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Special ReportsOct 2013
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Women Entrepreneurs Making Strides in Turkey
With Turkey as a backdrop, KAGIDER (the Turkish women entrepreneur's NGO) and Garanti Bank held their first Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit in June. It was a melting pot of women (and a few men) from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa working to "write history together." It attracted dignitaries from the Obama administration, NATO, the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank and various Turkish ministries.
The summit produced many action plans. Attendees discussed several joint programs, including an MBA exchange between Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif., and Turkey's Sabanci University in the summers of 2010 and 2011. The Global Women's Leadership Network--part of Santa Clara University--also plans to solicit new participants from Turkey for its Women Leaders for the World program. To date, that program has 80 graduates at work in 27 countries.
Participants also discussed raising $10 million to fund entrepreneurial women's efforts in Turkey.
Here are the facts that make initiatives of this kind so important to Turkish women:
• Only 24 percent of women are employed in Turkey vs. 57 percent in the EU.
• Turkish women entrepreneurs are only 9 percent of total entrepreneurs.
• Women's representation in parliament is only 9 percent.
• Top executive women total only 6 percent.
• Average daily time spent on household duties and child care is five hours.
Several role models had a chance to tell their stories. Among them:
• Meltem Kurtsan. She's the first president of KAGIDER and one of the first businesswomen to talk about women's rights in the male-dominated Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association.
• Aysegül Ildeniz. The regional director for Intel Middle East, Turkey and Africa is a young, ambitious and successful top executive.
• Vuslat Doğan Sabancı. President of the executive committee of Hurriyet newspaper, she spearheaded a campaign on women's protective media language.
• Nakiye Boyacigiller. She's dean of the management faculty at Turkey's Sabancı University, which supports women's entrepreneurship.
It is encouraging to see these and other efforts to support women entrepreneurs in Turkey. During the past three years, Garanti Bank has loaned more than $90 million to women to scale up their businesses. The bank also sponsored seminars in five cities in Anatolia to teach business skills to more than 1,200 women.
Ak bank has helped open a new Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership Center in Istanbul. It will be a hub for entrepreneurs, businesswomen, women leaders and supporters of women's development in Turkey and in the region.
KAGIDER has a mission to develop entrepreneurial women and to raise women's place in the community. The center will serve as a place for training, developing, communicating, empowering, coordinating, gathering and inspiring women.
These efforts have had an impact. Many wrote from Anatolia to say how useful the training is for their success. Some said they were inspired to stay in business by KAGIDER. Others said they are working hard to become members of KAGIDER because women in the KAGIDER network aren't trying to make it alone, without any support.
- Winner of appreciation award for promoting SMEs in India.
- 1st ever Indian magazine to penetrate tier II, III cities & the rural belt.
- Industry Partnerships include CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, PHDCC, AIMA, ITPO, SME Network, Federation of Indian Micro Small Enterprises (FISME)
- Official Magazine Partners for several national & international MSME events.
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