The Turkish Women Entrepreneurs Competition recently celebrated its 12th edition. During the ceremony, the first and only one of its kind, the names of the winners of the four award categories - Turkish Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, Turkish Woman Entrepreneur Who Made a Difference in Her Region, Most Promising Turkish Woman Entrepreneur and Turkish Woman Social Entrepreneur of the Year – were announced.
Since it was first held 12 years ago, the Turkish Women Entrepreneurs Competition has crystalized as a powerful platform, which pays tribute to extraordinary women, capable of facing the future with confidence. The names of the winners of this year’s edition - organized by Garanti Bank in cooperation with Ekonomist magazine and the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGİDER) - were announced at the awards ceremony held on Wednesday, November 28.
This year’s winners were Müşerref Sezen Saral, founder of Redeer, in the category of Turkish Woman Entrepreneur of the Year; Nazlı Uyanık Yıldız, in the category of Turkish Woman Entrepreneur Who Made a Difference in Her Region, for her Nebyan Doğal initiative; Rana Sanyal, founder of RS Research, in the category of Most Promising Turkish Woman Entrepreneur; and Müjde Esin, founder of the KızCode project, in the category of Turkish Woman Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
"At Garanti Bank, we will continue to support women entrepreneurs in the future"
Speaking at the ceremony, Cemal Onaran, Executive Vice President of Garanti Bank, pointed out that Garanti is the first private bank to address women's entrepreneurship in Turkey with a different approach, "We believe in the need to ensure equality of opportunity to achieve sustainable social development. We think that the biggest step to be taken at this point is to ensure participation of women in the economy. To this end, we have provided women entrepreneurs with funding of around TRY 5 billion so far and this year; and our new contribution is a social bond issue of 75 million dollars with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) exclusively for women entrepreneurs."
On a broader note, Cemal Onaran added: “Female entrepreneurs account for 9 percent of the total number of entrepreneurs in Turkey. A promising figure, considering that this figure stood at 5% in the early 2000s; but we still have a lot to do.”
Paying tribute to all the women who have taken part in the competition over the last 12 years, he said: “All the women who participated in the competition are role models and their success stories will always be a source of inspiration for future candidates. I would like to express my gratitude to all these female entrepreneurs because they have believed, made an effort, dreamed, did not give up and showed courage. I would also like to thank our wonderful partners KAGİDER and Ekonomist magazine. And I also congratulate this year's inspiring, winning women entrepreneurs. At Garanti Bank, we will continue to support women entrepreneurs in the future, just as we have until now.”