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December 14, 2021

Startup competition and bootcamp launched in Turkey with BINA business incubator

New business competition, NAMA III, launched for refugee entrepreneurs in Turkey. 26 business consultants have been trained and will start supporting and mentoring 60 startups. Entrepreneurs will have access to a three-month bootcamp and seed funding by March 2022.

Refugee entrepreneurship can spur on inclusion and economic development for recent arrivals in new countries. It can create employment opportunities for both refugees and nationals of hosting countries, generate income, contribute to host country economies and aid social cohesion between refugees and local communities.

Turkey currently hosts nearly four million Syrian refugees, according to the World Bank. Since Syrians in Turkey are permitted to work in most employment sectors, they have been contributing tremendously to the country’s economy. A study by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (EBRD) shows that Syrian entrepreneurs provide a living for 7% of the Syrians in Turkey. Moreover, Syrians in Turkey established more than 15,000 companies that employ an average of 7 people per company, 60% of whom are Syrians.

Since 2019, SPARK has been supporting entrepreneurship among Syrians in Turkey through bootcamps, mentoring, business competitions, seed funding and institutional capacity building projects.

Recently, SPARK and BINA business incubator partnered to design and create a new entrepreneurship competition for owners of innovative and distinctive projects from various Arab communities in Turkey, called NAMA III, financed by the Qatar Fund for Development. 

The competition consists of seven stages: training 26 business consultants, training 80 startups and entrepreneurs on pitching skills, pitching sessions in front of juries to select 60 projects to enter the entrepreneurial training phase, then a bootcamp for 25 businesses, the seed funding phase and finally, the aftercare phase. 

A group of business coaches attending a training about HR and team building © 2021, SPARK
Business coaches discuss the Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) learning styles © 2021, SPARK
Graduation day! Certified business coaches now ready to train 80 entrepreneurs © 2021, SPARK

So far, BINA business incubator has completed the first stage by training 26 business consultants. Each consultant has completed 60 hours of training on various topics such as marketing, HR and team building, finance, product design and pitching skills. 

“We are happy that 26 young experts in entrepreneurship and SMEs development have graduated today. They received an important certificate from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and we are ready now to start the next step of NAMA III, where business consultants will be responsible for supporting entrepreneurs and new SMEs,” says Mustafa Elsagezli, General Manager of BINA business incubator. 

Next, the 26 graduate business consultants and coaches will be working with the startups to guide them through their journey to improve their products and services, business ideas and their pitching skills.