TÜBİTAK Support Opens Doors to Global Markets for Women Entrepreneurs

As for International Women’s Day on March 8, women entrepreneurs benefiting from TÜBİTAK’s supports are receiving backing from foreign investors and funds for their projects focusing on innovative, high-tech products, and services with international competitiveness.

The Entrepreneurship Support Program, established under the coordination of the Ministry of Industry and Technology as the Individual Young Entrepreneurship (BiGG), supports entrepreneurs from the idea stage to the market, transforming technology and innovation-focused business ideas into ventures with high potential for value-added and qualified employment.

Women entrepreneurs who qualify for BiGG core capital support can participate in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Program for Financial and Advisory Support for Women Entrepreneurs. The program provides support for turning business ideas into commercial value, offering guidance from assigned female mentors and providing information on various incentive and reward mechanisms.

To date, 2,453 entrepreneurs have received support under BiGG, with 501 of them being women entrepreneurs. The 1812 BiGG Investment-Based Entrepreneurship Support Program, the first investment-based call in Turkey, was opened in 2023, receiving a total of 515 business plan applications. Of these applications, 161 were made by women entrepreneurs.

In the call, 47 out of 153 entrepreneurs who received the Excellence Seal were women. The support rate for women entrepreneurs, which was 10% in 2012, increased to 31% in 2023.

Several success stories have emerged from TÜBİTAK’s support programs. For instance, RS Research, founded by Boğaziçi University Chemistry Department Professor Dr. Rana Sanyal, is developing smart nano drugs enabling targeted treatments. With €2 million core investment from the European Investment Fund, the company received a $12 million Series-A investment with the participation of GEN İlaç, Eczacıbaşı Momentum, and Istanbul Portföy funds.

The support also extends to various sectors such as health tech, where PHI TECH Information Biotechnology R&D Inc., founded by Dr. Saliha Durmuş, has developed a bioinformatics platform providing AI-assisted clinical decision support for precision medicine applications.

From developing wearable thermometers to creating innovative solutions for waste reduction in the textile and packaging sectors, women entrepreneurs are making significant contributions to Turkey’s technological landscape with TÜBİTAK’s support.

These examples demonstrate the positive impact of TÜBİTAK’s initiatives in empowering women entrepreneurs and fostering innovation in various industries.

source: / prepared by Melisa Beğiç

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