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Syrian Entrepreneurship and Refugee Start-ups in Turkey: Leveraging the Turkish Experience  
Haber resmi
26/08/2019 - Viewed 8950 times


A recent study of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey shows that Syrian entrepreneurs provide a living for 7 percent of the 3.5 million Syrians in Turkey. Over the course of eight years, Syrians in Turkey established more than 10,000 companies where an average of 7 people are employed and of whom 60 percent are Syrians. In relation, the average Syrian household size consists of 6 people. Hence, findings, although not with certainty, indicate that approximately 250,000 Syrians are benefiting from the advantages of employment by refugee-driven companies.

The study’s objective was to comparatively analyze the performance of refugee-driven companies. Therefore, the study was based on a survey with a sample of 416 companies: 207 Turkish and 209 refugee-driven companies. The survey was conducted in 8 provinces where the refugee population is most dense, namely; Gaziantep, Mersin, Hatay, Şanlıurfa, Kilis, Adana, Kahramanmaraş, and Mardin. The topics covered in the survey range from infrastructure, trade, finance, regulations, taxes and business licensing to corruption, crime and informality, labor market integration, and perceptions of the obstacles on doing business.

The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) carried-out a study to analyze and evaluate the size and performance of refugee partnered enterprises in Turkey alongside with diagnosing local population’s perception of these firms in the environment which they operate, and to assess the impact of the refugee influx on non-refugee driven SMEs (Small and Medium size Enterprises) in host communities.

The results show that Syrian entrepreneurs want to stay in Turkey, even after the war ends. Hence, they also do not to be considered ‘temporary’. In fact, 72 percent of the Syrian entrepreneurs surveyed indicated that they do not want to return to Syria even when the war is over. One apparent reason behind this decision has been the success of their businesses in Turkey.

In contrast to the Turkish companies, the results indicate that refugee-driven companies in Turkey are more export oriented than their Turkish counterparts. With regards, more than half of the Turkish companies stated that they do not think an increase in the number of Syrian asylum-seekers helped increase Turkish foreign trade. Comparatively, more than two-thirds of Syrian respondents stated that the increase of the Syrian population positively affected opportunities for foreign trade.

Despite Syrian entrepreneurs’ positive impact on the economy, there are, however, serious obstacles they face while running their enterprises. Some of these obstacles are access to finance, tax rates, and business laws.

Findings also point to the fact current laws and regulations concerning the employment of Syrians negatively impact the refugee-driven companies and limit Syrians’ integration to the formal labor market.

Similarly, the analysis of the survey findings suggest that local conditions and leadership play an important role in Syrian entrepreneurs’ preference of certain provinces over the others to open and run their businesses.


You may read report  from here

Tags: EBRD,


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