In recent years, it has been observed that the innovations made for the development of exports in Türkiye have been ongoing and the Enterprise Houses, the cooperation of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), is a good example.
The project aims to develop and strengthen innovative, high value-added and entrepreneurial enterprises with export potential in the provinces where they are located. The Enterprise Houses is a development center that helps entrepreneurs develop business ideas, construct business models, prepare business plans and projects. Services such as consultancy and training support, office opportunities, customer-investor meetings, and networking are also provided to entrepreneurs and technology companies. This business model is likely to provide added value, especially in the Anatolia region of Türkiye, to meet the country's needs.
In the initial years of the program, there were three kinds of programs for the provided services, but now there are 12 programs for a wide range of target groups, from newly established start-up businesses to large enterprises exporting technological products. Within these 12 programs, there are various trainings, consultancy services and special days such as the investor-entrepreneur meeting, etc. TIM aims to bring together both public and private investment groups and entrepreneurs in the widest way possible due to its great capacity in the ecosystem and its strong relations with all parties.
Since the project was started, entrepreneurs have managed to receive investments at the level of millions of Turkish lira from public funds and exported almost one-fourth of the total export share of the country. The entrepreneurs, who have taken part in the Enterprise Houses programs, have employed more than 7,200 people. At the end of the year, the project's success can be seen in the export figures. Besides technology to sustainability, the project promises several contributions to the country's growth, wealth and development.
In fact, the program plays a critical role in realizing many goals, from gender equality, equality of opportunity in education, equality of income, and decent work to ending hunger and poverty.
Most of all, it creates the infrastructure for making women entrepreneurs sustainable in the business world. According to the research conducted annually by the World Economic Forum, Türkiye ranks 140th in terms of women's participation in the economy and equal opportunities, 101st in participation in education, and 114th in terms of participation in politics.
On the other hand, the 2021 figures of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveal that the employment participation rate of women in Türkiye is in the last place among the member countries. While it is 77% in Iceland, 73% in Germany and 59% in OECD average, this rate is only 29% in Türkiye.
A target of 41% for women's participation in employment by 2023 has been set. It will be necessary to have a systematic continuity in order to make the voices of women who write their own success stories heard in every corner of our country and to strengthen their presence in the business world.
I see this not as a job description or work program, but also as an important responsibility that will have a positive impact on future generations. Thus, it will be possible to reach more women bosses and entrepreneurs.
Our country needs every entrepreneur regardless of gender. Thanks to the support given to women entrepreneurs over the years, we have become more aware of their presence in the field of employment. We are proud to hear that women entrepreneurs export to many countries, especially the United States and European countries.
I see that all the supports made within the government or in cooperation with the government to increase both domestic and international sales have been successful, but generally, the positive effects are reflected in the long term. Let's face it, Türkiye is constantly being renewed to improve its exports and every innovation grows in a positive way. At least many programs guide entrepreneurs to reach the right networks and connections. The correct use of an export-oriented government supports an important step in export growth.
I think it is necessary to use more communication tools with entrepreneurs to achieve some export targets. Maybe more seminars and conferences should be organized and every exporter should be compelled to participate. At least, we can reach the result more easily if we identify the deficiencies in advance and keep the incentive finalization processes in a shorter term.
Reaching more entrepreneurs means more exports and that means the opening of Turkish entrepreneurs to the global markets. Opening of local entrepreneurs to the world will bring with it international branding. Turkish brands will be more recognized in the world. In recent years, export figures have been breaking records one after the other compared to previous years, even breaking historical records. Firms continue production and export without slowing down by receiving government support.
Companies rapidly accept innovations and events and this situation will continue to create positive effects, as can be understood from the increase in export figures. If we grow rapidly, it will not be impossible to reach the 2023 target of $500 billion (TL 9.1 trillion). At least, this is our hope.