Turkey attaches great importance to supporting young entrepreneurs, Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoğlu said Monday.
"Turkey's young people will establish serious enterprises in the future, just like they did in the past," he said at the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) in Istanbul.
Kasapoğlu said that many of the world's leading companies today were set up by young entrepreneurs. "The world is in a constant process of development and Istanbul is the center of the [Turkey's immediate] region, which is a locomotive for economic development."
Baybars Altuntaş, the chairman of the WBAF, said, "Today's customers need innovation rather than invention." Entrepreneurs, who are creating new jobs and values, should actively seek for innovation, he said.
Kadri Veseli, the chairman of the Assembly of Kosovo, said the importance of entrepreneurship, communication, and collaboration is better understood in today's world. "In terms of globalization, achieving goals is impossible without international coordination," he added.
President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said Croatia has been attracting investors since 1993 and Turkish business-people have invested in the country. "We see Turkey as an EU candidate country," she said, adding that Turkey was an important partner in tackling common challenges, such as the refugee crisis and terrorism.
Meanwhile, two international agreements were signed as part of the WBAF. The WBAF, Kosovo's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ministry and Ghana Business Development Ministry signed an economic cooperation agreement to boost start-up economy and innovation. With the agreement, entrepreneurship and angel investment will be included in both countries' action plans for 2019.
The agreement was signed by Kosovo's Minister of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Besim Beqaj, Ghanaian Minister for Business Development Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and Baybars Altuntas, the chairman of the WBAF.
The other agreement, "The Implementation Agreement for the WBAF Master Plan for African Economies", was signed between the WBAF and Ghana. The agreement provides a financial road map for African entrepreneurs over the next two years.
The two-day WBAF, which kicked off yesterday, is hosting policymakers, entrepreneurs, representatives of financial institutions and companies, and hundreds of angel investors from all around the world.
This year's theme has been set as "Connecting angel investors with private equity funds to boost innovation."
During the event, 110 speakers from 42 countries will give speeches in 23 panels, two masterclasses and six international workshops.