improve management of farmer households. The project will be done in collaboration with an ACDI/VOCA volunteer expert.

"Girdiman" Center of Culture and History--amendment $4,162
This amendment will design and create workspaces at the Caravansary in Sheki for craft people selected under a project promoting economic development of the handicrafts industry and tourism. The project works in collaboration with the World Bank Cultural Heritage Support Project and the Sheki Association of Handicrafts.

Civil Society Development
Union of Youth $33,911

To support NGOs in regions of Azerbaijan through creation of a network among existing resource centers outside of Baku. This project builds on a past grant that opened a center to foster citizen initiatives in the NW of Azerbaijan and will expand the activities of this center, to raise skills levels in regional organizations and encourage greater cooperation on solving social problems. A second stage will draw on the strengths of the Union of Youth to connect some 21 regional resource centers, supporting greater information exchange and collaboration among regional and Baku-based NGOs.

About the Eurasia Foundation
Privately managed with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development and other sponsors, we have made more than 6,500 grants totaling approximately $130 million to support democratic and economic reform in 12 countries of the former Soviet Union since 1993. In Azerbaijan, we have awarded more than $4 million in grants to advance local initiatives in civil society, private enterprise, and public administration and policy. Please visit www.eurasia.org and www.efazerbaijan.org



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