Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are considered as one of the important actors of global competition and the source of activity of Turkey’s economy. Developed by TÜRKONFED (Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation) in partnership with Visa and UNDP, in order to support SMEs to digitize their activities and increase their international competitiveness, “I Can Manage My Business Project” held its first year’s 4th training in Balıkesir on 06 – 07 December 2019, hosted by GÜNMARSİFED (South-Marmara Federation of Industry and Business).

During the two-day training program, created by Boğaziçi University, SMEs were provided with many practical contents, from financial and digital literacy to e-commerce, strategy and business development to effective use of social media, as well as real-life experiences from business people. 27 banks of Turkey have come together to realize “I Can Manage My Business Project” which aims to reach 3,000 SMEs in 18 cities in 3 years.

Keynote speakers of the training were İsa Tamer Çelik, GÜNMARSİFED CEO and Rahmi Kula, Balıkesir Chamber of Commerce CEO. Visa Corporate Social Responsibility and Reputation Management Manager Didem Karabuda has explained why this project is important and how it has been differentiated from other projects with its management, execution, financial model - which includes 27 Turkish banks’ support through Visa – academic and practical contents, mentoring services and impact analysis.

The training program has been implemented by both Boğaziçi University professors and sector professionals in Balıkesir, as conducted in every city.

During the training in Balıkesir, trainer and strategist Azade Özaltun has shared her experience as an entrepreneur in the digital world and mentioned digital tools to help grow businesses. Founder Member of TAİDER (Family Businesses Association) and Odak Group Board Member İrem Oral Kayacık has explained the processes of institutionalization and the importance of family constitution for family businesses in her speech.

During the training sessions, which were met with great interest in Balıkesir, 143 SMEs from different sectors were reached and the ratio of female participants was 36%.

The next training stop of the “I Can Manage My Business Project” will be Mardin on 17-18 January 2020.

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