WLP Trainings Support Micro Entrepreneuriship Projects in Turkey

WLP Turkey/Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (FSWW) held a series of grassroots training workshops in July through December of 2014 on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The new workshop series was developed by FSWW to help to expand women’s micro entrepreneurship in economically disadvantaged communities, and is based off of the participatory facilitation methodology developed by Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP). In all FSWW conducted workshops in four cities reaching a total of 266 women participants. Based on this initial success, FSWW is planning to continue to improve and expand the program in 2015.

Prior to initiating the workshops FSWW held two Training of Trainers (TOTs) Institutes in April 2014 to equip 18 women with facilitation skills and strategies for the new program. In addition to providing participants with information, the training series also aimed to connect participants with mentoring and collaboration opportunities with local businesses and business associations. Women also gained connections with micro-lending institutions and micro-lending programs such as MAYA, Turkey’s first official micro-lending institution which was founded by FSWW in 2002 as a means to revitalize poor neighborhoods still reeling economically from the 1999 Mamara earthquake. FSWW has been working with micro-credit in various capacities since 1995, when the concept was experiencing a resurgence in popularity.

Also in 2014 FSWW concluded a study on the viability of empowering women through micro-entrepreneurship. FSWW collaborated with Citibank for the study, which was conducted through face to face interviews with over 1300 women from 15 cities across Turkey. The study explores the obstacles facing women in starting sustainable micro-enterprises, and compares and contrasts the effectiveness of different members of micro-credit delivery. The study will be used to provide guidance as the program continues and expands in 2015.

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