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The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED)

The umbrella organisation of regional and sectoral business world in Turkey
The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED)
Leadership team

Arda Batu (Secretary General and Member of the Board of Directors)

Headquarters
Istanbul, Turkey
Type
Non-profit
Region served
represents nearly 50 thousand companies through 26 regional and 4 sectoral federations and 286 associations
Year stablished
2004
Address
Çatma Mescit Mah. Refik Saydam Cad. Akarca Sok. No.41 Tepebasi, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Social Media
Summary

The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED), is the umbrella organisation of regional and sectoral business world representative organisations. It is an independent non-governmental organisation established on a voluntary basis. TURKONFED is one of the largest business organisations in Turkey with its effective membership structure and number spread across every region of Turkey. Taking its power and effectiveness from the federations and associations of which business people are members, it has nearly 50 thousand companies through 26 regional and 4 sectoral federations and 286 associations under its roof. 

The largest non-governmental organisation in Turkey, TURKONFED embraces the problems of the business world and society with a multi-voiced, fair, and constructive perspective. This contributes to the formation of sectoral and national economic policies with its solution proposals. TURKONFED works for the Turkish economy by transferring the regional and sectoral perspectives of the economy to the decision-makers, thus helping increase the international integration of the business world and its competitiveness. TURKONFED also creates a bridge between the Turkish business world and the European Union. At the same time, it continues to grow on a global scale with TURKONFED International, which brings together member business associations from Germany, Georgia, TRNC, Iraq, Ukraine and Romania.

Some of the completed projects from TURKONFED include: 

  • YEP: 

YEP was carried out in cooperation with NGOs in Italy, Slovakia and Greece. The project aimed to strengthen cooperation between the private sector, the public and civil society to promote sustainable development. 

  • WORTH: 

The project was coordinated by the Erasmus+ programme Strategic Partnerships in Youth WORTH (Youth Employment at WORk Life THrough Long Term Employability Skills) Project TURKONFED. 

  • Level Up: 

With the Level Up project, which was implemented under the coordination of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) in partnership with the Governorship of Istanbul and will continue until August 2020, was aimed to prepare blue-collar employees for the digital world of the future. 

  • Dissemination of Corporate Social Responsibility in SMEs (CSD IV) Customs Union for SMEs: 

Civil Society Dialogue 5. Within the scope of the period, SMEs; The Customs Union Project, was implemented in order to play an active role in the ongoing Customs Union Agreement update process between Turkey and the European Union and to provide maximum benefit from this process, aimed to identify the needs at the SME level for the difficulties arising from the update, to design special financing instruments for SMEs, to analyse the potential sectoral impact of a possible update and to produce solutions for resolving the visa issue. 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility for Businesses STEM and STEM Anatolia for the future:

The STEM -Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Project, which was launched in Istanbul in 2017 with the cooperation of TURKONFED and the Young Achievement Education Foundation and the support of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Small-Scale Grant Program, introduced high school students to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In 2018, the project reached 150 young high school entrepreneurs in 4 cities under the name of STEM Anatolia. 

  • Resilient SMEs Strong Tomorrows (RCM): 

Within the scope of the Resilient SMEs Strong Tomorrows (DKGY) project, implemented in cooperation with TURKONFED and in cooperation with Spark and financed by Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD), to increase the communication in the Turkish business world and ecosystem by pairing 25 SMEs with Syrian capital with a majority partnership/stake in Turkey with 25 SMEs with Turkish capital, to develop a culture of working together and to increase the disaster and pandemic resilience of the 50 targeted SMEs is intended. At the same time, ensuring social cohesion in the business world, increasing economic inclusivity, preventing the loss of employment and diversifying the labor market are among the targets. 

  • Regional Business Networks: 

Civil Society Support Program 3. The Regional Business Networks Project, which was carried out within the scope of the period, was implemented in order to increase the institutional capacities and project development skills of 30 federations under the roof of TURKONFED. 

Some of the upcoming projects include: 

  • Digital Transformation Center (DDM): 

The Digital Transformation Center (DDM), presented by TURKONFED to the Istanbul Development Agency in 2018 and implemented with the support of Türkiye Bankasi, aims to increase the knowledge and awareness of SMEs on the components, requirements, and benefits of digital transformation. 

  • Digital Anatolia: 

The Digital Anatolia Project, initiated in cooperation with Türkiye Bankasi in 2018, aims to contribute to the digitalization processes of SMEs focusing on production in Anatolia, preparing them for Industry 4.0. The project aims to determine a roadmap for digital transformation based on sectors and guide digitalization processes. 

  • Local Development for Business Project: 

"Local Development for the Business World" is being carried out as the fourth phase of the "City-Region: New Dynamics in Regional Development" project in partnership with TURKONFED and CIPE. 

  • Business Resilience: 

The Resilience in Business Project (IDP) was launched by TURKONFED in 2018 in cooperation with the UPS Foundation in order to increase the disaster awareness of SMEs throughout Turkey and to strengthen their disaster preparedness and resilience.

  • Women's Power in Enterprise: 

The Women Power in Entrepreneurship Project, carried out by the Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED), with the support of Türkiye Bankas? and in cooperation with the United Nations Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Unit (UN Women), aims to support entrepreneurial women working in different regions of Turkey, regardless of sector, scale and region, to adapt faster to the digitalization processes of the changing world. The project was launched in 2021.

  • European Youth Together Project Green Transformation for SMEs: 

Green Transformation for SMEs project organised for TURKONFED member federations and associations with the cooperation of TURKONFED, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and Akbank support; aims to raise awareness of the importance of green transformation and how institutions should be prepared. 
 


History

The SIAD movement, which started with the quest of the Industrialists' and Businessmen's Associations (SIAD) in different corners of the country to join forces in the second half of the 1990s, held its first summit in Istanbul on October 17, 1997, hosted by TÜSIAD. The participating SIADs defined their aim at this summit as "to announce the voice of industrialists and businessmen spread across the country to the public, parliament and governments, and to produce projects that will contribute to national and regional development." 

During the 4th Summit held in Sanliurfa on November 17, 2000, only the SIADs that tried to coordinate around a "Planning Committee" participated. At the SIAD Summit, this union was named the "Turkey SIAD Platform," and it continued to participate in the summits for the following three years.

The platform constituted the network of relations, solidarity and cooperation of independent businessmen's associations operating in line with the same principles and goals, not shaped according to political distinctions, actively working in their own regions. At the same summit, important steps were taken towards institutionalisation with the "Working Principles of the SIAD Platform of Turkey" signed by all participating associations and the "Executive Committee" selected. In the same year, various sector associations came together and created a "Sectoral Associations Platform". The sector associations, which previously met in the studies carried out to demonstrate the competitiveness of the sectors, this time formed a joint "Executive Committee" and signed under the common working principles. 

In this process, sectoral associations carried out competitiveness analyses in preparation for the EU process as well as their activities in their fields. Regional associations, on the other hand, closely followed the problems of their regions and followed the economic, political and social reforms that Turkey needed. These studies were carried out with annual summits and boards of presidents that meet at least three times a year. 

Less than two years after these institutionalisation moves, the changes in the legislation concerning non-governmental organisations started a new search. This quest is based on the establishment of functional and strong regional and sectoral federations with the potential for expansion, which will best understand the existing structure; it was possible to define these federations as undertaking the establishment of a confederation that would be the umbrella organisation of the business world. The task of carrying out the organising activities was given to the Aegean Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (ESIAD) by the SIAD Platform of Turkey. 

In 2002, SIADs, members of the platform, were asked about their views on coming together in a higher organisation through a questionnaire and international examples were examined. Various workshops were held to address the problems that may arise. Later, the principles of organisation were determined, regions were created, organisational models to reconcile different structures were discussed, and sample statutes were prepared. After the necessary charter changes were made for the associations to come together and establish superior organisations, the formation of federations was started. 

After the six federations completed their establishment, the work of the confederation accelerated. On November 4, 2004, the Confederation of Enterprise and Business was founded with BASFED, DASFED, DOGUNSIFED, ICASIFED, MAKSIFED, and SEDEFED as its founding members. Enis Özsaruhan, the President of BASFED at the time, was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Entrepreneurship and Business Confederation, which is headquartered in Istanbul. On April 14, 2005, the confederation officially adopted the name "Turk" and became known as the "Confederation of Turkish Enterprise and Business World," with TURKONFED as its abbreviation.


Goals and Purpose

Mission

According to the website, the mission of TURKONFED is: 

  • To contribute to the formulation of regional, sectoral and national economic policies as a voluntary, independent representative and common voice of the business world, and 
  • To help increase national competitiveness and international integration.

Vision

According to its website, TURKONFED's vision is: 

  • To be the umbrella organisation trusted and preferred by the business world throughout the country, and 
  • To increase the competitiveness of its members with policies and activities that will reduce the interregional development gap.

Impact

As a sum of the added value created by each association affiliated to its federations in its own region, TURKONFED creates added value for the Turkish economy by meeting 86 percent of corporate tax, realising 83 percent of Turkey's foreign trade, providing 55 percent of agricultural and non-public registered employment, and providing employment to 7 million people. 

TURKONFED continues its activities in the heart of Europe with its representative office in Brussels since November 17, 2014. It takes part in effective activities in the global arena as a member of the European SME Association and is one of the largest business organisations in Europe. 

Today, the European SME Association is a very important international business organisation that directly reaches out to EU policies and decision-making authorities, representing 12 million firms and 55 million employees. 
 


References
The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TURKONFED)
Leadership team

Arda Batu (Secretary General and Member of the Board of Directors)

Headquarters
Istanbul, Turkey
Type
Non-profit
Region served
represents nearly 50 thousand companies through 26 regional and 4 sectoral federations and 286 associations
Year stablished
2004
Address
Çatma Mescit Mah. Refik Saydam Cad. Akarca Sok. No.41 Tepebasi, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Social Media