“I Can Manage My Business” programme met SMEs in Eskişehir

October 26, 2022

Organized to equip SMEs with the needed knowledge and skills to realize their growth potential, the Eskişehir event of the I Can Manage My Business programme was attended by representatives of SMEs, public agencies and civil society.

Focusing on equipping SMEs with knowledge and skills, the training and support programme “I Can Manage My Business” continued its face-to-face training sessions in Eskişehir. Subject-matter experts delivered training on international trade and e-export, green transformation, digital marketing, access to finance, and a panel was held on “institutionalization of family enterprises”.

Launched in 2019 by the partnership of Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED), Visa and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support of 30 banks and e-money institutions, “I Can Manage My Business” programme continues to reach the business world through comprehensive training sessions.

Organized to equip SMEs with the needed knowledge and skills to realize their growth potential, the event was hosted by the Marmara and Central Anatolian Federation of Industrialists’ and Business Associations (MARSIFED) with support from the Eskişehir Industrialists’ and Business Association (ESIAD), and attended by representatives of SMEs, public agencies and civil society.

Expressing that Türkiye must pursue a development path that relies on sustainable competition and springs from the local level to strengthen the national level so that Türkiye can consolidate its position in the global economy, Süleyman Sönmez, Chair of TURKONFED Executive Board, said: “Therefore, we must keep pace with changes in the world through efforts to improve our current position. We as TURKONFED define digital, green and social transformation as 3Ts that are of critical importance for our future. In line with such perspective of ours, we aim to equip SMEs, the cornerstones of the Turkish economy, with intellectual and social capital, and adapt them in the fastest manner to transformations.”

Referring to Eskişehir’s contribution to Türkiye’s economic power, Sönmez continued: “Eskişehir is one of our cities which, by its potential to develop high technology, creates high added value to our industry and economy. It makes a difference by its annual exports of over 2 billion USD, with 15 percent of which comes from hi-tech products. While our national average is 3.8 percent on the measure, I believe that Eskişehir’s such higher contribution in hi-tech products possesses the potential to accelerate our journey of transformation towards the Türkiye of Our Dreams through the industry stronger with high added-value production. In this process, the “I Can Manage My Business” programme launched by TURKONFED in partnership with Visa and UNDP Türkiye continues in its fourth year to deliver a training programme that will boost the value created by and guide the transformation journey of our SMEs, the main driver of our economy.”

Noting the problems experienced by SMEs on operating capital, access to finance, recruiting qualified employees and institutionalization, Ramazan Kaya, Chair of MARSIFED Executive Board, and Vice-Chair of TURKONFED Executive Board, said: “Such problems hinder the growth of our SMEs, and result in closure of enterprises at some point. The “I Can Manage My Business” programme which we host today aims, by its comprehensive content, to enhance the current capacities of our SMEs and ensure their sustainability. As the programme completed its third year, those SMEs which participated in the training sessions achieved higher revenues by 66 percent, managerial skills by 20.2 percent, self-confidence and motivation by 19.5 percent, and awareness by 17.4 percent. I believe the programme will be beneficial to SMEs participating in the event in Eskişehir.”

Kenan Işık, Chair of ESIAD Executive Board, said: “Challenging times, as the world is going through now, inherently present various opportunities. However, it is those who are ready for and can manage the process who can seize such opportunities. The “I Can Manage My Business” programme provides highly valuable knowledge, and more importantly, aims to enhance our skills. We are happy to host such a significant and comprehensive programme in our Eskişehir, the star of Anatolia.”

The training event in Eskişehir featured seminars by academicians and professionals: “Cycle of Core Operations of Enterprises/Access to Finance” by Prof. Dr. Serhat Yanık, a faculty member of Political Sciences Faculty of Istanbul University; “Digital Marketing” by Azade Özaltun, Corporate Communications Director of TransferChain; “Importance of Green Transformation for SMEs” by Erman Fenerci, ESG Management Consultant; “International Trade and e-Export” by Meltem Polat, Director of International Sales and Business Development of Bella Maison. The event also featured a panel on “Institutionalization of Family Enterprises.”

In the first three years of the programme, around 4,000 SMEs were reached by training sessions on finance, digital marketing, e-trade, management strategies and branding in line with SME needs. The programme also included assistance in digitalization, coaching and mentoring in areas as needed by SMEs, with over 300 SMEs receiving consultancy on e-trade, e-export infrastructure and digital marketing. The training content is reinforced by addition of international trade and e-export, and also green transformation by funding support from Akbank.

Following the event in Eskişehir, the “I Can Manage My Business” programme will organize face-to-face events in two more provinces by April 2023. The goal is to reach 1,000 more SME representatives through such events and the training system which includes online training content under six themes in 79 videos.