Viewpoint: Emrah Kaya - Chief Youth Officer, Youtholding (Turkey)
Serial entrepreneur Emrah Kaya now oversees Youtholding, an umbrella organization
that focuses on developing marketing strategies aimed at young people — a rich market
considering that fully half of Turkey’s population is under the age of 29.
“Entrepreneurship is becoming more popular among young people in Turkey. Before, it was seen as a last resort when a young graduate couldn’t find a job and didn’t have any other options. Nowadays, it increasingly draws talented and ambitious people with business-oriented minds.
In the past few years, many alternative capital and funding options have emerged for young entrepreneurs. The most important are the angel investors. KOSGEB, a government organization for SMEs, also supports successful business plans, and private equity firms are a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who are beyond the starting stage.
The Government needs to encourage entrepreneurs in, primarily, technology and the media through tax incentives, R&D support and office support. All investment that supports entrepreneurs should be tax free, which would encourage foreign investment in Turkey.
Other than financial support, young entrepreneurs need entrepreneurship programs in high schools and universities, and successful entrepreneurs as hands-on role models. TUGIAD, an association of young entrepreneurs, is helpful in this way, and it’s one of Youtholding’s major responsibilities to extend this kind of support. In the past nine years, our Egitisim Career Institute has supported 72,000 young entrepreneurs by educating them in areas such as business administration, marketing, HR and communications.”