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Founded in Istanbul in September 2002 by 37 successful women entrepreneurs, KAGIDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey) is a nation-wide, non-profit civil society organization. Today, KAGIDER has 270 members, all active in various sectors such as textiles, communication, public relations, tourism, mining, chemistry and health.

Mission and Vision
Mission: Developing entrepreneurship among women to strengthen their status economically and socially.

Vision: Creating a world in which women produce and establish their existence freely and play an effective role in decision-making processes.

Main Concentrations:

1. Entrepreneurship and Leadership Activities
KAGIDER conducts several projects, provides incubation and mentorship support and organizes training programs for the (potential) women entrepreneurs and seeks to strengthen women entrepreneurship and increase the number of women entrepreneurs in Turkey, as well as creating a consciousness among the young girls and promoting them to have a better education and step into the business life. Since 2002, KAGIDER has empowered women and leveraged their influence on Turkey’s economic and social landscape through entrepreneurship trainings.

2.-Biz. (We) Women Development Center
In March 2009, KAGIDER opened its new Woman Development Centre –Biz. (We) as a venue through which to sustain, evaluate and further develop its activities on two main areas; entrepreneurship and leadership training for women and incubation services. –Biz. provides financial and banking consultancy services, incubation and mentorship support, entrepreneurship and leadership trainings and seminars, and a networking venue to women entrepreneurs. Moreover, -Biz. continues to be a discussion and development platform open to women professionals, academics, women’s NGOs and to people who value women empowerment.

3. Advocacy Activities for Women Empowerment
KAGIDER conducts advocacy activities for making women more effective in social and political life and achieving gender equality in all aspects of life. Those advocacy activities cover women empowerment and contributing to Turkey’s EU accession. In this context, KAGIDER organizes national and international panels and the International Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Summit, conducts research, organizes meetings with ministers, governmental representatives and parliamentarians, holds campaigns, publishes press releases and makes cooperation with national and worldwide NGO’s in order to achieve its goals and be more effective in both national and international arena. KAGIDER, moreover, has become a reference point for the government in terms of expressing its views to different government bodies about women issues.

4. Activities related to the European Union, Turkey- EU Relations / KAGIDER Brussels Office
KAGIDER believes in and supports Turkey’s admission into the EU, while arguing for the importance of women’s active participation in the negotiation process. As a civil society organization, it has actively participated in the accession process and aims at proceeding to take an even more active part in the future as well. KAGIDER held many activities for promoting gender equality as well as Turkey’s accession to the EU. In this context, KAGIDER has implemented several successful projects, and continues to put her initiative on many political and social developments in Turkey as well as in the international arena. KAGIDER puts her efforts on building a sustainable dialogue with the several EU institutions, including the Parliament and the Commission. Moreover, KAGIDER establishes sustainable relationships with the EU member countries, while continuing her lobbying activities for the EU on the national level.

5. Cooperation with the international organizations and NGO’s
KAGIDER is in close communication with the regional and international women organizations and is a member of European Women’s Lobby (EWL), which is a roof organization that includes 4000 women associations in Europe, The International Alliance for Women (TIAW), Association of Organizations of Mediterranean Businesswomen (AFAEMME) and Balkan Women’s Coalition. KAGIDER has established sustainable project partnerships and strong communication with the global institutions like the World Bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). KAGIDER is an important address for many NGO’s, universities and different committees from all over the world in order to understand Turkey and the civil society as well as being a prestigious NGO which is invited to many international conferences.

6. Cooperation with the national NGO’s
KAGIDER is in close communication and cooperation with national NGO’s mainly on two areas; activities supporting women entrepreneurship and being a part of the national economic and social council. KAGIDER has established a strong dialogue with the women entrepreneurship organizations, chambers of commerce and industry and businesswomen associations spread throughout Turkey.

7. Member Relations
KAGIDER members who are gathered around the ideal of women empowerment and women’s development as active and productive individuals who participate in all decision making processes, build strong relationships under this common identity. The member relationships, the productive social network they build and the synergy coming out this interaction are crucial driving forces of the women entrepreneurship and empowerment in Turkey. In this perspective, KAGIDER holds “member expectation surveys” to throughly understand the expectations of its members and reshape its activities accordingly in order to meet these expectations. KAGIDER organizes Network Meetings to bring its members together, to facilitate their personal and business relationships and possible sectoral partnerships. Moreover, with the events like monthly “Breakfast Meetings” and “Radical Conversations” KAGIDER provides grounds for discussion and learning, while supporting personal development of its members.

8. Communications
In order to reach its ideals, a strong communication strategy is very crucial for KAGIDER. Therefore, KAGIDER regularly publishes press releases, participate in interviews and express the “KAGIDER Perspective” in various media organs with the aim of continuously providing information to the public. Moreover, through the KAGIDER website, KAGIDER members, potential members, and the people who want to be informed about KAGIDER are integrated to the communication network.

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