Speaking at the founding ceremony of the Turkey Entrepreneurship Council, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, stating that entrepreneurship is a necessity in Turkey, saying, “Creating entrepreneurship is a national duty. We must judge entrepreneurship just like we do with military service.” ​


Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Entrepreneurship is just as much a national duty as military service

05.01.2012 / İstanbul


Speaking at the founding ceremony of the Turkey Entrepreneurship Council, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, stating that entrepreneurship is a necessity in Turkey, saying, “Creating entrepreneurship is a national duty. We must judge entrepreneurship just like we do with military service.” ​

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that finding jobs for 750,000 people each year is dependent on increasing the number of entrepnreurs.
Turkey Entrepreneurship Council convened in Istanbul. Speaking at the opening of the meeting, TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out the importance of coordinating the partnership of public and private sector in order to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Reporting that in 1912 an author wrote that people in Turkey aren’t entrepreneurs but instead prefer becoming public servants or military personnel, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that today entrepreneurship has become the fashion.

Stating that in the last year, he has been invited to 223 meetings on entrepreneurship and that while the letters he used to receive were regarding people trying to find a job or for support to get a particular job, nowadays he receives mail everyday from people with new business ideas wanting to start their own businesses.
According to a research, Turkey is the first country among 12 EU members whose youth is the most likely to start a business, Hisarcıklıoğlu said and went on to say that “entrepreneur” has been added to “smart, swift and ethical.”

M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the 8th President of the Republic, Turgut Özal has played an important role in unearthing entrepreneurship, and went on, “At the beginning of the 1980’s Saudi Arabia and Greece were richer than us. Today, combined, they barely make one of us. This has happened thanks to the entrepreneurs in Turkey. We have no abundance of natural resources, entrepreneurs are our biggest treasure.”


- “I hope that in the future the President of TOBB will be a woman entrepreneur”

Stating that, today, over 1,500 women and 1,500 young entrepreneurs have been organized under TOBB; Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they plan on increasing the number of women entrepreneurs to 10,500, second to Japan.
Hisarcıklıoğlu said in jest, “I am one the people who travels through Turkey the most. Wherever I go I see that Aynur Bektaş, the President of the TOBB Women Entrepreneurs’ Council, has been there before me. I sometimes wonder if she has her eyes on my position as TOBB President. Hopefully in the future a women entrepreneur like Ümit Boyner, the Chairwoman of TÜSİAD, will be the TOBB President.”

Emphasizing that now a computer and a garage is enough today, like Facebook, whereas you needed finances and courage before, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Turkey has produced examples like yemeksepeti.com, Koton and Pegasus.”


- “65% of companies in Turkey close down after 5 years”

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that 65% of the companies close down in their first 5 years, 25% last between 5 and 10 years and only 10% last longer than 10 years; it is imperative to establish models like the venture capital in order to overcome financial problems.
During the inspection of their risk and venture capital company, upon being directed the question on why they invested in a company that loses money, Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that this was the soul of business and that a change of mindset was necessary in all institutions and public administration.

Saying that the only way Turkey will achieve its 2023 goals is to increase the number of its entrepreneurs and prospering, Hisarcıklıoğlu went on:

“We should implement entrepreneurship as a model all through from elementary school to the university. When you go to an elementary school boys say ‘policeman, soldier, Arda Turan’. When we can change this to ‘I want to be an entrepreneur’, Turkey will start to win. If we want to be able to find jobs for our children we must increase the number of our entrepreneurs.”

- Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün

Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün stated that the Entrepreneurship Council established today would prepare activities to facilitate the acquisition of finances and alternative finance tools like domestic and foreign finance resources, risk capital funds and business angels by entrepreneurs.

Ergün, in his speech, said that Turkey has been through some very significant changes in the recent years and that as the accumulated problems of many years have found solutions, steps to construct the strong Turkey of the future have been started to be taken.
In the past, Turkey was a country chronically problematic in terms of politics and economy, seeking to get by day to day, stated Ergün, relating how in the last 9 years the atmosphere of trust and stability engendered in Turkey has solved many problems.

Stating that Turkey which grew by 9% in 2010 will grow by 8% in 2011, Ergün said that according to TİM data of Turkey, approximately 135 billion Dollars’ worth of exports have been made in 2011.

- KOSGEB President Mustafa Kaplan

KOSGEB President Mustafa Kaplan stated that they have a basic strategy for encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing the number of entrepreneurs and that they have reached out to 58,774 people with their entrepreneurship trainings and that they plan to raise this number to 100,000s, to millions and that 2,419 people who attended the trainings have established their own businesses.
Stating that there are many institutions that support entrepreneurship today, Kaplan pointed out the importance of actors working in unison and coordination for the dynamism of the field.

- Entrepreneurship Council established


Aiming to consolidate all work for the development of entrepreneurship in Turkey under a single roof and formulate strategies and applications, the Entrepreneurship Council has been established.

Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün, the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association Chairwoman Ümit Boyner, Turkey Businessmen and Industrialists Confederation (TUSKON) President Rızanur Meral are among the 32 institutions and establishments which signed the Entrepreneurship Manifesto.

- Entrepreneurship Manifesto


It was stated in the manifesto that:
“We, 32 institutions, have come together to pool our powers for the hard working and honest entrepreneurs of our country. This unison of power aims to provide faster workings and a more effective business environment for the entrepreneurs of our country.
We have come together with the ideal of making Turkey one of the greatest economic powers, not of just its region, but of the world.
We will ensure that strategies to provide an entrepreneur-friendly ecosystem are established.
We will disseminate the culture of entrepreneurship.
We will work to facilitate the access of entrepreneur candidates to information and financial resources.
We will work to develop communication networks geared towards entrepreneurs.
We will support thematic entrepreneurship such as eco-entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, innovative entrepreneurship, young entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurship.
We will work to direct entrepreneurs to exports and to grant them the strength compete with their international rivals.
We will work to ensure that advanced standards are reached in communication information, research and data gathering regarding entrepreneurship.
We will support entrepreneur candidates entering business life.
As institutions which have signed this manifesto, we pledge to jointly move towards a vision under the aegis of the Entrepreneurship Council to render all manner of support to our entrepreneurs.

- Goals of the council

According to information, among the goals of the Entrepreneurship Council are formulating new strategies and policies for spreading the entrepreneurship culture and improving its environment and supporting entrepreneurs to this end.

The council aims to abolish detriments to entrepreneurship, to support activities which encourage entrepreneurial activities that create advanced technology and added value as well as spreading entrepreneurship trainings and generating reward mechanisms for awarding the encouragement of entrepreneurship.

- Minister Nihat Ergün will be presiding over the council

The Entrepreneurship Council will be presided by the Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün. Secretarial duties will be performed by the KOSGEB Managerial Directorate.

- Institutions of the Council


Science, Industry and Technology Ministry – Family and Social Policies Ministry – Labor and Social Security Ministry – Economy Ministry -  Customs and Commerce Ministry - Development Ministry – National Education Ministry – Treasury Undersecretariat – KOSGEB – İŞKUR – TÜBİTAK – YÖK – The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) – TOBB Women Entrepreneurs’ Council – TOBB Young Entrepreneurs’ Council – TOBB Turkey Venture Capital Council – Turkey Craftsmen and Artisans Confederation (TESK) - Anatolian Lions Businessmen Association (ASKON) – ENDEAVOR Association – Young Managers and Businessmen Association (GYİAD) - Turkey Women Entrepreneurs’ Association (KADİGER) – Private Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD) – Technoenterprise Establishments Research Development (TEKNOGİRİŞİM) Assoiation -  Technology Development Zones Association (TGBD) – Turkey Businesswomen Association (TİKAD) – Turkey Young Businessmen Confederation (TÜGİAD) – All Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TÜMSİAD) – Turkish Enterprise and Business World Confederation (TÜRKONFED) – Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TÜSİAD).

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