Business Plan Competition and Business Skills Training
A business plan competition and a business skills training was organised for 40 participants as an extracurricular activity. They were guided through the process of business plan writing and produced business plans of which 10 were selected by an independent jury (from the Syrian and Turkish business communities) to be supported by SPARK. Selected business plans were designed as income generating, sustainable, providing value to local communities and intending to compensate for the lack of respective services.
In 2015, a follow-up entrepreneurship and SME development programme was held supported and financed by the Asfari Foundation based in the UK. In cooperation with the University of Gaziantep, SPARK launched the Gaziantep Youth Entrepreneurship Programme bringing the Turkish and Syrian communities together through education and job creation. The programme offered the opportunity for both Turkish and Syrian youth to start their own business while learning the basics of start-up business development.
50 Syrian youth and 50 Turkish youth received training in entrepreneurship and opportunities in Turkey. The best 15 Syrian youth and 15 Turkish youth were trained in general business skills and business plan writing. The three winning teams received a start-up grant to start their own business, and additional coaching and mentorship. Throughout the programme, the Syrians and Turkish participants were encouraged to work together, get to know each other and start their business together.