Food and Agriculture Business Networking Meeting within the scope of the ENHANCER Project, funded by the European Union and implemented by ICMPD in coordination with the Directorate General of Development Agencies under the Ministry of Industry and Technology of the Republic of Turkey, was held in İstanbul on September 27-28, 2023.
Women entrepreneurs, business owners, and cooperatives were invited to the event from provinces affected by the recent earthquake from Hatay, Gaziantep, and Şanlıurfa. A total of 76 entrepreneurs, companies, and cooperatives from 11 different provinces of Türkiye, including Adana, Ankara, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri, Konya, Mersin, and Şanlıurfa came together at the Food and Agriculture Business Networking Meeting.
The first day began with the opening remarks of Mr. Abdullah Başar, Head of the Development Agencies Coordination Department, Ministry of Industry and Technology, and Ms. Pınar Yapanoğlu, ICMPD Portfolio Manager.
Representatives of leading private sector and financing companies delivered a set of e-commerce, e-export strategies, competition analysis, content management, and financial literacy training. The training focused on women entrepreneurship, targeting women entrepreneurs, which comprised most participants.
The second day of the event started with the opening remarks of the Ministry of Industry and Technology representative, Ms. Kadriye Gül Yeşilkaya. The matching event had a significant role in networking regarding matching buyers, sellers, and manufacturers. The cooperative representatives and entrepreneurs each had the opportunity to raise their business needs, introduce their products, get to know other businesses, and develop potential business collaboration plans.
In addition, The ENHANCER Digital Platform, an essential networking and business channel for all the stakeholders in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, including start-ups, investors, SMEs, companies, and NGOs, was presented by the Ecosystem Team Leader, Mr. Fatih Haspolat. The program ended with closing remarks of the master of ceremony, Ms. Deniz Karcı Korfalı, the Entrepreneurship Component Lead.
MEHMET SALİH BALTA
40 years old
“I am here on behalf of our family company called Tat Global. Actually, I attended to represent my wife. We are manufacturers and exporters of both local and export value-added products such as Turkish delight, confectionery, and healthy snacks in Gaziantep. Since my wife is a Syrian citizen, our manufacturing team consists of Turkish and Syrian women. This business meeting and trainings were incredibly useful. We exchanged experiences and ideas with female entrepreneurs and even made a verbal agreement with a female entrepreneur to develop a new product! I can say that this networking event was the lifeblood of the new product idea. I would like to thank the entire team that organized the meeting.”
Teacher / Entrepreneur
“I was a teacher in Istanbul until the great earthquake disaster on February 6. I lost six members of my family in the earthquake, dozens of people I know, and my beloved friends. After the great disaster, I went to Hatay to my family. I saw that women especially needed something to hold on to. Believing in the unity, cooperation, solidarity, and the power of production, I founded a women’s cooperative. We started the production in March with 20 women. We produce all local products unique to Antakya, such as pickled za’atar, jam, tomato paste, and desserts, using traditional methods and deliver them to consumers. Aside from producing, we are trying to heal the wounds of the earthquake. Our slogan is “Hatay, Again, Life Again!”. This event organized by ICMPD was very productive for me. We saw new collaborations, new people, and a very nice atmosphere of solidarity. I learned many things from the training, and I believe that we can improve our cooperative with the things I learned in these two days.”
33 years old
“I am engaged in the food and food machinery business in Gaziantep, a city known for baklava and pistachios. I produce coffee from figs, which is a bold product. My purpose in participating in this meeting was to promote my products. I have a goal to open up to the world with my productions. It was very beneficial for me to come here because I learned what path I should take to achieve my goal. I also met people with whom I can collaborate with in different ways. I made very important networks here. I would like to thank the entire team for these two productive days.”
(Syria / HATAY)
“I come from Hatay, Reyhanlı. First of all, I am a Syrian refugee. I have been living in Hatay for 12 years. I and my friends founded “Suriyeli Kadınlar Kurulu” to empower Syrian women who are victims of war and defend their rights. Now, we are in our new country, Turkey, where we hope to live safe and sound. The aim of our organization is to make women working and productive members of society. We are here on behalf of our organization, which aims to support Syrian women and their families. Before the earthquake, we were living our lives under normal conditions in Hatay, but after the earthquake, everything became very difficult. Women need to be stronger now. We are trying to commercialize our simple productions. I can say that this project and event support us a lot. We aim to introduce our products to the whole of Turkey and even the whole world. Thank you very much for offering us this opportunity.”
47 years old
(SURİYE – GAZIANTEP)
“I was a housewife in Syria. I was not working. I came to Gaziantep, and I thought I needed to work. I know how to cook very well, we thought it would be right to do what I know best, and we started making dried vegetables and canned food for winter. We also got into the thyme business. I work together with my children. We started selling our products to markets. We paid extra attention to packaging to differentiate our products. We produced homemade mixed spices combining pistachios and special spices. We can take our business to better places if financial support is given. I had a great experience here. All the trainings were very useful, the instructors explained very well. I hope to use all this information, especially in product marketing, when I go back to Gaziantep.”
“I present dates by processing them in different forms. I also created a new product by covering pitted dates with chocolate. I also produce coffee from date seeds. I overcame my fears about e-commerce thanks to the training here. I have seen that not getting into e-commerce until now was a mistake. I have decided to start e-commerce with the information I gained here. Obviously, as Gaziantep residents, we are really affected by the earthquake, and this project has been a great motivation for us. Thank you.”
Exceptional Media Coverage of the ENHANCER Food and Agriculture Sector Business Networking Meeting
The Food and Agriculture Sector Business Networking Meeting, organized by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) under the ENHANCER Project, took place on September 27 – 28, 2023 has garnered exceptional attention across a multitude of media platforms. The event’s profound impact is discernible through comprehensive data analysis spanning from September 27 to October 9.
Print Media: A total of 31 impressions were meticulously documented within the realm of print media, exclusively within newspapers. This extensive coverage underscores the profound significance and relevance of the event to traditional media outlets.
Digital Sphere: Online engagement with the event proved to be substantial, with a notable 281 mentions across the internet. The significant online presence signifies a burgeoning interest and active engagement in the digital media landscape.
Television: Within the television domain, the event garnered 9 notable mentions, firmly establishing its importance in the televised media sector.
In aggregate, the event’s outreach across print media, the digital sphere, and television platforms collectively reached an impressive 1,840,633 individuals. This extensive exposure serves as a testament to the event’s resounding success in capturing the attention and piquing the interest of a diverse and expansive audience.
We are elated by the overwhelming media coverage and the enthusiastic public engagement that our ENHANCER Food and Agriculture Sector Business Networking Meeting has garnered.