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Turkey needs more women in business

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 9/30/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey must encourage women’s entrepreneurship in order to become a leading global economy, Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said Friday.

Turkey must encourage women’s entrepreneurship in order to become a leading global economy, Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Şahin said Friday.

“A country cannot progress or struggle for democracy without women. Becoming a leader cannot be achieved without women. A bird cannot fly with a single wing, a person cannot run with a single leg,” Şahin said in her opening speech at the Association of Balkan Countries’ first Women Entrepreneurs Council meeting, which was organized by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, or TOBB.

Şahin said women’s entrepreneurship was especially discouraged by a lack of capital as they have difficulty in locating resources to finance their businesses.

Women manage 20 percent of the small and medium enterprises in China, the minister said. While the figure is 16 percent for the United States, Turkey has failed to rise above 14 percent despite a number of projects designed to increase women’s entrepreneurship, she added.

Out of 26 million employable women in Turkey, only 5.9 million are in the labor force, according to figures.

“Women’s participation in the labor force is very important but we have seen a declining trend recently,” said Aynur Bektaş, the chairwoman of TOBB’s Female Entrepreneurs’ Council.

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