Women Entrepreneurs in Turkey: A Contemporary Analysis

Women Entrepreneurs in Turkey: A Contemporary Analysis

Meral Dülger (Marmara University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5112-6.ch002
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This chapter makes a contribution to the ongoing efforts to fill the emerging market perspective gap in the entrepreneurship literature with respect to Turkey. It primarily provides a thorough account of the current position of women entrepreneurs operating in the Turkish economy. With exhibitions of current demographic data and statistics, it offers a comprehensive depiction of the importance of women entrepreneurs to the viability of the Turkish economy. Moreover, this chapter sheds light on the deficient aspects of the Turkish system in terms of societal, economic, and professional challenges are and will try to explore how these factors affect the performance of women entrepreneurs while recommending possible routes for improvement.
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Driving the dynamic business environment fueled by innovation, entrepreneurs can be defined as individuals who bring about an improvement, both for other individuals and for society as a whole (Hisrich & Peters, 2002). However, Bruton et al. (2008:4) emphasize that the majority of research on entrepreneurs has originated from developed country perspectives and little is known of entrepreneurship in emerging economies. They contend that “analyzing entrepreneurship only from developed economy point of view presumes invariant entrepreneurial behaviors and outcomes irrespective of the country where they are located” (Bruton., 11). Therefore, for the practitioners and academics to get a complete sense of the current standing of women entrepreneurs, the emerging market point of view needs further amplification with diverse perspectives. In particular, Turkey provides a unique setting that is tenacious in the quest for global integration. Hence, the motivation behind this chapter is to make a significant contribution to literature by providing a thorough account of the current position of women entrepreneurs in Turkey. With exhibitions of current demographic data and statistics, this chapter will also highlight the deficient aspects of the Turkish economy while recommending possible routes for improvement.

As emerging markets are dynamic, volatile and relatively unpredictable; the problems that entrepreneurs cope with would be much more challenging compared to those in developed market settings. They may run into more difficulties throughout their entrepreneurial journeys due to lesser amounts of support from market mechanisms. Despite the emerging market conditions affecting the mix of attitudes, resources, and infrastructure, – the entrepreneurship ecosystem (GEM – Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2017) – Turkey is growing in numbers of startups operating in several industries widely ranging from health, food and beverage sector, social media, smart mobility, e-commerce to fin-tech. As for women, a growing number of women entrepreneurs such as Başak Taşpınar Değim for Armut.com, Demet Mutlu for Trendyol, Gamze Cizreli for BigChefs, Hande Çaydaşı for Bebeshop and Deniz Eraner for Bonvagon.com have attracted significant attention from both practitioners and academics.

GEM classifies countries as “factor-driven economies” that compete by utilizing unskilled labor and natural resources; “efficiency-driven economies” that grow based on improving production efficiency and product quality and “innovation-driven economies” that produce differentiated products/services (GEM, 2017). GEM considers Turkey as an efficiency-driven economy while Turkey is the 18th largest economy in the world in 2015 (World Bank - WB, 2017) and the 16th in the G-20 Summit meeting list (G-20, 2017). The Turkish market was liberalized in 1984, but fast liberalization led to struggles with high inflation, unstable economy coupled with corruption and coalition governments after 1991 (Dülger et al., 2014: 36). Since 2003, despite the increasing urbanization rate, one-party government generated stability and foreseeability through sustainable reforms: GDP increased from 232 billion dollars in 2002 to over 857 billion dollars in 2016, inflation fell from 45% in 2002 to 8.5% in 2016 and total reserves increased to almost 109.6 billion dollars in 2012 from 28 billion dollars in 2002 (Turkish Statistical Institute – TÜİK, 2017; Turkish Central Bank – TCMB, 2017). In Turkey, the average per capita income was raised to 10.787 dollars (WB, 2017). It ranks 71st both on the Human Development Index and the Gender Development Index (United Nations - UN, 2016). Below, Table 1 depicts the standing of Turkey among a selection of the fast developing countries, United Sates along with the average ratings of Europe and Central Asia, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the world:

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