OECD defines "entrepreneur" as someone who shapes new business opportunities and has the ability to allocate resources wisely.
The fact that entrepreneurship is an essential component of creating welfare and social justice is widely accepted in all around the world. It contributes to new businesses, innovation, productivity and development, and creates several economic benefits. Therefore, most of the governments give priority to the issue of supporting entrepreneurship. In this framework, entrepreneurship may be divided into two subcategories as macro (competition policy, immigrant policy, tax policy, regulative framework) and micro (education, information, consultancy, exchange programs, facilitating the access to funds). Furthermore, in countries, authorities responsible for entrepreneurship and authorities responsible for shaping SME policies show two different approaches. The first approach is to support SMEs and entrepreneurship. The second one is to minimize the obstacles faced by SMEs and entrepreneurs.
Although the number of entrepreneurs is rapidly increasing and because the traditional funding tools cannot improve rapidly enough to meet the needs, innovative funding models are gradually becoming widespread. These innovative models may be named as crowd sourcing, peer to peer finance and pawn shop.
Higher Planning Council of Turkey has recently accepted SME Strategy and Action Plan covering the years between 2015 and 2018 to the main purpose of to popularizing the culture of entrepreneurship, establishing a convenient ecosystem and improving entrepreneurship.
The Plan defines entrepreneurs as the people who provides and joins sources in order to use existing or possible opportunities and organizing these sources to turn them into production and service; taking initiative and demonstrating the features of a leader in every step of establishing a business; calculating risks in these steps and continuing his/her business in spite of risks; seeking continuously for innovation and being careful for his/her customer's expectations.
Statistics show that Turkey has 3.529.541 operating businesses. 93, 6% of them is micro; 5,4% is small and 0,9% is medium sized businesses. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) initiated by London Business School and Babson College, divides participant countries into three groups: factor driven economies, efficiency driven economies and innovation driven economies. Turkey is classified under efficiency driven economies section. According to GEM results, it may be concluded that Turkey is strong in terms of entrepreneurshipintention and positive perspective in entrepreneurship perception. Nevertheless, another conclusion from GEM is the fact that Turkey needs to expand entrepreneurship capacity. GEM 2013 results state that in Turkey, the percentage of people taking initiative in order to use the opportunities is increasing especially after 2011. The same study reveals the increase in the number of young entrepreneurs as well. According to the report in 2013, the ratio of educated people among entrepreneurs is also increasing.
In the preparation process of the SME Strategy and Action Plan, tenth development plan and other strategic plans have been taken into consideration and the harmony between SME Strategy and Action plan and other strategical plans have been considered important. In the plan the principles below are adopted:
Public sector should be a role model and take part in applications when necessary,
The role of private sector in improving entrepreneurship should be increased,
Strategical cooperation should be maintained between private sector and non-governmental organizations in the application of entrepreneurship supports,
All parties should take part in the creation of a regulative framework,
Efficient coordination with the Entrepreneurship Council,
Taking the tools which are oriented to target audience into consideration when designing supports.
Specified intervention areas for SME Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2018) of Turkey to reach its main goal are listed below:
Regulative Framework: Improvement of entrepreneur-friendly regulative framework,
Supporting Innovative Entrepreneurship: Giving support to innovative and technology based entrepreneurship,
Thematic and General Supports: Improvement and application of a sustainable support system in general and thematic areas such as women entrepreneurship, young entrepreneurship, eco entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, innovative entrepreneurship and global entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship Culture: Development of a culture that embraces the entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in country.
Education and Consultancy Services: Generalizing entrepreneurship education in formal and mass education level and developing a consultancy system for entrepreneurs.
Access to Finance: Facilitating the access to finance for entrepreneurs and increasing it in a sustainable way.
In order for the application of these goals, 64 action plans were planned. These plans include rising awareness for the system of personal involvement capital, entrepreneurship will be covered in primary and high schools, entrepreneurship education will be generalized, researches about the problems faced by women entrepreneurs will be conducted.
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