Associate Professor Esra Karadeniz of Yeditepe University, who prepared the report, said the proportion of entrepreneurs at the start-up stage of establishing their businesses as a ratio of the adult population also increased from 3.2 percent three years ago to 3.7 percent in 2010. She added that the share of new business owners likewise increased from 3 to 5.1 percent from 2008 to last year. Based on this data, Karadeniz noted that the number of entrepreneurs is on the rise in Turkey and that the enterprises they have established are gaining continuity in the country's economy.
Among 24 countries examined as part of this report, Turkey ranked ninth in the field of new business owner entrepreneurs. However, it came in 20th in terms of the ratio of start-up level entrepreneurs.
Noting that the number of women entrepreneurs is generally lower in Turkey than in other countries, Karadeniz said women constitute slightly more than 22 percent of all entrepreneurs in the country.
Karadeniz also touched upon the importance of education for fostering entrepreneurship in a country. She said more educated men and women are more able to take opportunities presented to themselves to start new businesses. She also said people's financial capabilities have a positive impact on their entrepreneurial ability. “The numbers of entrepreneurs aged between 34-44 and 45-54 are increasing. So our entrepreneurs are getting older somehow, and we should be further supporting youth and women entrepreneurship,” she added.
Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) President Mustafa Kaplan, during an address to participants at Sunday's meeting, said his organization is now starting a new era during which it will lend “more qualified” support to innovative entrepreneurship. Noting that many other institutions are also active when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurship, Kaplan proceeded to say: “We thought that all those efforts should serve a common cause. Two years ago I told our minister [of science, industry and technology, Nihat Ergün] that we should form a joint council, bringing all players to the same table so we can head in the same direction. Now all the preparatory work has been completed. We have finalized the establishment of an entrepreneurship council with the support of all relevant parties. This will be a council where work to develop entrepreneurship and remove obstacles will be planned. We intend to coordinate the work of this council.”
The last person to appear before the audience at Sunday's meeting was Aynur Bektaş, head of the TOBB's Board of Women Entrepreneurs. In her address, she said the ability of women to become entrepreneurs varies from one country to another. “Some women are forced to become entrepreneurs to meet a family need. This is why we tend to see women's labor force participation rates increase during times of economic crisis. But we also sometimes hear criticism directed at women for allegedly increasing unemployment in Turkey. The fact is, they can move forward and become entrepreneurs whenever there is a real need by their families. The task of taking care of the family members with disabilities, children and the elderly is seen as the responsibility of women and as there are no sufficient mechanisms to enable them to succeed in the labor market, we unfortunately cannot benefit from the entrepreneurial energy of women,” she said.