AEGEAN Young Business Association (EGIAD), after getting funding support from the Small Grant Program initiated by USA Embassy with a project developed with the aim of encouraging women to play and act a more active role in the entrepreneurship life and increasing the employment participation rate of women, brought the businesswomen of İzmir together with US specialists on trade and entrepreneurship. Acting in cooperation with its project partners EGIKAD (Aegean Businesswomen Association) and IZIKAD (İzmir Businesswomen Association), EGIAD organized a meeting bringing the woman entrepreneur candidates with successful businessmen of İzmir and many specialists, notably USA Embassy Commercial Attache and Undersecretary of Economy and Agriculture. The meeting is attended by EGIAD President Aydın Buğra İlter, BASIFED (Western Anatolia Industrialists and Businessmen Associations Federation) President Seda Kaya Ösen, EGIKAD President Nilhan Antitoros, and IZIKAD President Huriyet Serter, and woman entrepreneurs.
EGIAD won and received a grant from the Small Grant Program initiated by USA Embassy with its Women Entrepreneurs Education project prepared with the intention of increasing woman workforce. Giving support to woman entrepreneur candidates by organizing a training and activity program every month, EGIAD has provided KOSGEB Basic Entrepreneurship trainings of 32 hours till now. EGIAD hosted the transfer of information of first degree to candidates directly from specialists. “We are intending to organize a full capacity training activity by also offering conference, workshop, mentorship and coaching services as a part of the training program,” says Aydın Buğra İlter, President of Board of Directors of EGIAD: “In the international platforms, it is decided to close the gap between employment participation rates of men and women by 25 percent until 2025, and therefore, attention of everyone is turned to woman entrepreneur candidates. In the coming years, on worldwide basis, 100 million women are planned to participate in employment. Again on worldwide basis the rate of woman entrepreneurs is 17 percent. According to the statistical data in Turkey, the rate of woman entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is around 15 percent. This means to say that we are 2 points below the global average. From the point of view of the number of investments, in 2017, women entrepreneurs were involved in only 15 out of 71 enterprises invested in Turkey. Thus, women entrepreneurs handled 15 percent of total investment amount. Under these circumstances, it won’t be wrong to say that we have a long-run and challenging process ahead.”
PROJECT SUPPORT TO WOMEN İ
“Women represent the most important one of the fundamental target groups of entrepreneurship activities in Turkey”, says President İlter. “An economic growth cannot be imagined without women also involved therein. Thus, it does matter to make sure that women play a more active and effective role in economic life. A great many of institutions and non-governmental organizations should produce new projects for women representing 49.8 percent of total population of Turkey. As EGIAD, we believe that included in our most important responsibilities are to take our place among the pioneering organizations of this process and to be at the fore in encouraging the entrepreneur spirit of our women. Having received a funding support from the Small Grant Program initiated by USA Embassy with its Women Entrepreneurs Education project developed with the aim of encouraging women to play and act a more active role in the entrepreneurship life and increasing the employment participation rate of women, our Association is fulfilling and performing an important social responsibility with this project. For stronger societies and economies, men and women should work together and definitely keep going with an entrepreneurship spirit.”
BUSINESSWOMEN EXPLAINED THEIR EXPERIENCES
1st session of the panel is moderated by Erika Olson, Undersecretary of Economy in USA Embassy. Panelists speaking in the first session organized under the heading of “Business Strategies For Women Entrepreneurs” were Alison Kosnett, USA Embassy Business Development Expert, Christine Strossman, Undersecretary of Agriculture, and Shari Stout, Commercial Attache. And second session of the panel is moderated by Aydın Buğra İlter, EGIAD President.
In the second session held under the heading of “Success Stories From Women Entrepreneurs”, successful businesswomen of İzmir explained their experiences. Gökçe Peksarı, DOGO General Manager, Gizem Acar Yavuz, Founder of Food Art A.Ş. and Sevinç Çayır, Founder of OSSOS-D A.Ş, Doğalsen Gıda Ltd. Şti. and Güçbir Lojistik A.Ş., narrated their business experiences therein.In the second session held under the heading of “Success Stories From Women Entrepreneurs”, successful businesswomen of İzmir explained their experiences. Gökçe Peksarı, DOGO General Manager, Gizem Acar Yavuz, Founder of Food Art A.Ş. and Sevinç Çayır, Founder of OSSOS-D A.Ş, Doğalsen Gıda Ltd. Şti. and Güçbir Lojistik A.Ş., narrated their business experiences therein.
EGIAD WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM
Within the frame of the program opened in March 8 International Women’s Day, at the first stage, KOSGEB held and gave Basic Entrepreneurship Trainings. A training course of 32 hours is organized in 4 modules under the headings of testing of entrepreneurship features, business idea development and creativity exercises, responsible entrepreneurship concept and sharing of experiences, business enterprise concept, business enterprise functions, types, forms of foundation, financial and legal responsibilities, business plan concept and elements, business model and business plan workshops. As a part of these training activities, a workshop titled “Strategic Business Model Development and Application in VUCA Period” is also organized and held by Selim Oktar, Founding Partner of Stratejico Consulting Firm. Woman entrepreneur candidates taking part in this workshop gained experience through information and group works. Within the frame of this activity to be continued with Applied Support Program at the next stage, conferences will be organized and mentorship and coaching services will be provided so as to enable participants to found their own businesses. Training program is planned to be completed by the end of June.