Supporting SME Recovery: A Collaborative Endeavor by Building Markets and Center for Disaster Philanthropy - Building Markets

Supporting SME Recovery: A Collaborative Endeavor by Building Markets and Center for Disaster Philanthropy

by Sedanur Albaş
September 12, 2023

Following the earthquakes that struck Türkiye on February 6, 2023, Building Markets conducted a rapid needs assessment involving 862 refugee owned and local businesses. The primary objective was to gauge the earthquake’s impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including their operations and most pressing requirements. It’s noteworthy that over half of the 2,500 SMEs in Building Markets Türkiye network are situated in areas affected by the earthquakes, collectively representing 135,000 individuals, including business owners, employees, and their families.

In response to the earthquake aftermath, Building Markets and the Center of Disaster Philanthropy have joined forces with a shared mission of assisting SMEs, which serve as the bedrock of local economies. Primary emphasis was placed on the needs of refugee-owned SMEs.

Our overarching goal was to address the immediate needs of SMEs, thereby enabling them to retain jobs, prevent business closures, and sustain economic stability in the affected regions through a multifaceted approach:

Business Continuity Training: We aimed to equip SMEs with strategies to navigate the challenges following the disaster. This training not only safeguards jobs but also fosters the long-term stability of these businesses. It has been specifically tailored to support business owners in evaluating and adapting their operations to tackle the challenges posed by the recent earthquake.

Financial Aid: Two-thirds of the surveyed businesses indicated that they could no longer operate at their previous capacity due to financial constraints. Whether it is for paying salaries, securing inventory, or repairing damaged equipment, providing cash grants to this group of business owners is pivotal in catalyzing recovery and mitigating the risk of further economic decline. Our financial assistance acts as a lifeline, enabling these businesses to effectively resume their operations. It’s not just about funds; it’s about sustaining the backbone of local economies.

Co-Working Space in Gaziantep: Many business owners faced severe damage to their physical workspaces during the earthquake, or they lacked the necessary equipment to continue operating. Some were even left without a place to work due to rent arrears or other arbitrary reasons. Even if business owners were optimistic about getting back to work quickly, they required physical spaces to plan their recovery. To address these workspace challenges, we’ve established our Gaziantep office as a Co-Working Space and made available to businesses affected by the earthquakes. This initiative ensures smooth operations, assisting SMEs in maintaining their pivotal role in the local economy.

For insights into the impact of our collaborative efforts, we encourage you to read testimonials from the businesses we’ve had the privilege to work alongside.


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