Western University - Azerbaijan

Best practices of V4 countries for the sustainable Development of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Azerbaijan


Faculty: Faculty of Business Management and Economics

Department: Business Management and Economics

Study program: BA degree

Course Name: Best practices of V4 countries for the sustainable Development of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in Azerbaijan



Course supervisor from home country:

Mr.Asif Khalafov
Azerbaijan, Western university

Phone:+99450 574-2780

Guest lecturer 1 from V4:

Dr Hab. Marta Gancarczyk

Poland, Jagiellonian University
Phone: +4812 664-5669

Guest lecturer 2 from V4:

Dr.Jiri Nesiba

Czech Republic, Newton College

Phone: +72 548-8815


Course description:


The course provides an overview of policies and different economical aspects of SME development in Azerbaijan and learning from best practices of V4 countries with the aim of applying those practices for the sustainable development of SMEs . Recently in the country, ABAD, which stands for Easy Support to Family Business (translated from Azerbaijani), has been established by the Presidential Decree in order to support the active participation of citizens in the socioeconomic development, development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), increase the level of employment and establishment of competitive family households. ABAD will be performing: implementation of projects supporting family households, SMEs and establishment of a fund to finance relevant projects that can mobilize business and investment for sustainable growth and employment. Government's immediate action towards diversification of the economy and focus on this field creates a need for a human capital with clear understanding of SMEs and also public discussions on the topic. By addressing this issue the proposed course focuses on central aspects of small business management as well as a discussion how much SMEs contribute to economic and social development in general and to local and regional development in particular. Various aspects of management and SMEs in different cultural and socio-economic contexts especially from the perspective of VISEGRAD group of countries and EU generally are presented and illustrated through cases, papers and books as well as lectures and seminars.

The course will also introduce students to key macro and microeconomic policies and practical approach to policy reform and SME development. The overarching questions addressed in this course include: What are the key economic and institutional components of SMEs in the country and region? What are the appropriate questions policy makers should ask in order to evaluate and design effective policies to enhance development of SMEs? Do SMEs really need specific policies to support their development? What are the most and least effective policies to support SMEs? How to manage and develop SMEs? How to use technology and general business management approaches in SMEs?

Aims and objectives of the course:

This course is designed to create the understanding the reality of Small and Medium Enterprises from a political (legislative), managerial and organizational perspective and to demonstrate the role and importance of the SMEs in economic and social development and in the creation of value. The main purpose of this course is to provide a comprehensible, clear-cut, and current account of the focal issues related to the development of SMEs in Azerbaijan in comparison with V4 countries specifically and the EU in general:

To understand the reality of small and medium size enterprises (SME) in different cultural and socio-economic settings by highlighting the initiatives and experiences of V4 countries and EU

To demonstrate the role and importance of the role of the SME sector in economic development

To compare managerial and organisational strategies and perspectives for SME development

To describe public-private SME partnerships at macro, meso, micro-levels

To get knowledge on methodology and tools for enterprise strategic, financial and production planning in SMEs

To outline means of improving capacity for trade, exports, investments, and access to markets for SMEs

To present areas and instruments of SME policy at national and regional levels

To provide knowledge on innovation processes, models and measures

Course Materials:

NOTE: Will be further developed and confirmed by the all lecturers collaboratively

SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, OECD, Eurostat, and GEM publications, Book (Available online)

Small and Medium Enterprises: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, Information Management Association, USA, 2013

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the European Union, Peter L. Vesterdorf, 2005

"Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Visegrad in Visegrad Countries towards Internationalisation Challenges” chapter 9 by Nelly Daszkiewicz (Poland) of book, "Countries towards Internationalisation Challenges in the European Union”

D. Audretsch, I. Grilo, A.R. Thurik (eds.), (2007), Handbook of Research in Entrepreneurship Policy, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.

B.T. Asheim, A. Isaksen, C. Nauvelaers, F. Tödtling (eds.), (2003), Regional Innovation Policy for Small-Medium Enterprises, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.

Eurostat/European Commission, (2013), Science, technology and innovation in Europe

OECD, (2005), Oslo Manual. Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data

Grading policy:

For the purpose of grading, assignments will be weighted as follows:

●Class Participation - 20%

●Group Presentations - 20%

●Midterm - 20%

●Final exam - 40%

●TOTAL - 100%


Tentative Course Outline:




Type (Lecture/Seminar)


Introduction: Overview of course syllabus. General overview of SMEs . Business Environment and Present Status of SMEs

Interactive lecture (IL)


Development history of SMEs in Azerbaijan. Government policy on SME development



Legislation of SMEs, Employment Labor Policies in Azerbaijan



Trends of individual entrepreneurship development in Azerbaijan



Competitive advantages of SMEs in V4 countries in EU countries



Formulation and implementation of SME policies in V4 countries



New Venture/Business Support in V4 countries



Innovation development in SMEs in V4 countries



Stimulating innovation potential of SMEs



SMEs for Social Innovations



State role in SME development- the positive experience of V4 government policies






Effective management techniques for SMEs



Risk Management in SMEs



Managing people in SMEs- comparative analysis



Financing and Financial management of SMEs



Strategies for Internalisation of SMEs



SMEs and E-business: implementation, strategy



Technology level in SMEs in V4 countries



Corporate Social Responsibility-comparative analysis



Group Presentations






Final Exam




Office Hours :


Course Supervisor: Mr.Asif Khalafov, From September 15, 2016 - January 29, 2016

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 11.30 am -12.30 pm. Room number: 205


Guest lecturer 1: Dr Hab. Marta Gancarczyk, during her visit time.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: from 10.30-11.30 am. Room number: 210


Guest lecturer 2: Dr.Jiri Nesiba, during his visit time

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: from 10.30-11.30 am.
Room number: 210