Promoting Business Formality for Syrian Entrepreneurs in Gaziantep

Activity Description


The crisis in Syria has entered its fifth year with no immediate end in sight, prompting more than four million refugees to flee for safety to neighboring countries, including more than 2.7 million in Turkey alone (UNHCR, 2016). This unprecedented migratory flow has exerted enormous strain on Turkey’s already- overburdened economies and social services. Current levels of humanitarian assistance are insufficient and unsustainable, and the protracted nature of the conflict demands an integrated international response focused on creating economic opportunities for refugees and stimulating private sector development in host communities near Syria. Developmental approaches that enhance the skills, education, and employability of refugees are valuable, but confront significant political obstacles and will fall short unless accompanied by more comprehensive measures to build dynamic business environments conducive to broad-based economic growth. Based on our research and preliminary assessments, it is clear that the Turkish context presents the greatest opportunity for Syrian refugees entreprenurs in terms of employment generation, enterprise development, and economic growth. With 2.7 million refugees in the country and 25% of Gaziantep’s population now of Syrian origin, Turkish businesses alone cannot fill the clear and immediate employment demand. There is remarkable demand for Syrian-led businesses, and thus potential for the development of a dynamic Syrian business community within Turkey.  According to an initial market and livelihoods capacity assessments carried out by SEF in Gaziantep in April 2016, (total estimated numbers of Syrian businesses in Gaziantep are 1500 S&Ms); the majority of Syrian owned businesses in Gaziantep are informal and lack the finance and procedural knowledge to formalize. In addition, lack of a formal status leaves these businesses in a vulnerable position vis-à-vis the broader Turkish community and legal system.  SEF’s study provides important, preliminary information useful in identifying and harnessing the benefits of promoting Syrian entrepreneurship for both Syrian and Turkish communities. 

In our event, we will invite experits for discussion panel to discripe more about the business formality in Gaziantep, and answers all the questions from the Syrian entreprenurs.