ActHuman “Resilient Cooperatives ” Report Launch Event Held

At the focus of the Cooperatives, Social Solidarity Economy in Turkey expands in recent years.

The number of cooperatives in Turkey is increasing. TOBB data shows that the number of cooperatives established in 2019 and 2020 increased compared to the number of cooperatives closed during that time.

Cooperatives, established for the last three years, come to the fore in the business and agricultural development sectors, especially housing. Different models of solidarity and cooperation are also developing between local governments and cooperatives. The presence of women in the workforce is instrumental through cooperatives, and more and more women come together and become cooperatives. Consumers; It meets under the cooperative roof to have fair access to natural, nutritious and clean food. Cooperative products are in e-commerce platforms, becoming more and more popular. Social cooperatives, a cooperative model with a different understanding, organization, and business model than traditional cooperative models, are also spreading.

ActHuman Social Inclusion Initiative, a joint venture of İNGEV (Human Development Foundation) and Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), prepared a report to define “Resilient Corporativism for Social Solidarity Economy” and to offer social policy recommendations. The initiative, which established an advisory board consisting of cooperatives, public and international organizations representatives, subsequently identified the social solidarity economy’s needs within a particular focus on cooperatives with a workshop. This report’s highlights were shared with the press members at the launch meeting held online on 14 January.

Speaking at the ActHuman III Report Launch event, where both information about the rapid transformation in socio-economic life, as well as current and historical comparative data, in terms of cooperatives were shared, İNGEV President Vural Çakır said:

Cooperative is one of the essential types of organizations that will enable economic activities – which are weak individually – to become healthier and more sustainable. The pandemic showed us the importance of economic activities based on solidarity. We need to shine these cooperatives by paying more attention. We should improve public legislation and structure in line with simplification and focus. Besides, cooperatives should strengthen their collaborations. İNGEV wants to lay the groundwork for these collaborations and expand its activities via Entrepreneurship Support Center.

Sabancı University Vice-Rector and Director of Istanbul Policy Center Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman also mentioned that “Neoliberalism increasingly destroys the organizations coming from below. In addition to this, a central management understanding and increasing urbanization are the main reasons for doing this study. “The important thing is to make cooperatives more productive actors. Cooperatives today have three-dimensional importance; solidarity, not only in the field of agriculture, but in the field of all societal issues that go all the way up to theater and art, working on a new form of organization different from the past and a new localization,” said Keyman.

The presentation was made by Orkun Doğan, Research Assistant at the Department of Economics of Istanbul Bilgi University, who also prepared the report. Doğan also drew attention to the necessity of supervision as well as trust in establishing cooperatives.


The following nine social policy recommendations emerged as a result of the resilient cooperative study:


  1. The Impact of COVID-19 and Cooperatives: A sectoral study should be conducted to measure the social and economic impacts of the crises caused by the pandemic on the cooperatives and evaluate the measures to be taken.
  2. New Cooperatives Legislation: Cooperative legislation should be addressed, simplified, and developed in a participatory method in which all stakeholders are represented, within the framework of international principles and current needs, to ensure contemporary governance principles.
  3. Financial Support Tools: A mechanism to increase cooperatives’ access to financial markets should be established where cooperatives are represented within cooperative banks and credit unions. Alternative means to traditional financing channels should be designed according to Turkey’s unique conditions and the cooperatives’ needs.
  4. More Effective Cooperatives in Value Chains: Incentives should be provided to develop the Cooperative Product Certificate, increasing the cooperative products’ visibility at retail sales points. In order to increase cooperatives’ marketing capacity, training programs should be organized for stakeholders, especially on product and brand development, e-commerce, and export-related issues.
  5. Cooperative Statistics and Cooperatives Research and Training Center: Cooperative data should be compiled regularly, and indicators such as total number, number of partnerships, employment, and annual turnover should be prepared in international statistical standards and presented to the public in different formats.
  6. Training and Capacity Building Programs for Cooperatives: Relevant ministries, development agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and education cooperatives that organize cooperative training should come together and determine a comprehensive “Cooperative Training Strategy” in coordination.
  7. Increasing the Awareness Level of Cooperatives in the Society: An image study should be carried out with all stakeholders to increase the awareness of cooperatives in the eyes of the public and spread the concept of cooperatives.
  8. Partnerships Between Cooperative Supreme Organizations and Social Solidarity Economy Components: For more resilient cooperatives, the top of the cooperative organization should be restructured, and supporting mechanisms should be activated.
  9. Collaboration between Cooperatives and Local Governments: Ethical and principled cooperation between local governments and cooperatives can provide significant opportunities to strengthen the social solidarity economy and support cooperatives, as long as the cooperatives’ autonomy is observed.

İNGEV Şanlıurfa Business Development Center Trainings Started.

Within the Incubation and Small Grant Program scope, 150 entrepreneurs will be selected through evaluations and interviews over the applications in 4 different periods, and designated beneficiaries will participate in Basic Entrepreneurship Trainings.

Business proposals written by entrepreneur candidates who will complete Basic Entrepreneurship Trainings will be evaluated by INGEV committee consisting of experts in the entrepreneurship field. Selected 90 beneficiaries will have a chance to participate in Advanced Entrepreneurship Training. INGEV will cover the business establishment costs and provide partial grants for 53 entrepreneurs who will complete the Advanced Entrepreneurship Training.

INGEV project, which aims to contribute to the establishment of new MSMEs in the Şanlıurfa ecosystem, will also deliver training and consultancy support to enhance entrepreneurs’ capacities and business ideas.

The trainings of the “Incubation and Small Grant Program” organized by INGEV Şanlıurfa Business Development Center, in cooperation with DRC (Danish Refugee Council) and funded by KFW (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and DANIDA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark) started in the month of December.

Trainings drew great interest from Şanlıurfa entrepreneur community and 38 beneficiaries were selected out of 956 applications. Selected beneficiaries started to receive Basic Entrepreneurship Trainings.

What sort of trainings is being delivered?

Business Skills and Capacity Building Trainings for MSMEs consist of 6 different modules created according to the needs of MSMEs owners and employees operating in Şanlıurfa and Kilis.

INGEV will enhance the capacities and business skills of Syrian and Turkish MSMEs working in Şanlıurfa and Kilis with the modules on “Digital Marketing and Online Working Tools,” “Business Law for MSMEs,” “Finance and Basic Accountancy for MSMEs,” “Team Building, Leadership Skills, and Corporate Communication,” “Import and Export,” and “Human Resources Management.” INGEV will also open different application periods for each module and organize each module three times throughout the project implementation process.

Apart from providing consultancy support on the Finance, Business Law, and Business Development fields, INGEV will aim to contribute to the development of the region and Şanlıurfa ecosystem.

You can follow our Business Skills and Capacity Building Training applications on our website and social media accounts.

Vural Çakır: Rewieving the consumption focus of “good living” standards is vital

“Next Frontier: Human Development and Anthropocene” Human Development Report 2020 Launch Event, where INGEV was among the stakeholders, was held online under UNDP Turkey’s umbrella on December 16th.

After UNDP Turkey Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi presented the findings of the 2020 report, launch event continued with a panel of academicians specialized in the fields of climate change and bio-diversity. INGEV President Vural Çakır participated in the panel that followed, “What’s our part?

Speaking at the panel, INGEV President Vural Çakır pointed out that the concept of human development offers a fundamental vision and perspective for a better world, adding that we have the chance to set measurable goals and achieve them through a focus on human development. Highlighting the relationship between consumption and human development Çakır also said: “We need to focus on a range of areas in climate action plans and set measurable targets. It is very important that we review our consumption-centric approach for defining the standards of ‘good-living’.”

During his opening speech, UN Turkey Resident Representative Alvaro Rodriguez stressed the importance of this year’s theme: “The theme of this year’s report, “Planetary Imbalances”, demonstrates the current turmoil humanity encounters, and proposes brave, nature-based solutions for our survival.” UNDP Turkey Resident Representative Claudio Tomasi conveyed a critical message underlining the fact that no country achieved very high human development without putting an immense strain on the planet. He added: “The next frontier for human development is to right this wrong.”

The Human Development Report (HDR) 2020 “The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene” aims to rebalance the relationship between humanity and nature, and improve people’s lives in a permanent manner. In the new geological era called the Anthropocene, humans possess the power of shaping the planet according to their purposes. In this new era, how will the human development change? How do we find a new path that expands human freedom, choice and agency while reducing planetary pressures? The report focuses on these questions, while offering metrics and data to demonstrate that the recovery from the unprecedented pandemic can be environmentally and socially sustainable.

2020 #HDR Turkey Launch Event:

INGEV Commercial Enterprise takes over Enva Media

With this acquisition, INGEV becomes the owner of ViBio TiVi, one the most effective Youtube channels in Turkey with more than 1.3 million subscribers, known for its “Actually Who”, “Actually What” videos. While popular ViBio TiVi programs will be continued by the direction of well known influencer Pelin Olgun, the scope of content will also be expanded toward various topics of human development.

As a social enterprise, Enva Media’s know-how in video design, production and digital marketing will be utilized to boost INGEV’s capacity in providing services to the vulnerable groups in Turkey. We believe this development will bring about a new vision for strengthening civil society organizations, facilitate to reach the younger audience and help raise awareness about human development.

You can reach VibioTV via this link.

Guide for Digital Citizenship: From Turkey to Global

Digital citizenship is considered as the new challenge for citizens around the Globe. INGEV is addressing this challenge in cooperation with Facebook and Oxford University, to launch the first stage of the project. It will feature a survey to be conducted in 26 cities covering   all of Turkey. Key findings will be incorporated into the digital citizenship white paper, to be drafted by Oxford University. The survey will also detect the areas of improvement from cyber bullying to communication behavior in the digital world along with utilization of e-commerce. The outputs will be shared with the stakeholders in various workshops. The last stage of the project will develop content and tools like video series and handbooks, as well as an awareness campaign on digital citizenship.

HDI and Measuring SDGs at City Level

INGEV has expanded its study of HDI-D (Human Development Index-Districts), which aims to measure and monitor human development at the local level, to include metropolitan municipalities. The HDI-D study, this year has broadened with new indexes and data sources, while data collection has kicked off for HDI-Districts and HDI/Metropolitan studies. After a series of studies, a set of indicators have been developed to measure SDGs on metropolitan city level. It will be a new standard to asses city performances via sustainable development goals. Both districts and city results will be released latest on January 2021.

High Council Enhances Quality of Administration

INGEV High Council actively initiated strengthening the vision and corporate identity of the NGO to support its development and management. The High Council consists of the following names:

Arda Batu, TURKONFED Secretary General and Board Member; Berrak Kutsoy, Consultant to ESAS Holding Board Chairman and to TOBB Young Entrepreneurs Board; Tal Garih, Strategic Planning Manager of ALARKO Group of Companies; Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman, Vice-Rector of Sabancı University and Director of Istanbul Policy Center; Prof. Dr. Melsa Ararat, Sabancı Business School Corporate Governance Forum Director and UN Global Compact Turkey Network Board Member; Prof. Dr. Halil Nalçaoğlu, Dean of Istanbul Bilgi University Communication Faculty; and INGEV Board Member Renan Burduroğlu and INGEV Chairman Vural Çakır.

High Council will review Global and local trends of human development, develop strategies to be implemented and advise to the operational management.

ActHuman III Focus on “Strong Cooperatives”

“Strong Cooperatives for Social Solidarity Economy”, was the 3rd topic of ActHuman joint initiative between INGEV & IPM. Beginning with the advisory board meeting held on August 26. Representatives from the general public, municipalities, production and consumption cooperatives, universities, international organizations and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting. The main discussions of the board revolved around increasing the share of cooperatives for value chains in their fields of activity and improving their financial systems along with administrative management capacities, to increase their efficiency. A workshop was also held on October 15 for further comprehensive discussion of a new vision, financial empowerment, public opinion, supportive legislation, social economy network, sustainable ecosystem and a more active value chain. Social policy recommendations report on “Strong Cooperatives for Social Solidarity Economy” will be published and disseminated on December 2020.

No Barriers to Entrepreneurship!

An important threshold was crossed by the “Development of Access to Livelihoods for Persons with Disabilities” project, carried out by INGEV in cooperation with Relief International and with support from PRM. Within the scope of the plan to reach Syrian and Turkish disabled individuals   in Istanbul, who are actively seeking jobs, training on “MS Office Usage” has been conducted in August, as well as “Call Center” workshops in September. In addition, prospective entrepreneurs have begun to take steps to establish their companies to achieve reliable employment and stability. In the coming months, INGEV envisages to increase the number of disabled entrepreneurs who will contribute to production in Turkey and act as models for prospective entrepreneurs throughout the forthcoming training.

Global Intrigue About d-FAIRs 1st Virtual Event

INGEV 1st d-FAIR for Women’s Clothing and Footwear took place on September 12-15 with eager participation from more than 20 countries. Organized to support the business recovery of Syrian SMEs and lend impetus to social cohesion in addition to financial integration, the virtual fair was one of of its kind.

INGEV new perspective has actualized a pioneering practice that allows SMEs to reach out to international markets, as they position their brands, develop products, renew their visibility and adapt to the digital world instead of traditional matchmaking, training and networking activities, which are gradually decreasing amid the pandemic. INGEV also aims to improve the capacity of Syrian vulnerable   SMEs and develop their contribution to local economy, while enabling export through innovative platforms like the virtual fair.

During the event, 800 business cards, amongst which were international buyers, were exchanged with 39 Syrian SME. Meanwhile, the visuals and catalogues produced by INGEV in three languages were visited 2,100 times, presenting an opportunity for new ventures and purchase possibilities.

20 international speakers from UNDP, TÜRKONFED, EBRD, DEİK, Mavi Jeans and Metro Toptan conversed with the exhibitors and guests at the virtual fair about activities in the form of panels. 2,500 people registered for the virtual fair, of which 68% were from abroad. As the virtual fair rolled adverts of SMEs were watched by 12 million people in 20 countries.

Click for Fair Panels: