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VideoFebruary 13, 2023

Interview with Nesrin Baspinar, Head of the Board of the EKIP social cooperative, Bank’s beneficiaries (Turkce)

The World Bank Group is preparing the 2024-30 Gender Strategy Update. The Update will help accelerate equality and empowerment for all, and guide governments and the private sector on scalable, adaptable solutions that help everyone reach their full potential. The Update to the Strategy is an opportunity to listen and learn from stakeholders’ experiences, exchange ideas and build consensus on the directions going forward. This interview is part of a series of activities planned as part of the broader engagement with stakeholders.

The interviewees took part in the Gender Pre-Consultation Meeting which was held in Istanbul between 9-12 November 2022 as part of their role in the project Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens in Selected Localities (P165687).

The project: Between August 2020 and December 2021, four social cooperatives for Syrian refugee women and host community’s marginalized women were established in four Turkish cities:  Ankara, İzmir, İstanbul and Mersin. These cooperatives were launched to create quality jobs, employment opportunities and contribute to skilled labor in Turkiye under the World Bank project Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP) and Turkish Citizens in Selected Localities. Funds for this project are provided by the European Union.

All the interviewees are an active contributor of Social Entrepreneurship Community of Practice (SECoP) in Turkiye which was established under the Bank project (P165687) with the aim of (a) creating a structure for knowledge exchange with Government counterparts and other key stakeholders to contribute the development of social enterprise sector, (b) bring together the four pilot women-led social cooperatives established under the same project to share operational knowledge in addressing implementation challenges.

Remarks in the interviews highlight 1) implementation experience that involves job creation of women through social entrepreneurship; (2) challenges in supporting labor market integration of SuTP and vulnerable host community women in the social entrepreneurship sector.

Established under the WB project (P165687), EKİP is a women-led social cooperative with 31 members, consisting of SuTPs and Turkish women, producing healthy food products in İstanbul.

Implementation of the EKIP project started in January 2019 leading to certification as social cooperative in March 2020 and completion of Bank financial support in December 2020. Since January 2021, the consolidation of activity has been under the leadership of Küçükçekmece Municipality (of Istanbul). There are preparations underway to receive Bank financial support through an NGO to contribute to the sustainability of the cooperative going forward.

Interviewees’ engagement with the Bank through SECoP

EKIP is the Core Group member in the SECoP and contributor to regional platform discussions carried out by the WB and UNHCR. With the good practice that demonstrates the bridges that could be built between local authorities and social enterprises, EKIP’s implementation experience as a Core Group member has been an inspiration for the SECoP members.

Rawha Albasaleh has been an SuTP member of the EKIP social cooperative since its establishment in 2020. Like the other beneficiaries/ members of the cooperative, Rawha has gone through technical trainings and activities (business management, language, soft skills, cooking basics. Social cohesion). As part of the consolidation efforts devoted for sustaining the EKIP, Nesrin Baspinar, both a project officer from the local municipality and the head of executive board, supports coordination and facilitate access to market and supply chain. They both take part as a dedicated member in the cooperative and SECoP since then.