The project leaders of the participating companies receive training from consultants within the scope of the Learn and Transform Program implemented at the Kayseri Model Factory.


Kayseri event showcases business gains achieved thanks to hands-on approach offered at eight facilities supported by UNDP and the Government

Kayseri, 24 August 2021 – Small and medium-sized enterprises in Turkey have benefited from productivity gains of up to 100 percent thanks to training and advisory services received from “model factories” that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has established in major Turkish cities in partnership with the Ministry of Industry and Technology. These achievements were highlighted today at an event at the Kayseri Model Factory, where enterprises from a range of sectors detailed significant savings in labour, time and production space.

“Improving productivity is a national priority for Turkey and a prerequisite for the continued competitiveness of Turkish manufacturing on global markets,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “UNDP is pleased to support this flagship effort as a means to generate the high growth rates that are essential to create new jobs and improve living standards as part of the country’s quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Core to the model factory approach is providing manufacturing SMEs with an opportunity to combine hands-on experience with theoretical training in “lean” methods of production. Each model factory contains a fully equipped assembly line where participants can experiment step-by-step in applying different methods and tools, under the watchful eye of industry experts. Each facility manufactures a sample product; for example, the Kayseri Model Factory is equipped to produce battery-powered spice grinders. This approach gives smaller companies an opportunity to test different ways of deploying resources without having to make new investments. It also provides exposure to the new digital technologies that have gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it offers a future channel for “green” adaptations that will be needed to make manufacturing more environmentally friendly.

Opened in 2020 at the campus of Abdullah Gül University, the Kayseri Model Factory is one of eight facilities currently operating across Turkey under the auspices of the Ministry of Industry and Technology. The effort began in Ankara in 2015 as an innovative public-private partnership that engages local chambers of industry and commerce and universities and has since expanded to Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya and Mersin. In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, UNDP’s support for the model factories has been boosted with US$5.7 million in funding from the German Development Bank (KfW) and US$13.1 million from the European Union.

Today’s event showcased the versatility of the model factory approach: the output of enterprises sharing their achievements included textiles, ovens, ironing boards, bedframes, steel doors and PVC windows. Six enterprises that received training and consultancy services from the Kayseri facility for four to six months recorded productivity increases of 23 to 100 percent in a single year. They also reduced times for product assembly and distribution and saved 5,840 square meters of production space by reorganizing the spatial production process.

“Lean manufacturing is typically associated with workforce reductions,” noted Vinton, “so it may seem counterintuitive to treat the model factories as an engine for sustainable development. But our support is based on the confidence that more efficient and competitive industries will ultimately create more and better-paid jobs.”

UNDP also works directly with employers and members of the workforce to generate employment opportunities.  For example, through skills training and small business support provided thanks to KfW funding, UNDP has created jobs for 2,000 Syrians and members of Turkish host communities in Ankara, Kayseri and Konya.

Contact Information: Nur Akıncı, UNDP Turkey,


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