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Social Entrepreneurship, Empowerment and Cohesion in Refugee And Host Communities In Turkey Project

The project implemented in 11 provinces near the Syrian border: Gaziantep, Adiyaman, and Kilis; Hatay, Osmaniye, and Kahramanmaraş; Sanliurfa and Diyarbakir; Adana and Mersin; and Mardin. The beneficiaries of the project were refugees and host community members in provinces with high numbers of ESSN beneficiaries. For Component 1, at least 70 percent of the beneficiaries of social entrepreneurship support services and subgrants were women, and 30 percent were youth (both women and men, ages 18-29). 70 percent of subgrant recipients in this component were refugees, and beneficiary selection gived preference to ESSN recipients. Male household members of all ages were also able to benefit from a set of support training. Component 1 was also expected to directly benefit a large number of ESSN recipients by creating jobs. Component 2 benefited not only the social entrepreneurs, but also a broader group of refugee and host community members through their use of the community livelihoods facilities. Institutional beneficiaries included the Ministry of Industry and Technology (MoIT), participating Turkish Development Agencies (TDAs), and local authorities (municipalities and Governor’s offices) and NGOs working with target communities.

Year(s): 2019-2021

Target group(s): Refugees (Syrian refugees) and host community

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The project implemented through three components;

Component 1: Social Entrepreneurship for Women in Refugee and Host Communities

Component 1 was finance activities to support social entrepreneurship in refugee and host communities in the selected target provinces abovementioned. This component directly benefited those receiving start-up support services, subgrants and employment in social enterprises; indirect beneficiaries were the buyers of goods and users of services provided by the social enterprises.

Component 2: Community livelihoods-related facilities in refugee and host communities

To address gaps in facilities, support the efforts of refugee and host community women to earn-income, and promote dialogue and engagement of refugees, host communities and municipal authorities around social enterprises, component 2 was finance: (i) the capacity building and facilitation activities for refugees and host communities to engage in participatory decision-making processes over local needs and priorities for livelihoods-related facilities; and (ii) the cost of establishing/renovating selected livelihoods-related facilities.

Component 3: Institutional Capacity Strengthening and Project Management

This component was finance project management, M&E and communications (and visibility) as well as targeted capacity building of national (MoIT, DAs) and local actors (municipalities, local authorities, NGOs, other stakeholders) to strengthen their capabilities to support women’s livelihoods development in this project and in the future.

The Ministry of Industry and Technology was the recipient and implementing agency for the project, delegating responsibilities for the implementation of Components 1 and 2 to five regional Development Agencies (DAs).

Type of product

Paper-based material Online resource Course / Training

Brief description of the outcomes

The project seeked to support a sustainable socially-oriented business model in which women and youth from refugee and host communities generate an income from self-employment and small-scale economic activity through: (i) provision of subgrants to individuals to address the lack of access to finance; (ii) an accompanying intensive training, mentoring and coaching component to underpin entrepreneurship activities; and (iii) capacity building and facilitation activities for refugees and host communities to engage in participatory decision-making processes over local needs and priorities for livelihoods-related facilities and support for community facilities (such as kindergartens and childcare facilities, child-friendly spaces, refurbishment of incubation facilities, workshops and kitchens, market facilities and virtual platforms) in target areas to address the specific barriers women face in their entry into, and sustained engagement in, income-earning activity. At least 70 percent of direct beneficiaries were female and in equal numbers from refugee and host communities. 30 percent were youth (both women and men, aged 18-29).

The project also promoted social cohesion and trust-building between refugees and host communities around socio-economic outcomes from: (i) collaboration through social entrepreneurship, joint businesses, interactive training and coaching; (ii) language skills development to overcome communication and cultural barriers; (iii) increased participation of refugees and host communities in decision making at livelihoods facilities; and (iv) used of livelihoods faciltiies and social enterprises as avenues for enhanced interaction and trust-building across communities. 

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

The selected/target provinces were the most refugee-impacted areas, where there was a total of 2.15 million Syrain refugees (as of August 2019) residing (i.e. Adana, Mersin, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Kilis, Mardin, Hatay, Osmaniye, Kahramanmaras, Diyarbakır, and Sanliurfa).

The project aimed to have positive social impacts by contributing to women’s livelihoods and empowerment in refugee and host communities and improving community cooperation. The project was not expected to have any irreversible or unmanageable impacts, as the project excluded from eligibility for financing any activities requiring land acquisition and involuntary resettlement. The project aimed to assist women and youth to engage in microbusinesses in sectors such as agricultural production, food production, small manufacturing, textile and garments, arts and crafts, social services and clean products). The social enterprises and people they shall employ were project beneficiaries. The measures to protect them included in the project design, ESMF and grant manuals. These social enterprises followed applicable national labor and employment legislation. Any potential risks related to child and forced labor mitigated with procedures included in the ESMF. The sub-grants manual were explicitly exclude any activities which involved child labor. MoIT had also drafted a Labor Management Procedure (LMP) that included a proposed Code of Conduct for project workers as a measure to prevent any potential risks related to gender-based violence and procedures for workers’ grievance mechanism, which was prepared and disclosed before project effectiveness. The CIPs had the supervisory role and was responsible to the DAs to ensure that skills and business training provided to project beneficiaries leads to positive employment outcomes.

Promoter of the initiative: The World Bank & Republic of Turkey Ministry of Industry and Technology

Country: Turkey

Languages available: English Turkish

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