An evaluation of the women’s entrepreneurship support activities in Turkey

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2006




Efforts for promotion of women’s entrepreneurship in Turkey have growing ever-more noteworthy in Turkey, in parallel to the other countries’ experiences. These efforts are ranging from creation of shared workshops by civil society organizations, entrepreneurship trainings, shared sales places to establishment of business incubators. Correspondingly, the actors involved in these activities are getting diverse. Women’s organizations, state organizations, private enterprises, chambers and national-international development foundations are developing their own models and strategies for supporting women’s entrepreneurship. These efforts are all can be categorized within the framework of development practice and be considered as a new strategy. As a development policy strategy women-focused entrepreneurship support activities are significant when compared with other employment generation aimed development programmes in terms of the number of project and programmes implemented and the multiplicity of the objectives they are acknowledged to serve. These programme and project based efforts targeting development of women’s entrepreneurship are stated to have objectives of increasing women’s employment and developing their productivity, alleviating women’s poverty and contributing to women’s social empowerment. In this work, it is argued that according to the objective prioritized over others, it is possible to diagnose three different paradigms guiding the practice of different actors. In this vein, economic efficiency oriented, poverty alleviation oriented and empowerment oriented approaches to women’s entrepreneurship support. A similar conceptualization is also offered by Mayoux (2001b). This work explores different approaches to women’s entrepreneurship support issue in Turkey using above described categorization and discusses their assumptions and implementation-process-consequences comparatively. The analysis is substantiated upon the data of 17 semi-structured interviews held with the representatives of the organizations widely involved in the area, published and unpublished reports reached and the archival data on the practices of the primary actors in the area.