Women play a crucial role in realizing the economic, environmental, and social changes necessary for sustainable development. Having vital importance in the growth of the world economy, women make a significant impact and achieve success in almost every sector. The formula for this success is simple: Idea, faith, and courage! Here are the most successful women entrepreneurs in Turkey, and their stories will inspire you with their perspectives and courage.
Demet Mutlu is Turkey's first technology unicorn and the founder of Trendyol, the most prominent fashion e-commerce platform. Graduated from New York University with the highest grade point average in economics, Mutlu worked in brand management at many important companies before starting her MBA education at Harvard Business School in 2008. She left the MBA program of Harvard Business School in 2009 and founded the Trendyol initiative. Trendyol, which started as a start-up, became Turkey's first unicorn in technology. Since then, Trendyol has become the largest fashion e-commerce site in the Middle East and North Africa region, with more than 200 million site visits per month and more than 16 million customers. Trendyol once again proved its success as Turkey's first decacorn in 2021.
Mutlu, who gained international recognition in a short time for her business acumen and achievements, attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos when she was still in her 20s and was named Young Global Leader by the WEF in 2016. Because they support production and producers at every opportunity, Mutlu is also very sensitive about women's employment as a young woman entrepreneur. While the rate of female managers is 27% in the world, 17% in Turkey, it is 41% in Trendyol. Similarly, while the global female employment is 33% and 31% in Turkey, 4 out of 10 employees in Trendyol are women. Demet Mutlu has a success story that can set an example for women with her vision and determination to work.
Insider's Co-Founder and CEO Hande Çilingir was named one of the best female CEOs outside of the US by Crunchbase in 2018. Çilingir, who founded Insider with three founding partners; After his studies at the London School of Economics, he completed his master's degree at Shanghai Normal University. Insider allows enterprise marketers to correlate customer data across channels and systems, predict future behavior with the help of an AI, and deliver personalized experiences to customers.
Basak Taspinar Degim-Armut.com
Başak Taşpınar is the co-founder of Armut.com, Turkey's leading local services market, and an internationally known female entrepreneur. After graduating from Boğaziçi University in 2000, Degim, a civil engineer, completed her graduate studies in the USA and worked in important positions in global companies. After returning to Turkey, she launched Armut.com in 2011. Established with the mission of finding reliable service providers, Armut aims to be the world leader in its sector. Emphasizing that they are changing the way people find local services in Turkey and converting customers offline to online with their applications, Degim said, "Success is inevitable when you have a big mission, and your team is motivated." He explains in the best way that when you work for a purpose, success comes with it.
Duygu Akbudak, the founding partner of Denebunu, studied Business Administration at Koç University with a scholarship. Akbudak, who started to do an internship in the world's leading companies while still a university student, expressed his instinct to enter the sector as soon as possible: "In our period, it was difficult to find a job in global companies." he explains. After graduating from school, Akbudak, who worked as a brand manager in the sector's leading companies, resigned from his job with a sudden decision in 2016 and founded Denebunu without any experience. Akbudak expressed his motivation in this process, "The thing that motivates me is not making money. The main thing is to make something visible from the idea stage." he explains. Currently, the world's leading brands use Denebunu's artificial intelligence-assisted targeting technology to build meaningful relationships with their consumers and improve the user experience.
Gülşah Gürkan graduated from Leeds University as a Mechanical Engineer in 1996. After working in the private sector for three years, she started working in the family business in 2000. Gülşah Gürkan, who took the first step to brand the experience of the Gürkan Family, which has been producing rose essence since 1965 and exporting it as raw material to perfume and cosmetics manufacturers; He founded the Gülsha brand in 2011. In 2019, she was selected as the "Woman Entrepreneur of Turkey" by KAGIDER, Garanti BBVA, and the Economist magazine. In addition, the "Woman Entrepreneur" at the 6th KOSGEB Entrepreneurship and SME Awards was held the same year. Gülşah Gürkan, who set out to announce the Turkish rose to the whole world, is taking firm steps towards making Gülsha an international cosmetics brand.