UNDP, Visa and TÜRKONFED expand transformation programme for Türkiye businesses

June 9, 2022

“I Can Manage My Business” launches new initiative for SMEs in Van

Van, 8 June 2022 – An innovative training programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that has provided business support to 3,000 Türkiye companies since its launch in 2019 marked further expansion today with a lively session for more than 300 entrepreneurs and executives in Van. “I Can Manage My Business” is a partnership between the Türkiye  Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED), Visa and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with additional support from 30 banks and financial institutions. The training programme, which has reached 78 provinces online so far, will also physically reach 12 provinces including current 8 provinces next year, and a total of 1,000 SMEs will be provided with training in seven business areas.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of the Türkiye economy, accounting for the lion’s share of employment and production,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “And as is the case everywhere else in the world, they are proven engines for pulling people from poverty to prosperity and helping ‘to leave no one behind.’ For this reason, UNDP is delighted to be expanding our partnership to continue providing SMEs with the latest knowledge and skills to help them survive and thrive, particularly in challenging economic times.”

“I Can Manage My Business” offers a diverse package of training and coaching for Türkiye SMEs. The content has evolved as market conditions have changed. Originally created with a focus on finance and money management, the curriculum has expanded to embrace the digitalization of business that the pandemic has accelerated. SMEs that complete digitalization training receive assistance in moving to digital platforms, with an introduction to e-commerce and support in digital marketing. And with climate change high on the agenda, international trade, e-export and green transformation have been added to the curriculum this year.

“While the world is transforming into an efficiency-oriented production and service economy; the most important actors that will realize this change in Türkiye are our SMEs,” said TÜRKONFED Chairman Süleyman Sönmez. SMEs make up 99.8 percent of our economy, so enhancing their skills is critical not only for the sustainability of their own assets, but also for the sustainability of our economic development and growth. Helping SMEs to manage their business in difficult conditions will both maintain their competitiveness and make their production power sustainable, which will contribute to the social welfare of our country. We invite all actors of the economy to join this mobilization to create value for our SMEs.”

“During the past two years amid the pandemic conditions, we witnessed that consumers shifted rapidly to digital shopping and payment methods and that this change has become permanent,” said Visa Türkiye General Manager Merve Tezel. “This transformation has required enterprises to adapt, and ‘I Can Manage My Business’ has been there to help them master this digital transformation. After the pandemic period, we are pleased now to organize our second face-to-face training in Van together with our project partners UNDP and TÜRKONFED.”

“Our region faces a variety of challenges ranging from logistics to customs processes,” said DOĞUSİFED Chairman Müslüm Erbay. “But we can overcome these challenges and realize our vast potential if we build on a culture of consensus. Our SMEs are crucial to this effort; they can be the driving force of a development model that starts from our villages and engages the countryside in the quest for shared prosperity. Developing SMEs will be the guarantee of an economically developed Türkiye, and I am confident that ‘I Can Manage My Business,’ will make a significant contribution to our SMEs in providing solutions to these needs.”

In addition to the 3,000 SMEs that have received training in finance, digital marketing, e-commerce, management strategies and branding, another 200 SMEs were provided with support in e-commerce and digital marketing. This year’s addition of international trade, e-export, and green transformation to the curriculum has been made possible by new funding support from Akbank.

At the event in Van, specialist academics and professionals delivered seminars on such matters as international trade and e-export, importance of green transformation for SMEs, digital marketing, core business cycles of enterprises and access to finance. A similar face-to-face session was held in Çanakkale in May, and further training workshops will be organized in 2022 in Ordu in September, Eskişehir in October, Bursa in November, and Elazığ in December.


Note to editors: You can find on open.undp.org, detailed information on the UNDP’s all development projects in some 170 countries and territories worldwide. open.undp.org is a component of UNDP’s implementation of International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to which UNDP is a signatory. Click for info on: Visa Europe | I Can Manage My Business

For more information: Faik Uyanık, UNDP Türkiye, faik.uyanik@undp.org

As an umbrella organization for 30 federations and 286 associations that represent over 50,000 member enterprises, TÜRKONFED by its membership base accounts for 83 percent of non-energy foreign trade, and 55 percent of non-agriculture and non-public formal employment. TÜRKONFED members include Federations of Industry and Business Associations of Istanbul, West Anatolia, Marmara, Central Anatolia, Thrace, West Black Sea, Central Black Sea, North Anatolia, East Black Sea, South Aegean, East Marmara, West Mediterranean, East Mediterranean, South Marmara, Cukurova, North Marmara, East and Southeast Anatolia, Southeast, Zafer, Ipekyolu, Capadoccia, Mevlana, East, Serhat, Tigris and Euphrates as well as federations of sectoral associations, Federation of Fashion and Apparel, Federation of Construction Material Manufacturers. TÜRKONFED is a member of European SME Union (SMEunited), an apex organization of European SMEs representing 12 million enterprises and 55 million employees.

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. tr.undp.org

Visa (NYSE: V) is the world's leading company in the digital payments industry. It enables payment transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions and government agencies in more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network; to enable individuals, businesses and economies to succeed and grow. We believe that ubiquitous economies are making everyone better everywhere, and we see access as fundamental to the future of the money movement. For more information, you can visit visa.com.tr.