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ERSU ABLAK >Entrepreneurship as a trend

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My office is at Kolektif House Levent and because of that I have the opportunity to speak with many involved in startups. Many entrepreneurs reach out to me to discuss their ideas or give information about their startups so that I could write about them on this column. From the hundreds of startups that I gained information about, I can predict that only a handful of them will make it to the fifth year. 

Most of the founders gave me the impression that they are in it because it is trendy to be an entrepreneur these days. That’s why they tend to give up at the first sign of trouble. Many youngsters are dreaming of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk but they want to become them without going through the pain and suffering. They believe that their ideas are the greatest and they will become rich instantly because they are entitled to it. 

This fact is partly due to the immense PR the entrepreneurs get and partly because there have never before been such amounts of investment available around the globe. For example, according to the Financial Times, funding car technology-related startups reached an all-time high of $1.6bn during the first half of this year. When talking about the total amount that was invested in startups, the amount shoots up to tens of billions of dollars across the world. 

In Turkey, so far in 2017, there were 63 investments totaling to 36.2 million Turkish Liras. Compared to the world, it is nothing. All of these investments made it to the news. Therefore youngsters believe that all of their ideas would receive investments. The reality is, of course, far from that. First of all, 36.2 million liras is a very small amount even when compared to investments made in Turkey as well. Even the smallest hotel in Antalya is sold for 10 to 15 million liras. So, all this fuss about entrepreneurship in Turkey is worth two hotels. Only in a few years there is a mega sale worth more than a hundred million dollars, but that’s it. 

I believe that all of us want to increase this amount by much. So what we can do about it?

The first thing to do is to get the perspective of youngsters wanting to be entrepreneurs in line with the reality. Then, we must pressure big firms to work with startups. Somehow we need to direct more money and real entrepreneurs to the startup world. Or else we will have many failed startups in very small markets dreaming of world dominance, which may never happen.

July/13/2017

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