Newsletter | June 2024

KOSGEB Met With The SMEs In The Field

The KOSGEB delegation, led by Vice President Mr. Bilal Kendirci, came together with the SMEs benefitting from the Employment Committed SME Support Programme, within the scope of FOSTER Project in Adana, Mersin, Gaziantep, and Şanlıurfa.

During the visits, SMEs benefiting from the Employment Committed SME Support Programme gave feedback on the monitoring and payment processes, and SMEs stated that the supports are very valuable in terms of increasing their production and employment capacities and strengthening their competitiveness levels.


SMEs Came Together in Information Meetings

The second round of the information meetings started on February 5, 2024, in Kahramanmaraş. Subsequent information meetings took place in the project provinces of Konya, Ankara, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Şanlıurfa, Adana, Mersin, Kocaeli, Istanbul Anatolian Side, Istanbul European Side, Kayseri, Bursa, Izmir, and Mardin.

During the Information Meetings, details were provided regarding the Employment Committed SME Support Programme Second Call, which opened for applications on January 29, 2024. Under the Second Call, with a deadline for applications set on February 27, 2024, SMEs will be eligible for grant support of up to TRY 1 million. Eligible SMEs will be able to use this support for personnel, machinery, equipment, molds, software and training expenses.


FOSTER Project Sixth Steering Committee Meeting was Held

The 6th Steering Committee Meeting of the Empowering the Private Sector to Foster Social and Economic Cohesion in Türkiye (FOSTER) Project was held in a hybrid format on February 7th. The progress within the FOSTER Project has been discussed in the meeting. Representatives from the European Union, KfW Development Bank, and our stakeholders participated in the meeting held at KOSGEB.


The SMEs That Will Receive Grant Support Under the FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Support Programme Second Call Have Been Announced!

The SMEs to be supported have been determined as a result of the first and second stage evaluations made within the scope of the FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Support Programme Second Call, which is financed by the European Union, managed by KfW Development Bank and implemented by KOSGEB. Within the scope of the programme, 6,964 applications were received and 2,845 SMEs were decided to be supported.

1,189 of the SMEs to be supported under Employment Committed SME Support Programme Second Call are operating in the earthquake-affected project provinces of Adana, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis and Şanlıurfa.

The implementation for grant support to SMEs started on May 1, 2024. Within the programme, beneficiary SMEs will be able to benefit from the grant support up to TRY 1 million for personnel, machinery and equipment, molds, software, and training expenses.


Baran Tur Stands Out with its Eco-friendly Operations

Gaziantep-based Baran Tur draws attention with its environment friendly operations. The company demonstrates an active stance against global issues like climate crisis and resource scarcity, by showcasing its commitment to fulfilling its environmental and social responsibilities. As the FOSTER Project Team, we held an interview with them to inquire about how they manage these processes. Ms. Zeynep Aydaş, who works as a Quality Assurance Specialist at the company, answered our questions.

How did you become acquainted with the carbon footprint?

We learned about carbon footprint during the Green Deal process. More precisely, we became aware of the carbon footprint after our country’s sustainability goals were announced in 2016, and we learnt how important the carbon footprint is through a training provided by the Chamber of Commerce. Afterwards, we began to take action on this topic questioning why we are not creating awareness about it and why we are not calculating our carbon footprint.

We installed rooftop solar panel systems. We completed the first phase and are now working on the second phase with the government support. To reduce water usage, we made a seemingly small but an important change by converting all the faucets used by employees to sensor-operated ones after discovering that many faucets were forgotten and left open, sometimes even over the weekends. So, we realized the importance of sensor-operated faucets. We made significant financial gains from both solar panels and water reduction, as well as moral gains, as employees’ awareness raised. Today, if we can reduce our environmental damage by even just one unit, we leave a significant mark as humanity.

Do you have any suggestions for other SMEs regarding this matter?

In my opinion, they should make an investigation on the issue and assess themselves. They should initially analyze things like how much electricity they consume, how many kW of energy is used, or how many tons of water are being used, and what the losses are.

They should also evaluate things like how much gasoline is spent on company vehicles for transportation or how much thermal power is consumed for heating in terms of natural gas, coal, fossil fuels, and what the costs are. Because when we controlled all these things, we came up with very serious projects.

I didn’t mention it earlier, but I would like to mention it now. For example, we don’t use natural gas or fossil fuels. In the past, 20 to 30 tons of coal were used annually solely for heating. Right now, we do not pay for natural gas or coal. Instead, we use an exchanger to transmit heat from the compressor’s hot oil to the water. Thus, we gain from pumping water into the radiators as well.

Finally, you have FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certifications, and how have you benefitted from them?

If you export to Europe, you indeed have to be careful. Today, when you buy a T-shirt from major brands, you see the FSC emblem on the information sheets sent in the package. It’s a tiny piece of paper, but it means that the paper is produced from sustainable forests, permitted forests, or forests under control, which is what FSC stands for. We also have this perspective.

We thank you for your sensitivity and great efforts.


Elmastek Mühendislik: High Technology and Unique Software

Mr. Recep Elmas’s entrepreneurial journey began during his high school years. His geography teacher’s discourse about the importance of establishing companies and value-added production shaped Mr. Recep Elmas’s career path. As an active student in university, Mr. Recep Elmas led the formation of a robotics club and served on the student commission of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers.

In 2011, when the Ministry of Industry provided direct support to new graduates, Mr. Recep Elmas applied for the “Techno-Initiative Capital Support” Project. While serving in the military, Mr. Recep Elmas took three days off to write this project and, upon returning from the military, he was called for an interview and established his first company as a first step into the business world. He then continued his journey by establishing his second company, Elmastek Mühendislik, in Izmir in 2018.

Mr. Recep Elmas manages administrative tasks as the company owner and handles product design and engineering services as an electrical and electronics engineer. Elmastek Mühendislik produces electronic control boards specifically for various machine manufacturers and factories. The company also writes the embedded software for these control boards in-house and possesses a high-tech assembly line. This assembly line can process 40,000 components per hour, and the production processes are carried out on this line.

Recep Elmas learned about the FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Finance Support Programme through KOSGEB. He invested in machines for cable cutting, crimping, socketing, and injection production with the financial support he received. Additionally, he expanded his team by employing two foreigners under international protection. This support allowed him making investments related to cable machines by increasing his machine park and capacities. Mr. Recep Elmas states that “This investment would not have been possible without the financial support”.

Thanks to the financial support, Elmastek Mühendislik not only achieved capacity expansion but also set ambitious goals for the future. The company aims to open a branch in Europe and make a strong entry into the European market with their new products and increased capacities.

Mr. Recep Elmas’s determination and commitment to innovation form the keystone of Elmastek Engineering’s success. Elmastek Mühendislik aims to achieve even greater successes in the field of technology and engineering in the future.


Flexia’s Success: Growing with Exports and Increasing the Employment

Flexia was founded in 2006 and produces copper wire and granule cables. The company entered a growth phase in 2012 and opened a new larger factory in 2018. Under the leadership of Quality Manager and Board Member Mr. Coşkun Kadıoğlu and the Chairman of the Board, Flexia aimed to grow through exporting activities and successfully increased its capacity.

Flexia employs 121 people including ten foreigners under temporary protection. All personnel have strengthened their communication and increased their collaboration by learning a foreign language from each other.

Flexia not only purchased raw materials but also created employment thanks to the support received from FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Finance Support Programme. However, their production almost came to a standstill for a while due to being located in the earthquake affected region. They managed to overcome this challenging period and got their business back on track; the company first employed two employees and then added six more with the support they received. The company aims to grow in the future and sustain their success in the sector.


A Successful E-Trader at Galepharma through the Experience Gained in Different Sectors

Mr. Riad Hantou is a foreigner under temporary protection who came to Türkiye at the age of 17 while in the final year of high school. He enrolled in a distance education high school to continue his education. He lives with his mother and brother and he is the sole responsible for his family’s livelihood as his brother is ill. After arriving in Türkiye, Mr. Riad worked in different sectors. He worked in construction, tailoring, and manufacturing before joining an e-commerce company in electronics for three years, where he gained experience in e-commerce.

After working in different companies for short periods, he started working at Galepharma, a pharmaceutical company. He established company’s Arabic website and started exporting to international firms with his previous e-commerce knowledge. Mr. Riad underlines the social cohesion as one of the most important elements of the FOSTER Project and says that he had the opportunity for a quick adaptation to a different culture through his job. He wants to make Galepharma a well-known company in the Middle East and to increase its sales in e-commerce.


İlkfa Tekstil Under the Leadership of Ferhat Demir

Mr. Ferhat Demir who is from Nusaybin, Mardin moved to İzmir in 1992 and started working at his brother’s company. He worked in the management department and as a craftsman for 15 years and improved himself in professional life. Mr. Ferhat Demir, having equipped himself with his experience, made the decision to start his own business.

Mr. Ferhat Demir returned to Mardin in 2016 and supported creating employment in the region through the government supports. İlkfa Tekstil carries out contract manufacturing and production of trousers for various brands. Mr. Ferhat Demir’s goal is to establish his own brand and operate in the international arena.

As both the owner and chairman of the company, Mr. Ferhat Demir learned about the FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Finance Programme through KOSGEB. With this financial support, he purchased machinery, provided employment, and expanded his business line. Mr. Ferhat Demir notes that the two foreigners under temporary protection they hired have contributed significantly to the company’s growth with their diligence and experience.

Looking to the future, the company plans to establish a new firm. Mr. Ferhat Demir mentioned that their new facility, currently under construction, will be operational within four months. Their goal is to reach 250 employees, aiming to grow both in terms of workforce.


A Pioneer Success Story in Digital Transformation

Ms. Didem Yayın embarked on her professional journey in 2010 at a Turkish Telekom TNT dealership. Ms. Didem Yayın, who gained experience in this five-year journey eventually moved on to manage the field personnel in 2015 and continued activities as a business partner in a different business line of Turkish Telekom. Currently, they focus on digitalizing SMEs and offering internet for mobile lines to them. They are actively operating in Bursa, Kütahya, and Balıkesir regions.

A significant part of Yayınnet’s team consists of field staff who visit companies and provide solutions to their technical needs. The office team handles sales operations and completes activation processes in the Turkish Telekom System. Half of Yayınnet’s team, which consists of 33 members, comprises of women who diligently carry out their work.

During the pandemic, Yayınnet managed to retain jobs by benefitting from KOSGEB support, which proved to be a significant contribution to sustaining their business. Subsequently, they continued to improve their business through the FOSTER Project Employment Committed SME Finance Support Programme. They employed foreigners under temporary protection holding associate degrees and due to their constant phone communication as part of their job, their Turkish language skills have significantly improved over time.

Despite the challenges faced during the pandemic, the Yayınnet team successfully continued their operations through proactive approaches and dedicated efforts. Mr. Didem Yayın, who is focused on sustaining and expanding her business, aims to increase employment opportunities for youth and women in the future. Yayınnet will continue to support SMEs in the digital transformation process while maintaining its leadership position in the industry.


İs Teknoloji’s Digitalization Projects have been Accelerated Thanks to the FOSTER Project

İs Teknoloji has accelerated its digital archive projects by increasing its employment capacity thanks to the grant support received under the FOSTER Project’s Employment Committed SME Support Programme. The company offers turnkey projects by developing software and service bureau-based technologies and products in document scanning, image processing, document archiving and document management. The qualified workforce provided by university graduate foreigner under temporary protection hired through the FOSTER Project positively contributes to the progress of the project.

The services developed by İs Teknoloji contribute to the conservation of natural resources by reducing paper consumption. The digitalization process also leads to significant savings in energy and water consumption. Transitioning to digitalized document management instead of physical copying processes helps reducing the carbon footprint by minimizing the use of energy-intensive devices. This environmental friendly service does not only enhance business efficiency but also makes a significant contribution to the conservation of natural resources and environmental sustainability. In this way, businesses both reduce their costs and fulfil their social responsibilities by adopting an eco-friendly approach.

Mr. Şükrü Armağan, General Manager of İs Teknoloji, mentioned that their first entrepreneurial idea started in 1998 when he and two friends opened a store called EŞE Bilgisayar, where they sold computer games and repaired computers. In 2014, they took over a business named Neteksis and renamed it as İs Teknoloji. Since then, they have stood out in the industry by playing a significant role in the development of IT projects for both public and private sectors with high information technology and object-oriented application development approaches.

By accelerating its digitalization processes under the FOSTER Project’s Employment Committed SME Support Programme, İs Teknoloji increases its employment capacity and takes significant steps towards sustainability. The company’s success sets an example in enhancing business efficiency and fulfilling social and environmental responsibilities.