Minister Kacır announces new financing of 20 million liras for SMEs

The Minister of Industry and Technology, Mehmet Fatih Kacır, stated, “We are providing access to affordable financing for SMEs that will implement digital transformation projects, with a maximum limit of 20 million liras for 36 months.” The SME Digital Transformation Support Program, aimed at making SMEs’ business processes more efficient and integrating them with technology, was launched with this goal in mind.

The SME Digital Transformation Promotion Program was held at the Presidency Building of KOSGEB with the participation of Minister Kacır. Within the scope of the program, a protocol was signed between KOSGEB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB).

Kacır, speaking at the opening of the program that will carry SMEs’ global and national competitiveness forward, explained how innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, and robotics are shaping daily life practices and decision-making mechanisms in this new era.

Kacır emphasized that successfully adapting these technologies to business models and achieving digital transformation is key to businesses providing effective, efficient, and fast services to their customers, stating that the Ministry is supporting industrialists and businesses in their digital transformation journey.

Kacır stated that they are acting with a vision that strengthens the development of technology needed by the manufacturing industry through domestic means, and strengthens the human resources and scientific infrastructure they need. He said, “We have provided support of approximately 47 billion liras to nearly 9,500 projects in the field of digital transformation with TÜBİTAK over the past 22 years. Within the scope of our Technology-Oriented Industrial Initiative Program, we support the development and manufacturing of digital transformation solutions needed by our companies from R&D to mass production. With the Digital Transformation Call we conducted under the program, we paved the way for 42 projects with an investment size of 448 million dollars, including automation systems, big data platforms, and production of smart sensors, to meet the needs.”

Kacır emphasized that they have established model factories across the country to prepare businesses for digital transformation and to match existing workforce with the competencies required by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He expressed that they increase the productivity of businesses by providing various services to businesses and employees.

“We are establishing European Digital Innovation Centers in Turkey” Kacır underlined that by strengthening international collaborations in the field of digital transformation, they provide access to infrastructures that will serve as levers for companies’ innovation and technology development.

Emphasizing that they have joined the €8.2 billion Digital Europe Program to strengthen their support for companies’ digital transformation, Kacır said, “We are establishing European Digital Innovation Centers in Turkey to provide pre-investment testing and investor-finding services to our businesses, especially our SMEs. We provide our industrialists and entrepreneurs with the opportunities within the similar infrastructures in Europe when they need them.”

Kacır stressed that digital transformation has become not just a preference but a necessity to create sustainable and successful business models in the competitive business world. He pointed out the importance of analyzing the competencies of SMEs by using a specially designed assessment tool considering the factors unique to Turkey to strengthen their successes in this journey.

Kacır stated that the right infrastructure, qualified human resources, digital transformation projects compatible with needs and goals, and financial planning are indispensable for a successful digital transformation. Therefore, he explained that they have developed the Digital Transformation Maturity Assessment Model DDX.

Kacır pointed out that they have trained the workforce that will ensure the application of the model nationwide, and by restructuring KOSGEB support programs, they have removed the financial barrier in front of SMEs’ digital transformation journey.

“New financing of 20 million liras” Highlighting that they have provided support of 10 billion liras for SMEs’ digital transformation through KOSGEB so far, Kacır continued: “We are offering new financing mechanisms to our SMEs by increasing our cooperation with international financial institutions. As part of the SME Digital Transformation Support Program, we have collaborated with EBRD to ensure the digital transformation of SMEs operating in the manufacturing industry, increasing their competitiveness and productivity. We offer a cost-effective financing opportunity with a maximum limit of 20 million liras for 36 months to SMEs that will implement digital transformation projects. I congratulate TEB for being the first financial institution in our implementation. In the coming period, we will expand the scope of the program by including other financial institutions.”

Kacır emphasized that the manufacturing industry export reached the highest value with 241 billion dollars last year and accounted for 94.2% of the total exports. He stated: “Our industry has the lion’s share in growth. Our SMEs, which constitute 99% of our manufacturing industry enterprises, are the most important gear in the industrial wheel. Our SMEs are indispensable in the steps we take in investment, employment, production, invention, and export routes. For this reason, we will continue to stand by our visionary, hardworking business people who believe in our country’s potential, who are devoted to the ideal of a great and strong Turkey, with all our means. As we take steps to make our country a global hub for advanced technology production, to grow the knowledge-based digital economy, and to strengthen our innovative and entrepreneurial human resources, we will continue our twin transformation of the manufacturing industry decisively. In this regard, we will continue to strengthen cooperation with EBRD and other international financial institutions.”

source: prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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