New Report: Business Survival Analysis of Syrian-owned Enterprises in Türkiye: What Works Best? - Building Markets

New Report: Business Survival Analysis of Syrian-owned Enterprises in Türkiye: What Works Best?

by Bora Arican
December 26, 2023

Building Markets is delighted to share a profound exploration into the world of Syrian-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Türkiye through our latest collaborative research report, “Business Survival Analysis of Syrian-Owned Enterprises in Türkiye: What Works Best?” This report was developed in partnership with Boğaziçi University Applied Tourism Administration and Research Center (BU TUYGAR).

Our commitment to understanding and addressing the nuances of local economies led us to collaborate with BU TUYGAR. This joint effort is a testament to the value we place on local partnerships in crafting research deeply embedded in the communities we aim to serve, which acknowledges the expertise and insights of local collaborators.

Journeying Through Insights: What the Report Unfolds

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs )have a significant impact on local economies worldwide. Against the backdrop of global displacement and the intricate dynamics of Türkiye’s business environment, understanding the factors influencing the survival of Syrian-owned SMEs became a pertinent area of inquiry.

This report seeks to unravel the complexities Syrian entrepreneurs face and offer valuable insights. By focusing on business survival, we aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of the dynamics shaping the success or closure of these enterprises. Our analysis uncovered several key findings:

  • The number of languages an SME owner speaks, an SME’s exporting status, the number of marketing strategies employed, and having a bank account to have a significant and positive impact on business survival, whereas having a business plan or the number of local employees did not have any significant impact
  • SMEs encounter a unique array of obstacles that hold substantial consequences for their economic prosperity and business survival, as well as for their integration and wellbeing
  • Despite its challenges, the competitive business environment in Türkiye has created opportunities for the SMEs
  • The participation of Syrian women in the Turkish economy, both as employees and entrepreneurs, is noticeably restricted.


Aligned with the outcomes of our research, we also make the following recommendations for Syrian SMEs in Türkiye:

  • Gain insights through work experience in your chosen sector, allowing for informed investments and adaptive strategies.
  • Invest in a capable accountant and lawyer, recognizing their pivotal roles in navigating regulatory complexities and providing crucial support.
  • Engage in partnerships with local experts, tapping into invaluable insights that foster localization efforts and tackle unique challenges within the Turkish context.
  • Emphasize the importance of linguistic diversity, including proficiency in the local language and acquiring a third language for global expansion.
  • Leverage the initial growth phase to build a reputation for excellence through multifaceted marketing approaches, embracing word-of-mouth, direct sales calls, and social media channels.
  • As your business grows internationally, diversify your customer base and geographical reach. Restricting the customer base to a single market increases the chances for failure during a crisis.
  • Engage with institutions, chambers of commerce, local Arab networks, and organizations like Building Markets. Adopt a proactive approach to skill enhancement, particularly in business planning and soft skills in management for future growth.


DOWNLOAD THE REPORT in English, Arabic, or Turkish

DOWNLOAD THE SUMMARY in English, Arabic, or Turkish

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