The economy can't grow without a woman's touch
08.03.2020 / Şanlıurfa- The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, who participated in Turkey's Entrepreneur Women's Power Meetings event held in Şanlıurfa on March 8, International Women's Day, said that the future of entrepreneurship is in the hands of women, adding, “If we want to be a richer country, we have to produce more women entrepreneurs.” Hisarcıklıoğlu stressed that men and women will push civilization and development forward together.
Turkey's Entrepreneurial Women's Power Meetings event was held on Şanlıurfa Commodity Exchange. TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said in his speech that the future, wealth and prosperity of the country are in entrepreneurship, “There is no power of the economy without entrepreneurs. Look at the world, that's how all the strongest economies are. They even import entrepreneurs. Half of Silicon Valley was born outside the U.S. Here's the solution to unemployment. We have 1.5 million entrepreneurs and businesses, employing 15 million people. So one entrepreneur means 10 jobs. 1 million people enter the labor market every year. What does our faith say? The best of people are those good to others. So where are these entrepreneurs going to come from? Our women who we've left inert for years, who we’ve ignored. Look at this statistic: 38 out of every 100 young girls aged 15-24, not in education, at work. We've been saying to our women for years, 'You can't do this!' We come from a waste-forbidding culture, but we've wasted half our population. It's almost like we tried to box with one arm tied behind us.”
Stating that men and women are like two wings of a bird, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that it is not possible to fly without one. Hisarcıklıoğlu, who mentioned that it is not possible to grow an economy where the woman's hand is not touched, told women, “The mindset that leaves a woman in the corner cannot progress. That's why we came out and said, ‘Our women can do it.’ With this vision, we established our Women Entrepreneurs Councils in 81 provinces. Thank God we did this difficult job with you. Look, you, with all your work, you've transformed our country. Women's participation in the workforce has increased four times faster than men in the past 10 years. Ten years ago, in 2009, among all entrepreneurs, what was the proportion of women? It was only 6 percent. The total number of women entrepreneurs was only 77,000 across the country. Ten years later, as of 2019, our total number of women entrepreneurs has reached 142,000, i.e. double. And at the rate, women exceeded 10 percent. To make a comparison, the number of male entrepreneurs was 1,130,000 in 2009 10 years ago and now 1,120,000. Never mind increasing, it's decreased; men are out of breath.”
- We need more women entrepreneurs
Emphasizing that the future of entrepreneurship is in the hands of women, the TOBB President said that they have to produce more women entrepreneurs to become a richer country. Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they founded the Board of Women Entrepreneurs for this purpose, "We aimed to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in 81 provinces. With more than 7,000 women entrepreneurial members now, we have become the largest women professional organization. In Chamber-Exchanges, the number of Women's Chairman or Speaker of the Assembly has increased to 9. The number of board members was 48. The number of women councilors increased from 93 in 2008 to 235 in 2018. The number of women members on the Professional Committees reached 800. Our MPs have come out of our Women Entrepreneurs Councils. Finally, Ruhsar Pekcan, Vice president of the Women Entrepreneurs Council, became our Minister of Trade. When women became active in business, they also progressed in the social and political sphere. The proportion of women deputies entering the Turkish Grand National Assembly increased from 9 percent in 2007 to 17 percent in 2019. In summary, we've made a good jump in the last 10 years. But it's not enough. We'll go even further. We must also make the top 10 in the world in women's entrepreneurship.”
Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that consultation and common sense are very important first, and asked women entrepreneurs to hold meetings regularly, gather ideas, opinions and produce projects and services from here. “If there is no unity-solidarity, we cannot do any of this. Second, you are role models. You're the ones who need to be exemplary, showing that women can achieve it. Go to universities, in student clubs, come together, tell your story. Stay in touch with the governor's office, the municipality, the development agency and the universities, and design projects together. Because if the project is good, budgets can be found from the public and especially from large companies. We've given you all kinds of support in this regard, and we're going to keep giving. You've seen the commercial on TV, ‘Sugar Engineer Zeynep.’ This is the 'Women Who Wrote the Future Project.' which we carried out together with Turkcell, and our Istanbul Women Entrepreneurs Board designed it. Another example is the self-established home cooking business by Feride Candemir from Urfa, and he entered the top 10 out of 81 provinces in the Local Tastes competition and won the award. We have implemented many projects like this with our women. We worked with world giants such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google and Vodafone. We've taught thousands of women how to code, e-commerce, use social media. We wanted our women to exist effectively in the digital world, to grow their business. In all these matters, we will continue to produce new projects with you from now on.
We have started to organize information seminars for you. It's a great opportunity to get to know the institution we're a member of. Every week, we host our Women and Young Entrepreneurs from our 365 Chambers and Exchanges in 81 provinces, 160 districts of Turkey in Ankara for 2 days. Take advantage of these. Make sure you raise your own children well. In 2008, the proportion of women with the least university degrees was 7.6 percent and the proportion of men was 12.1 percent. In 2018, this rate increased to 17.5 percent for women and 22.4 percent for men. The trend is positive, but there is still a long way to go, on the other hand, science, technology, engineering and mathematics will be at the forefront of the world of the future. Women need to be more active in these areas. Because only 25 percent of those who work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are women.”
- Women should be in all aspects of life
Hisarcıklıoğlu underlined that the socially accepted gender norms should be opposed, and said that the 'woman's place is home' approach is unacceptable. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the woman should be in all areas of life, and stressed that women like men will do at home and at work. Stating that diligence and success have no gender, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “Close your ear to such criticism. Allah has created men and women from the same soul. He has decreed that they will share worldly life together. The Prophet said, "O people, uphold the rights of women." We can't be a civilized civilization by pushing them into second place, ignoring them, abusing them. As a society, we must stand against such approaches. Our women should also contribute to the development of the country by taking a more active role in social life, business life, politics. Because both the world and our country will be better with the efforts of women. We know that when given the opportunity and we men are not in the way, there is nothing our women can't achieve. Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our Republic, has always trusted Turkish women. He made pioneering reforms so that women can get to their rightful place in society. Because the value that society values women is the mirror of society, it is indicative of the level of civilization. We are proud of our women who have achieved great success in business, politics, science, education, culture, art and sports life.
We are proud of Nene Hatun, Halide Edip, Sabiha Gökçen, Halime Çavuş, Şerife Bacı, Corporal Nezahat and all our heroic women. May their souls be blessed. We commemorate the mothers of our Mehmetciks, martyrs and veterans who fought valiantly for the sake of the homeland. Thanks to them, we will never forget that this country is standing upright, we will not forget. Believing that women's day isn't just about one day and half of life is a woman, I'm celebrating all of our women's Women's Day on March 8th.”