Minister Pekcan: We will reach more women entrepreneurs in 2021 and in coming years

Minister of Trade Pekcan stated that they will reach many more women entrepreneurs this year and in the coming years, “At the same time, many more women entrepreneurs will join our export family and become exporters in a sustainable manner.”

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, in her speech at the Virtual Fair of the Women Communication Network Project Meeting in the Business World organized by Turkey’s Women Entrepreneurs Association (KAGIDER) stated that KAGIDER is the coordinator of the project financed by Turkey and the European Union and that the Association of Women Employers and Industrialists (KAISDER) and Bursa Business Women and Managers Association (BUIKAD) are stakeholders.

Stating that these associations continue to carry out the project successfully despite the pandemic conditions, Pekcan stated that an important infrastructure was established within the scope of this project, which started in 2019 and aims to increase the interaction between women entrepreneurs.

Pekcan pointed out that creating healthy ecosystems that will ensure the development of entrepreneurship, especially women entrepreneurship, is the common responsibility of everyone as the country, private sector, and NGOs, and said that the project will make a significant contribution to the formation of such ecosystems that Turkey needs.

Emphasizing that supporting women entrepreneurs and directing them to exports are among their priorities as the ministry, Pekcan said:

“I am pleased to see that the Women’s Communication Network Project coincides with the work carried out by our Ministry in the field of women and youth entrepreneurship. The issue of networking among entrepreneurs is a topic that is focused on internationally. With our Online and Physical Women Entrepreneur Network Project, which we have implemented as the Ministry, we started our efforts to reach many women entrepreneurs on the basis of provinces and we continue to work. Within the framework of our project, we have created the network that our women entrepreneurs need to do business in an easy and reliable environment as of the end of January and brought together more than 1300 women entrepreneurs in these networks. “

Pekcan also pointed out that their work within the scope of the Export Academy Program, which they implemented in cooperation with UPS at the end of 2019 and brought to the online platform with the pandemic. She continued, “With this program, we provide training and mentoring support to women and young entrepreneurs who are willing to export in our country and have potential. To date, more than 4,000 entrepreneurs have attended 15 trainings held within the framework of the Export Academy Program. These two projects we mentioned have been among good practice examples by the SheTrades Outlook platform of the International Trade Center (ITC), which was created by the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.

“More women entrepreneurs will join our export family”

Minister Pekcan pointed out that they conducted a survey to measure the effectiveness of their projects in January and explained the results of the survey as follows:

“We have seen that our entrepreneurs are satisfied with the work and think that the events contribute positively to the export processes. Before these events, 18% of our entrepreneurs who did not export stated that they started exporting after participating in our events. We predict that this rate will increase over time. On the other hand, 44% of our entrepreneurs who are currently exporting, stated that the number of their exports increased after participating in our Ministry’s activities. 92% of the entrepreneurs who have not yet exported stated that they have included exporting in their plans after the events they attended. Considering that we have been implementing these projects for a year, the results that started to emerge are pleasing. I am sure that we will reach many more women entrepreneurs this year and in the coming years, our entrepreneurs will carry their competencies to a much higher level, and at the same time, many more women entrepreneurs will join our export family and become exporters in a sustainable manner. After implementing the right projects, it is not difficult to get results. Because in our country, there is still great potential in the field of entrepreneurship as in many other fields. “

“Our efforts continue to bring the Angel Investor Platform to the service of entrepreneurs”

Pekcan stated that the “Women Communication Network in the Business World” project carried out under the coordination of KAGIDER and the “Women Entrepreneur Network” project of the Ministry are complementary projects, “There is always an important culture of coordination and consultation between the Ministry of Commerce, Women and Young Entrepreneurs Export Department and all related NGOs, especially KAGIDER.”

Underlining that there is an important exchange of experience between the Ministry and NGOs through such projects, Pekcan said:

“We are fully confident that we will achieve the targeted results altogether. The beautiful picture we encounter today on the occasion of this event confirms this and reinforces our belief. Our Ministry will carry forward networking efforts among our entrepreneurs with the National Women Exporter Network Platform project in the upcoming period. This project will be fed by a much more comprehensive digital infrastructure. Similarly, we continue to work to offer the Angel Investor Platform, which was created by taking advantage of the wide opportunities provided by digital transformation, to the service of entrepreneurs. “

₺14.6 million grant support was given to cooperatives in KOOP-DES Program

Pekcan stated that, apart from these projects that focus directly on women entrepreneurship, many different projects recently implemented by the Ministry have provided significant benefits to women entrepreneurs. She emphasized that more than 32 thousand people have registered to the Virtual Trade Academy since March 5th, 7 thousand 782 of these users, and 24% of them are female users.

Emphasizing that e-commerce is another factor that can offer significant advantages for the development of entrepreneurship, especially women entrepreneurship, Pekcan said that 850 thousand people have accessed the Electronic Commerce Information Platform since March, 43% of these users are women.

Pekcan pointed out that 46% of the users over 40 thousand who benefited from the trainings in the “E-Commerce Academy” were women, and said:

“Another critical mechanism that supports women’s entrepreneurship, especially local and rural women’s entrepreneurship, is cooperatives. We attach great importance to our women coming together and joining forces and taking an active role in trade with the cooperatives they have established. In this context, we have focused our Ministry’s Support for Cooperatives (KOOP-DES) Program on women’s cooperatives. We provide grant support to cooperatives whose majority consists of women and whose aim is to evaluate women’s labor. Within the scope of the program, we provided ₺14.6 million grant support to 149 projects of 139 women’s cooperatives in 2020. Our support process will continue in 2021 and we will continue to receive applications until February 28.”

Underlining that the development of women’s entrepreneurship is of great importance at the point of achieving the goal of spreading exports to the bottom, Pekcan said, “In this context, we attach great importance to women entrepreneurship in order to increase both the welfare level of our country and our exports. We can easily say that our Ministry’s policies and projects in the field of women and youth entrepreneurship will continue with diversity in the upcoming period. In all these projects and studies, we will be in close cooperation and coordination with our private sector and NGOs from now on as we have done until today. “

Source: AA / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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