Partners for a New Beginning
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (C) meets with Partners for a New Beginning Turkey representatives.On June 4, 2009, President Obama delivered an address at Cairo University in which he laid out a vision for “a new beginning” between the United States and Muslim communities around the world.
In April 2010, Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) was announced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as an effort to develop collaborative networks that foster economic growth in emerging markets. It was then publicly launched by PNB Chair and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in September 2010. PNB has established a steering committee in Washington, D.C., chaired by former secretary of state and chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group Madeleine Albright and co-chaired by Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, and Walter Isaacson, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute. The Aspen Institute serves as the PNB’s secretariat, and is responsible for driving, expanding and sustaining the PNB network.
Ten locally owned and locally driven PNB chapters have been launched, including a regionally focused partnership in North Africa. Local chapters include: Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Palestine and Turkey.
PNB Turkey was launched on March 4th, 2011 in Istanbul under the leadership of Mr. M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The Steering Committee of PNB Turkey is composed of representatives from the business world, multinational corporations, high-level business organizations and academics. The priority projects the PNB Turkey network is carrying out are listed below.
1. AllWorld Turkey 25
Turkey 25 is a project to identify the country’s 25 fastest-growing companies and promote them at home and abroad. The project is being carried out under the leadership of TOBB in partnership with the AllWorld Network, established by renowned Harvard business administration professor Michael Porter and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). Turkey 25 was inaugurated on April 26, 2011 in Istanbul. The final list of 25 companies was announced on December 3, 2011 in Istanbul during Global Entrepreneurship Week.
2. Networking with venture capitalists and angel investors
This project is designed to further build and strengthen a network of Turkish and American venture capitalists and angel investors, and will include:
• The identification of venture capitalists, angel investors, and potential limited partners in the U.S.
• Visits by delegations to Turkey and a series of networking events with Turkish venture capitalists and angel investors
• The facilitation of panel sessions, a business-plan competition, and peer-to-peer exchanges
• Building a pipeline to investment-worthy entrepreneurs and fund projects.
3. Promoting entrepreneurship among youth
This project aims to promote and strengthen technology-supported entrepreneurship in both high schools and universities. It will provide students interested in entrepreneurship with:
• Technology entrepreneurship training, to encourage them to turn their ideas into business plans
• Professional feedback on their business plans, through business-plan competitions and interaction opportunities
with other students with entrepreneurial spirit
• Direct contact opportunities with successful entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Turkey
This program, which is supported by the Ministry of Development, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Intel and the Youth for Habitat Association, aims to build entrepreneurial capacity through the education of high school and university students. The program plans to reach 5,000 youngsters with technology-supported entrepreneurship training programs by the end of 2012.
4. SPARK for Women
The main goal of this project is to empower women by providing economic opportunity through IT education and skills. The project also aims to improve awareness of women’s rights and roles in the society while encouraging volunteerism. SPARK is a partnership between Cisco, Youth for Habitat, Istanbul Technical University, and the UNDP. It received the European Union’s e-Inclusion award in 2008, and in 2010 volunteer instructors expanded the program to neighboring Azerbaijan.
5. Women entrepreneurs’ training and grant program
Coca-Cola Turkey, The Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) and the TOBB Women’s Entrepreneurship Board of Istanbul have developed a program to support women entrepreneurs living on the peripheries of Istanbul. The program focuses on increasing the self-confidence and organizational capacity of women with entrepreneurial potential.