UNDP invited PwC Azerbaijan to conduct an assessment of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) in Sabirabad, the first center established under the “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” project. The engagement included an assessment of the WRC’s organizational capacity, its sustainability and the services provided, as well as an analysis of potential private sector linkages for involving women entrepreneurs in their value chain.
PwC then worked on improving the institutional capacity of the Sabirabad WRC and the enhancement of its organizational management systems and operations. In order to reach its objectives, PwC also conducted an assessment of the WRC’s capacity and training needs and formulated a capacity development response.
PwC Azerbaijan conducted an assessment of the capacity development needs of the WRC in Sabirabad as well as the services provided by this centre to women entrepreneurs. We analyzed the potential linkages between the women entrepreneurs of LNGO (Sabirabad) and two other WRCs (Gusar and Baku-Khazar) with larger private companies in Azerbaijan. We also conducted an assessment of capacity building for these three women’s resource centers. During the project, our team determined the potential of Sabirabad WRC to mentor, train and guide WRCs in Baku-Khazar and Gusar.
In 2011, the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) in Sabirabad was the first centre established under the “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” UNDP project in Azerbaijan. In 2017, the Sabirabad WRC obtained legal status and was registered as a local leading non-governmental organisation (LNGO) by the Ministry of Justice. The WRC empowers women entrepreneurs and develops their skills in areas such as organisational development, LNGO establishment and management, financial literacy and family budget development, accounting and computer skills, CV-writing, as well as presentation, proposal writing and fundraising skills. The aim of the project was the provision of women entrepreneurs with the essential skills and trainings needed to help them to found and run a sustainable business, hence support them in entering the workspace and boost the country’s economy.
UNDP wanted to learn from other WRCs and identify good practices that can be scaled up to bolster the impact of the Sabirabad WRC. Even though the WRC in Sabirabad was already established as an LNGO, there was a need to strengthen its governance systems, the leadership capacity of its management, financial capacity and management systems in order to support poor and socially-excluded women and increase the level of their economic activity.
Between September and October 2019, PwC conducted an assessment of the leadership capacity of the Sabirabad WRC’s management, its governance system, financial system and management systems.
After gaining an understanding of the Sabirabad WRC and what it could offer, we examined its potential connection with the business environment ranging from local women entrepreneurs to Azerbaijan’s large private sector companies. We also examined how it could support other WRCs.
Within 32 days, we delivered documentation focused on the current state of the WRC, its needs and capacities, and the WRC’s ability to support other WRCs. Moreover, we delivered trainings for WRC coordinators in financial management, business perspective and leadership skills.
We compared the desired capacities against existing capacities to determine what efforts would be required to close the gap, and to determine capacity development needs. We provided recommendations on how to learn from experience and identify good practices that can be scaled up within the already functioning Sabirabad WRC and be applied to the other WRCs. We divided capacity building recommendations into three main sections: institutional, organisational and individual capacity. Investment in all three levels of development will be required to ensure sustainable capacity building.
Since the establishment of the WRC, women have been provided with capacity development support in the area of organizational development, LNGO establishment and management, financial literacy and family budget development, accounting and computer skills, CV-writing, as well as presentation, proposal writing and fundraising skills.
The assessment of the capacity development needs of the Sabirabad Women Resource Centre has impacted the institutional, organizational and individual capacity of women entrepreneurs and their organisations.Trainings on financial management, business perspective and leadership have helped to improve the quality of services provided to women entrepreneurs.
As a result of the project, coordinators got in touch with larger private sector companies of Azerbaijan. All these newly obtained skills were applied to the new WRCs in Gusar and Baku-Khazar.
Manager, Cooperation with Local International Financial Institutions, PwC Azerbaijan
Consultant, General Consulting, PwC Azerbaijan