UNDP - Bilgi University cooperation on social entrepreneurship

01 Aug 2011


Various aspects of social entrepreneurship concept were covered during the conference entitled “Growing Inclusive Markets: Social Entrepreneurship Case Studies from Turkey” which was held in cooperation with United Nations Development Programme and Bilgi University on June 17th.

New Horizons - The concept of social entrepreneurship, which is examined within the ‘Growing Inclusive Market’ studies by UNDP as a progressive model in the area of development, has not yet received due recognition in Turkey.

Therefore, in order to draw attention to this concept and to popularize it, introducing the existing examples of social entrepreneurship in Turkey, analyzing their business models, and identifying their common problems and solution strategies are crucial.

For this purpose, five social enterprises (Foundation for the Support of Women's Work, Genctur, Alternative Life Foundation, Bugday, Cop(m)adam) were chosen by the academics of Bilgi University and UNDP specialists to be analyzed in an academic fashion.

The method of analysis called “Case Writeshop” was developed by the same team, and the team concluded the research on five social enterprises in three months. The case studies which served as examples of social entrepreneurship were shared with wider public in a conference that was held on the 17th of June, 2011, at Bilgi University.

The social entrepreneurs, combining the results of careful examination of their business models, shared their own experiences in the conference.

In addition to the entrepreneurs, namely the founding partners of Cop(m)adam Tara Hopkins and Melih Ozsoz, founder of AYDER (Alternative Life Foundation) Ercan Tutal, founding member of Genctur Hulya Denizalp, founding member of KEDV (Foundation for the Support of Women's Work), and communications manager of Bugday Foundation Gizem Altin Nancse, many other actors ranging from the business world to academia and non-governmental organizations representatives participated in the conference. .

Apart from the chosen case studies, presentations on the general situation of social entrepreneurship in Turkey and the problems faced took place. Before concluding, a one-hour panel discussion and a Q&A session was held.

The case studies will be published as a report in Turkish, as well as in English. The forthcoming report will be the first thematic GIM report of the Turkey. The report will also feature a section about the “Case write-shop” methodology.