Women’s cooperatives in Giresun meet to develop commercial skills

Women’s cooperatives in Giresun meet to develop commercial skills

Engin Esen - ISTANBUL
Women’s cooperatives in Giresun meet to develop commercial skills

Executives of seven women’s cooperatives in the Black Sea province of Giresun have attended a five-day entrepreneurship course with support from the governor’s office and a German foundation.

“These kind of trainings are vital for the women cooperatives, which have been growing in number in recent years, in order to overcome shortcomings and create a road map in a healthy way,” Ortakbahçe Women Cooperative chair Handan Aktan told Daily News.

“Cooperatives provide the most suitable particularly for women, who are deemed as a disadvantaged group, to enable them to join the economic and social life,” she added.

The course was designed by Cüneyt Örkmez, an entrepreneurship instructor at the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Freelancers and Executives Foundation of Turkey (TOSYÖV).

German foundation Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s Turkey office funded the course, in which women entrepreneurs also found an opportunity to share their experiences.

They decided to establish a provincial women cooperatives association with support from Giresun Governor Enver Ünlü, who presented participants their certificates at a hotel on Dec. 10.

Ortakbahçe Women Cooperative, which was officially founded in September, mostly sells local products, particularly those made with the world-famous Giresun hazelnuts.

Half a kilogram of roasted hazelnuts and a 0.34-liter jar of hazelnut paste are being sold for 60 Turkish Liras ($4.3).

A box of hazelnut cookies is priced at 35 liras ($2.5) and it goes well with a bottle of grape juice (50 liras or $3.6) made from local Isabella grapes.

Women in Giresun also produce more complicated products unique to the region, such as corn breads, molasses, stuffed grape leaves and samaksa - a kind of grape pudding.

“Delivery was a headache for us at the beginning but we are happy with the cargo firm we have been working with now.

“Usually they can deliver shipments in the following day,” said Aktan.