Support program trains 1,000 Syrian entrepreneurs
12 Jan 2017 - 11:06
ISTANBUL: A UN-backed program to train Syrian entrepreneurs in Turkey has produced a thousand graduates, a Turkish NGO said on Wednesday.
The three-month scheme was a pilot program run by Habitat and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Called IMECE -- a Turkish word which refers to an ancient tradition of solidarity and working collectively for a common purpose -- the course saw participants across 14 provinces trained to develop business ideas to help them participate in Turkey’s economy.
"We will provide further support for Syrian refugees who completed the program," said Basak Saral, general coordinator of Habitat and IMECE director.
Saral said that the program would continue in 2017 with expansions and improvements like introducing a mentoring program.
"A contest will be open for graduates and 20 sectoral experts, who will provide special counseling for the winners.
“We will also analyze the needs of Syrian and Turkish participants to decide what kind of financial support can be provided to them," Saral added.
Turkey hosts about three million Syrian refugees. The country has spent around $25 billion on helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of Syrian civil war.
* Muhammed Ali Gurtas contributed to this report from Ankara.