A woman entrepreneur’s endeavor, initially launched on social media, has grown into a business that creates jobs for up to 30 women.
Yasemin Korkut, living in the western province of İzmir, started to sell dried figs, grown in her father’s garden, on social media outlets. As demand grew, she decided to enlarge the venture by adding more products.
She experimented with other dried fruits, such as pineapples, bananas, kiwis and even eggplants.
Encouraged by the strong demand for her products, Korkut entered a local competition, titled “Young Women Empowering,” winning second place with her project.
With a 100,000 Turkish Liras grant from the Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB), she established a facility that included a cold storage depot and created jobs for 30 women from her own village.
Now, she is shipping her products under the label “Bilara,” named after her neighborhood’s former name, to a number of cities across Turkey.
She is also expected to receive orders from Germany this year.
“We annually produce some 100 tons of dried fruits and vegetables. I want to increase the capacity to create more jobs for women. I want to enter foreign markets,” Korkut said.
She noted the interest from local consumers remain strong and said that they could hardly meet the demand. That is why she wants to build a new 800-meter-square facility.
“I am an ambitious person. I get what I want. We started out with one woman, now we are 30 women working here. Women must believe in themselves. Women can achieve anything if they really want to,” she said.
Hurriyet Daily News