Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“We must produce at least 70,000 entrepreneurs every year”

18.11.2014 / İstanbul

TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and the Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz attended the Turkey’s Economy and Entrepreneurship Panel moderated by journalist Cüney Özdemir.​

Addressing entrepreneur candidates, Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized the importance of entrepreneurs for Turkey, “We want to prosper as a country and the only way to prosper in the world is through entrepreneurs. You are as rich as the number of entrepreneurs you have if you want to prosper as a country you must increase the number of entrepreneurs you have.


There are 1.5 million establishments in Turkey. The number of people employed by the private sector is 15 million. That means, on average, each establishment provides employment to 10 people. Every year 700,000 new people join the workforce. This means that we must produce at least 70,000 entrepreneurs each year. The unemployed who are seeking employment present a population of 3 million at the moment. With 700,000 new people entering the job market each year, how will we address this matter? The only solution is to increase the number of entrepreneurs.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that the losers of WWII, Germany and Japan are at their present positions thanks to the ecosystems they created to engender entrepreneurship.


Drawing attention to the importance of entrepreneurship for Turkey in achieving its goal of becoming one of the top 10 economies in the world, Hisarcıklıoğlu told the story of his own entrepreneurial experiences, “My late father was not an entrepreneur. I am from Kayseri though; we have a tradition of entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship is a matter of culture. We educate the underqualified and employ those who are qualified.”


- “The trick to success is honesty”


Having worked at a pharmacy during the summers in elementary school and selling socks for his allowance during his university years, Hisarcıklıoğlu said to those present, “It is important to garner work ethics. I have adopted 5 principles in my business life. If you want to succeed, the trick is honesty. You must always spend less than you earn; you must first check, then trust. Never act on memory, keep written records. Lastly, you can make do in friendships, but never in business.”


Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the Turkish society is not predisposed to look favorably on entrepreneurship and said that this has begun to slowly change. He went on to draw attention to the contribution of woman entrepreneurs in Turkey’s success, providing various statistical data on the subject.


- Development Minister Yılmaz


Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz spoke on the perception of the concept of entrepreneurship in Turkey, stressing that the view that it is an individual is false and that entrepreneurship is, on the contrary a very social matter.


Yılmaz stated that the 2023 goals have been negotiated among the Turkish people, reaching a level of social agreement the likes of which have not been seen before on this scale.


Yılmaz went on to outline the various 2023 goals they are striving to achieve including the matter of national income, increased exports as well as R&D spending.

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