During the ‘Digital Talks’ of KAGIDER, problems of businesses and solution suggestions continue to be discussed in the pandemic period with the successful women entrepreneur laureates of 2019 Women Entrepreneurs of Turkey Competition. The opening speech was delivered by KAGİDER President Emine Erdem and the panel was moderated by ‘Big Chef’ Founder and Chairperson Gamze Cizreli, and founder of ‘Gülsha’ Gülşah Gürkan, founder of ‘Denebunu.com’ Duygu Akbudak, founder of ‘Es Kariyer’ Esra Odabaşı and founder of ‘Eray Plastic’ Müzeyyen Erakuman. In the panel, Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Ekonomist’ Talat Yeşiloğlu also took the floor, stating that there is a serious need for initiatives and the workforce to be created and stated that economic growth cannot be achieved otherwise.
Emine Erdem: 'The most important thing missing is the role models for women entrepreneurs’
In the opening speech of the panel, KAGIDER President Emine Erdem stated that they have started working by taking all the necessary precautions during the transition period to the new normal and added that it is a fact that there is concern about the number of cases, but we can overcome the difficulties by understanding the extent of the danger and taking all precautions.
Women's entrepreneurs in Turkey have very high potential. However, the rate of women entrepreneurs in our country is still around 11% today, which is quite low. It should be noted that the women with small businesses and the sectors in which they are actively involved are affected the most in this difficult period. By turning this into an opportunity, women will get stronger. Women have the courage and power to realize their dreams, but it is important that we implement rapid support for women entrepreneurs in this process, with the cooperation of the public sector, civil society and private sector. Lack of role models is one of the most important shortcomings for women. I think it is very important that success and failure stories are shared and examples increase. What we are trying to do here today is to organize a meeting that will lead to this sharing.
Gamze Cizreli: 'The competition has a magical and repelling force'
Big Chef Founder Gamze Cizreli, as the moderator of the event, urged that the Women Entrepreneurs of Turkey Competition that she won 10 years ago contributed her career greatly and shared her excitement of hosting the panel. She added that the competition has a magical atmosphere and the driving force to change the fate of a female entrepreneur.
Gülşah Gürkan: I will work to promote Isparta better
While telling the story of deciding to be an entrepreneur Gülşah Gürkan, the founder of the Gülsha Brand, told about her story of setting goals by observing and experiencing her grandfather’s approach to farmers and field workers while growing roses in Isparta. She stated that she gave life to her own brand in 2011 with the happiness of touching the lives of people and the self-confidence of producing something from zero. Gürkan added that in the pandemic process, Isparta continues to make investments to create new plans, new products and make technological difference in order to declare its natural beauty to the world. She also added that she wants work to promote Isparta and its natural beauty more by tourism.
Duygu Akbudak: "We entrepreneurs are not the ones walking on a stable path"
Denebunu.com Founder Duygu Akbudak explained that she had worked in different fields in corporate life for eight years and gained experience before she established her own brand. She went on by sharing her brand's founding story with these words: “I wanted to have a platform that brings brands and the right consumers together and started researching. I searched whether there were case studies, and when I found a similar example, I heartedly created my brand, understanding that I was on the right track. My brand has matured with the right people at the right time. I cooperated with investors who have been my idols. I realized my dream. We entrepreneurs are not people choosing straight paths, we should not give up. Over time, there have been people who grew up around me, supported and motivated me. Now, we are on our way with 27 teammates and 2 million members. I know that my responsibility is heavier. To do and continue doing something for 2 million members; it makes me happy to know and believe that people who are involved are happy. ”
Esra Odabasi: '2 million out of the 10 million disabled people in Turkey can work'
‘Es Kariyer’ Founder Esra Odabaşı stated that she became disbled as a result of a mistake occurred during her birth and she never regarded it as a disadvantage in her life. Stating that the most important thing is to turn the disadvantage into an advantage, Odabaşı stated that she had in-house entrepreneurship experience in her professional life before starting her own business. She shared her thoughts on the importance of learning business processes from professionals to develop one’s entrepreneurship career and added that 2 million out of 10 million disabled people in Turkey are in a condition where they can work. “As an institution that supports the employment of people with disabilities, we have reached over 6000 disabled people and have ensured that we support them in their careers voluntarily and at the same time, we increase their self-confidence. We also act as a bridge for individuals with disabilities to reach the right company and positions, and we ensure that they work in the right positions as they deserve. People get into work with equal opportunities. The effect of this is very important not only for disabled people but also for their families and the people around them. In this sense, the social impact of our work is also very broad. ”
Müzeyyen Erakuman: 'I have turned a deaf ear to all environmental pressures and statements saying that I can’t succeed'
Eray Plasik Founder - Müzeyyen Erakuman, expressed that she had difficulties due to the geographical environment which was suppressed in the region and accordingly, she encountered hardships trying to set up her own business as a woman who couldn’t finish her education. Erakuman added: "I have experienced all environmental pressures and heard the words saying I can’t be successful and I turned a deaf ear to all". Moreover, she highlighted that she established her business without capital and received governmental aid, provided jobs for many women in her business.
“KAGİDER Digital Talks” will continue to be held every Tuesday with different speakers and new topics.