In Members, New Member Interview, Recent News

EN interviewed Kürşad Şahin (BRM’s Vice-Chairman) and Begüm Özyer (BRM’s Secretary), to learn more about their organization, members, social enterprise/social entrepreneurship support, vision for the future, the Turkish social enterprise ecosystem, their collaborative relation with the corporate sector and mainstream enterprises, the impact January’s earthquake had on BRM,  and their motivation to join our network.

Who is BRM?

Bogazici University Businesspeople Alumni Association (BRM) is a Turkish network founded in 2003, with the purpose contributing towards a thriving Turkish social enterprise ecosystem and the overall public welfare of Turkiye. 

BRM is made of 120 members that bring together private sector and civil society organizations with expertise in communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, etc. These combinations of different skills and backgrounds enriches the Turkish enterprise ecosystem and facilitates goal concretization. 

To achieve these goals, BRM has established two main programs, the Social Entrepreneurship Program which provides training, mentoring, and networking opportunities to social entrepreneurs and connects them with companies for joint project development targeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Corporate Social Innovation Program aims to raise awareness to the private sector’s role in achieving the SDGs through seminars and training. The program runs design thinking based workshops guiding companies in developing inclusive business applications.

BRM’s main target audience are university students and recent graduates who want to/are contributing towards addressing societal problems. BRM empowers their interest in social entrepreneurship, highlighting the possibilities offered by social entrepreneurship as a viable and desirable professional path. There’s also a particular focus on entrepreneurs developing technologically innovative solutions. 

The Turkish Social Enterprise Ecosystem

The earthquakes that happened in Turkiye and Syria in the early February 2023 and the devastation it produced throughout the country, had a tremendous impact on the Turkish social enterprise ecosystem. New difficulties arose that will take years to be fully addressed, from the need for shelter, food or educational challenges. According to Kursad and Begum, the government and the private sector alone can not fully tackle the earthquakes’ aftermath in the short term due to the needs’ magnitude. There is thus a need and and opportunity for social enterprise organizations to play a significant role in the recovery and reconstruction efforts. 

Since the earthquakes BRM has mobilized their network to catalyze financial aid directed towards Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) supporting first responders as well as victims’ individual needs. They are catalyzing the professional expertise of their network to find innovative solutions to challenges created by the earthquake. 

Where will BRM be in the next 5 years?

BRM will continue to concentrate their efforts and evolve their programs to become an inspiring and effective engine in Turkiye, guiding and enabling business to become inclusive, social innovation focused, very chain aware, and to act as strong partners in fostering social enterprises.

Why join Euclid Network?

EN’s network of inspiring and impact driven members in Europe and beyond, provides BRM with an incredible opportunity for networking and further possibilities to scale-up their impact. BRM wants to learn from our members’ innovative governing frameworks, knowledge, and experience, and contribute with their expertise across different business sectors.

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