Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs from textile, ready-made clothing, footwear, food and supporting innovative sectors came together with leading buyers, investors and representatives of funding sources.

The second B2B Business Networking Event was held on 30 March 2022 in Istanbul within the scope of “Enhancement of Entrepreneurship Capacities for Sustainable Socio-Economic Integration (ENHANCER) Project”, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) under the coordination of Directorate General of Development Agencies of the Ministry of Industry and Technology.

The event which was held to improve cooperation opportunities of Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs, to help them acquire business development skills and to strengthen their business connections hosted 237 attendees and 128 companies.

This event, which brought together Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs from textile, ready-made clothing, footwear, food and supporting innovative sectors with leading buyers, investors and representatives of funding sources, staged for important collaborations.

Landrut: “B2B Business Networking Events are important for the goal of creating innovative and competent entrepreneurs.”

Attending the event, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey Ambassador Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut indicated that the war between Russia and Ukraine has also introduced new challenges to the business world after the Covid-19 pandemic and a common effort has been displayed for the solution of these problems.

Expressing that B2B Business Networking Events organised within the scope of ENHANCER Project are part of common efforts for the development and discovery of new solutions that will help the business world in Turkey recover, Landrut continued: “These meetings will help ENHANCER Project to achieve its objective to create innovative, competitive, inclusive and competent entrepreneurs who will create employment.”

You can watch the interview conducted during the event with the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey Ambassador Meyer-Landrut here.

Dönmez: “We will diversify and increase incentives for entrepreneurship.”

Deputy Minister of Industry and Technology Çetin Ali Dönmez mentioned that they have been planning to diversify and increase incentives provided for actors in entrepreneurship ecosystem by the Ministry and affiliated institutions, and said:

“We believe that our country has a big potential in technology-based entrepreneurship. And our Ministry intends to support and increase this potential through incentives we have been offering. We have been developing systems that will increase private sector’s participation in order to reach entrepreneurship supports to a more sustainable and healthy level. We have been rising public support in venture capital practices and strengthening coordination. We will ensure financial diversity through both funds and supports to be provided for angel investors. In the future, we will continue to provide concrete support for entrepreneurship ecosystem in different areas such as extremely innovative impact investments, crowd funding and venture capital.”

Pluim: “Let’s act together, and create value.”

ICPMD’s Migration Dialogues and Cooperation Director Martijn Pluim stated that they gave importance to strengthen livelihood of not only Syrians under temporary protection but also the host communities during their activities in Turkey, and added, “Socio-economic integration has become one of the key components of migration management in Turkey.”

Emphasising that they have been focused on creating more jobs for both Turkish citizens and Syrians under temporary protection, Pluim called on private sector representatives to actively strengthen innovative thinking and cooperation. He said, “Let’s act together, let’s create value, let’s contribute to economic and social development.”

Kılıç: “The ENHANCER Project will contribute to economic growth and development goals.”

ICMPD’s Western Balkans and Turkey Regional Coordinator Tamer Kılıç expressed that under the ENHANCER Project, efforts have been made to increase employment of Turkish citizens as well as Syrians under temporary protection, and commented “In the meantime, we also support entrepreneurship efforts of these groups so that we both support their livelihoods and increase production in Turkey. We consider that all these efforts will contribute to Turkey’s achievement of its export, economic growth and development goals.”

After ICMPD Portfolio Manager Pınar Yapanoğlu shared the ENHANCER Project and its objectives, Inspirational Speeches started. Arzu Kaprol, Wearable Technologies Coordinator of IT Valley, and Şeref Fayat, Head of Council of Ready Garment and Apparel Sector from Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, gave speeches that encouraged entrepreneurs in the fields of development of business ideas and evaluation of their sectoral capacities.

Matchings intended for meeting sectoral needs of Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs and company representatives focused on investment axis, raw material and product trade, domestic market and export channels, and creative solution partnership. During one-to-one and collective meetings, companies exchanged ideas in which areas and at what stages they could do business. 

Panels began after the matching event, and the first panel was organised under the title “Alternative Finance Mechanisms for Start-ups in Turkey”.

The panel moderated by Filiz Alsaç, Head of Department of Regional Development Agencies of Directorate General of Development Agencies under Ministry of Industry and Technology welcomed the following speakers:

  • Hulusi Berik (Partner, Keiretsu Forum)
  • Hakan Yıldız (CEO, Fon Bulucu)
  • Pınar Özbozdoğanlı (Director, Lycian Capital)
  • Hale Umul (Co-founder, TR Angels)
  • Rasha Alfakhry (Startup Financial Advisor, Angels Board)

The second panel was organised under the title of “Quality Process Compliance / Positive Contributions to Compliance and Sustainability”.

This panel moderated by ICMPD Portfolio Manager Pınar Yapanoğlu welcomed the following speakers:

  • Mahmut Bekereci (Supply Operations Deputy General Manager, FLO)
  • Yavuz Altun (CEO, Happy Center)
  • Engin Yalçın (Purchasing Manager, BİM)
  • Melih Kızılay (Quality Assurance and Social Compliance Group Manager, LCW)
  • Alaa Khamis (CEO, Al Sultan Sweets International)
  • Duygu Aktaş (Women Entrepreneurs Coordinator, Hepsiburada)

After the panels, start-up companies delivered their presentations.

In this section, Neslihan Kılıç Hacıalioğlu, Founder of BloomingBag operating in design sector, Mohammad Jamal, Founder and Operation Director of BarqGo operating in food sector, Lal Polater, Co-founder of Hergele Mobilit oparting in software sector, Emre Pehlivanlı,  Partner and Business Development Manager of ServisSoft Araştırma Geliştirme Danışmanlık Yazılım Hizmetleri A.Ş. operating in software sector, and Firas Sheakh Mousa, General Manager of AWI Gelişmiş Dünya İthalat İhracat Danışmanlık Sanayi Ticaret LTD., explained both their business development models and their goals.

Hale Umul, Hakan Yıldız and Rasheed Hamwi, who are important names in the world of Alternative Finance, took part in the start-up presentations as a jury.

After Ayşegül Özkavukçu, Migros UP Group Manager, and Dr. Pınar Sipahi, Director from IT Valley, delivered a presentation on innovative solution examples, the event continued with visits to the stands where Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs’ products are displayed.

Textile: Akhome Tekstil, Ballerina Fashion, BloominBag, Collective, Essin, Insirah, Kiğılı, Mbk Group, Mimya, Muhra İktisadi İşletmesi, Onder Ozkan Design, Orsa Çanta, Sinem Triko, Suruç Belediyesi, Suruç Girişimcilik ve Tasarım Merkezi, Şam Giyim, Turkish Dreams, QMT fashion

Footwear: Gazal Shoes, Istanbul Shoes, Kurruk Group, Pipons Ayakkabı, Şam Dizayn, Yepar Ayakkabı 

Food: Albadawı Group, Butun Alnahl, Eviç, Hacı Olabi, Hyggefoods, Jungle Healthy Food, Lailas Coffee, Migros Ticaret A.Ş, Yesseed, Zeytounah

Innovative: Artful Medya, BarqGo, Fonbulucu, Gaziantep Bölgesel ve Endüstriyel Tasarım ve Hibrit Modelleme Merkezi (GETHAM), Gozen Instıtute Bio Materyal Araştırma Geliştirme Ve Tasarım Anonim Şirketi, Helyum, Hepsiburada, Hergele Mobility, Mavi Makine, Mimya, Nidapak Makinaları, Sana İnşaat, ServisSoft Araştırma Geliştirme Danışmanlık Yazılım Hizmetleri A.Ş., Smartr Teknoloji, Tetfit, Tio International Group, Yarın Ajans Software Development, Zakat Pay

The event ended up with entrepreneurs’ one-to-one meetings with representatives of leading investors and finance channels.

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