Competitiveness of Anatolian SMEs enhanced through training

June 8, 2023

“I Can Manage My Business” programme starts its fifth year in Bursa

Launched in 2019 by the partnership of Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED), Visa and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support of 30 banks and e-money institutions, “I Can Manage My Business” programme started in Bursa to come together with Anatolian SMEs in its fifth year of action.

In the meeting that informed SMEs on access to finance, enterprise resilience, e-commerce and market places, international trade and e-export, a session on “I Can Manage My Business Commerce Bridge” was held to enhance trade between participants.

Organized to equip SMEs with the needed knowledge and skills to realize their growth potential, the first event in the new period was hosted by the Marmara and Central Anatolian Federation of Industrialists’ and Business Associations (MARSIFED), and attended by representatives of SMEs as well as public agencies and civil society.

Delivering opening remarks, Serpil Veral, Deputy Chair of TÜRKONFED Executive Board, underlined that the path to the dream of developed Türkiye requires eliminating regional disparities in development and said: “We should strengthen our SMEs which will play a key role in this endeavour to eliminate such disparities. SMEs are the cornerstone of both economy and social structure both here in Bursa as well as of the entire country. Going into its fifth year, ‘I Can Manage My Business’ programme prepares SMEs for a digitalized world and contributes to enhancing competitiveness in the global economy.”

Ramazan Kaya, Deputy Chair of TÜRKONFED Executive Board and Chair of MARSIFED Executive Board, said on Bursa’s economy: “In order to increase per capita income and create high value-added in Bursa, the necessary leap involves developing information, communications and service sectors in an integrated manner as done in developed economies. Having the potential of transforming the digital and green transformation capability into high productivity by a new human- and environment-oriented perspective, our city also has the inner force of steering its strong industry to technological production that will create high value-added. Our top standing among all provinces in the ranking of applications for brands and patents is a testimony to such proposition. Our beloved Bursa may become a brand city of industry by its entrepreneurial and innovative business people.”

In the first four years of “I Can Manage My Business” programme, 4,166 SME representatives were reached through online and face-to-face training in various provinces of Türkiye. And 315 SMEs were provided free consultancy on e-commerce and e-export infrastructure and digital marketing in the context of digitalization support.

Under the project, works and studies as well as training content and support customized for SME needs will be continued in this year too. For the training in the field, the Boss-to-Boss Mentoring Programme with TÜSİAD, and digitalization support will also continue as requested by SMEs. In addition, coaching support is planned in such areas as finance, marketing, digitalization, management and institutionalization.

According to the social impact analysis of “I Can Manage My Business” programme, those SMEs which took part in training programmes scored 66 percent increase in their business turnover, and 28 percent increase in the use of social media and digital marketing tools. More than 35 percent of said SMEs started to formulate a strategy and develop a business plan, more than 20 percent started to set and monitor targets. Also achieved were 18.3 percent increase in finance and digitalization skills, 20.2 percent increase in management skills, and 19.5 percent increase in self-confidence and motivation.