I’m Emine, 41 years old, and I’ve been the owner of a thriving limited company for the past six years. As the president of the Gaziantep Investor Business Women’s Association and head of the Sehitkamil women entrepreneurs production and business cooperative, I have been a driving force in promoting women’s entrepreneurship and empowerment in my community. My company specializes in crafting an array of exquisite colognes, soaps, and candles that are a sensory delight to anyone who experiences them.
But my life was turned upside down when the devastating earthquake hit Türkiye in February 2023. The earthquake not only affected me and my business but also the entire country, leaving behind a trail of destruction and despair.
The disaster caused an unprecedented loss of life and property, which left a deep impact on me. My company suffered severe damages, and the production workshop was completely destroyed, along with all my investments. Moreover, the economic activities came to a halt due to the disaster, and the need for essential commodities was prioritized over luxury goods such as cologne. This caused my business operations to come to a standstill, compounding the damage caused by the disaster. I felt an overwhelming sense of despair which left me with no option but to halt my business activities.
As a civil society manager, I participated in the relief efforts in the earthquake region, which was a very challenging experience both physically and mentally. The situation in the Hatay province affected me deeply, but I did not give up hope. I have always been a believer in new beginnings, and I know that this earthquake has set us back 30 years, but I’m determined to continue from where we left off.
Through Building Markets and GiveDirectly, I received a lifeline when I was lost and everything seemed hopeless. The cash grant I received was like a beam of light that illuminated my path towards recovery. With this support, I can now purchase raw materials to restart my business operations and reignite my connection with my customers. This cash grant means more to me than just financial assistance; it is a symbol of hope and a reminder that there are organizations out there that care.
Through this experience, I have learned that determination and focus on one’s goals are critical to achieving success. I believe that with self-confidence and unwavering dedication, I can make the most of the opportunities given to me and build a better future for myself and my community.
My life story is one of resilience and determination. I started my business journey nine years ago when I was a mother spending time with my children at home. But today, besides that, I’m a successful business owner and a civil society leader, and I believe that anything is possible if you have the courage and determination to pursue it.
The earthquake may have brought us to our knees, but I know that we will rise again, stronger and more determined than ever. I believe that our lives are not defined by the challenges we face, but rather how we choose to overcome them.
Tags : Success Story