2023 SME World Forum: Baku, Azerbaijan

November 13 – November 16, 2023

The SME World Forum’s inaugural will reunite some of the most creative and emphatic world leaders of the business world, policy, academic and youth. The Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the main lead and will be the primary host, and this World Forum will take place from November 13 to November 16, 2023 in Baku, Azerbaijan.


The SME World Forum will target five key segments: Private Sector Companies, Startups, Policy Sector, Academic Sector, Education Sector, and Tourism & Hospitality with special dedicated sessions on youth and women entrepreneurship.


View the 2022 SME World Forum in Rosario, Argentina

Conference Overview

Cultural Day: Pre-conference City Tours to discover Baku *Note: Transportation to and from the Airport is not provided by ICSB. Entrepreneurial Education Day: To take place at 21st Century School and at least two other schools in Baku simultaneously, led by ICSB Experts to provide entrepreneurial training and development to teachers and students. SME Research and Workshop Day: Workshops and showcases for KOBiA small business owners, students and professors. Policy Day and Baku Declaration/Gala Reception: Panels with business leaders, sessions, and exhibitions about SMEs.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

Arrival and Registration of guests at a designated venue/hotel

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Welcome and Introduction by the Tourism Board, outlining the day’s activities

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Tour of Baku’s cultural highlights, including historical landmarks, museums, and iconic sites.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AMRegistration and Gathering at the 21st Century School for participants and ICSB Experts
10:00 AM – 11:00 AMOpening Ceremony: Welcome speeches by key organizers, highlighting the importance of entrepreneurial education.
11:00 AM – 12:00 AMICSB Experts are divided among schools
12:00 PM – 1:00 PMWorkshops begin at 21st Century School and two other schools: Interactive sessions focusing on practical entrepreneurship skills, innovative thinking, and business development for students. Adaptation of The George Washington University Lemonade Day
1:00 PM – 2:30 PMLunch break at the respective schools, with networking opportunities
2:30 PM – 4:00 PMContinued workshops and hands-on activities for participants
4:00 PM – 5:00 PMClosing Ceremony and Certificate Distribution to participants

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Registration at ADA University, where participants will receive their workshop schedules

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Research Presentations: Scholars and researchers present their findings related to SMEs and entrepreneurship

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Parallel Workshop Sessions: Interactive workshops covering various topics such as marketing strategies, financial management, and technological innovation for small businesses.

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Lunch Break with networking opportunities

2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Continued parallel workshops with global researchers and showcase presentations by successful KOBiA small business owners

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Closing Remarks and Handover

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Registration and Welcome Coffee/grab and go breakfast at the conference venue (to be specified)

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

Opening Welcome Speeches

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Baku Declaration Signing Ceremony: High-ranking Azeri government officials join the event to announce the Baku Declaration, which emphasizes commitments to support small and medium enterprises

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Coffee Break and networking opportunities 

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM

Panel Session 1: Representatives from the World Bank, EBRD, OECD, and other invited experts discuss policies impacting small businesses and entrepreneurship in Azerbaijan

1:30 PM – 2:45 PM

Networking Lunch with VIP guests, government officials, and international representatives

2:45 PM – 4:00 PM

Joint Moderated Session by KOBiA and ICSB: Interactive discussions and Q&A sessions with the policy experts and SME owners about Digital transformation and foreign trade, and the post-pandemic impact

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Gala Reception: A celebration of entrepreneurship and cultural exchange, providing a relaxed environment for further networking

2023 SME World Forum Brochure

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