Social media giant Facebook announced on Wednesday a series of investment ventures that will contribute to the Turkish economy through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), communities and business partnerships.
The project called "Beyond Borders Turkey" also covers an entrepreneurship center that will be established in Turkey next year.
Together with the four-phase project, Facebook aims to help businesses of all sizes in Turkey to grow locally and internationally and to invest in the Turkish community with the intent of providing better services.
Facebook revealed its plans to expand its investments in Turkey by establishing the Entrepreneurship and Social Impact Center in Istanbul in 2019, in cooperation with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and Habitat, a non-governmental organization that works in the field of sustainable development.
According to the economic and social impact report, prepared by Deloitte Turkey, that was disclosed at the meeting, businesses in Turkey created an added value of TL 15.3 billion ($2.96 billion) for the Turkish economy through Facebook's different platforms - Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp - while providing 209,000 jobs in the country as a result of this contribution.
It will continue with a series of training for SMEs and the details of other phases of the project. Accordingly, an awareness campaign will be launched to support businesses and SMEs to grow and cross borders by using Facebook and the affiliated applications.
In the coming period, Facebook will also enhance its impact on Turkey's digital and economic ecosystems by developing educational content, blueprint training programs, talent and mentoring opportunities for businesses.
Speaking about the project, Derya Matraş, the country director for Turkey at Facebook, said that 80 percent of the people in Turkey are connected to at least one business in the country through Facebook. "More than 1.7 million small and medium-sized businesses have a business page on Facebook, which accounts for 55 percent of the number of SMEs in Turkey," she added.
Matraş pointed out that Facebook is a platform that has the potential to bring the Turkish enterprises together with 2.3 billion people from all over the world and 44 million people from Turkey. "Today is the first day of an exciting journey. We are ready to invest more in the Turkish economy," she continued, adding in the coming period, they will continue to invest for businesses to grow in Turkey and for the citizens to acquire digital skills in this regard.
Carolyn Everson, vice president of Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, said that the Turks are fast-learners and they are quite resilient, stressing that they see an incredible opportunity to grow the economy and create employment in Turkey. During the meeting, TOBB Young Entrepreneurs Council Chair Ali Sabancı pointed to the importance of the project initiated by Facebook in Turkey and noted that within the scope of the project which brought together TOBB, Facebook and Habitat, it is very important to open the Entrepreneurship Center next year, suggesting that May would be the most appropriate time to inaugurate the center.