Women know how to succeed: Zeliha's business in textile

Women know how to succeed: Zeliha's business in textile

Zeliha Özdemir founded her own dream business with her own small saving after moving to Bursa. Today she engages in import and export business with her 18 employees and still works harder for further development.

Zeliha Özdemir worked for different corporate companies for 14 years and founded her own business after she got married and moved to Bursa. She set up the business in 2014 with the help of her husband’s experience in textile sector and her small saving. Even though she had funding challenges during the growth phase, her experience gained in corporate companies helped her to manage this process.

She benefited from a bank loan offered by TEB under “Finance and Advice for Women in Business Programme” funded by the European Union, the EBRD and the Republic of Turkey.  Favorable collateral terms helped her complete all the processes for accreditation of Inditex that eventually led the company sell to overseas. By starting the digital printing to cotton fabrics which is hard to produce, she also gained the potential of doing business with customers in many segments including international brands. Today she has a total of 18 employees, 8 of whom are women and this number is increasing day by day.

Zeliha Özdemir joined regional seminar in Bursa organized to introduce the Finance and Advice for Women in Business Programme and met with the programme’s mentoring services. Then she attended the Women in Business leadership training workshop and after completing her first fiscal year, she took the advisory support about finance and production cost within the framework of the programme.  Zeliha would like to apply for another bank loan in the future, to further grow her business.

The "Finance and Advice for Women in Business" programme jointly funded by the EU, EBRD and Republic of Turkey has been instrumental in boosting women-led small and medium sized enterprises. The project has provided financing for women-led SMEs with favourable borrowing conditions, as well as business advisory services for women to expand their business and create new jobs. Close to 15,000 women are now more empowered to make a positive change in the private sector. This project is part of EU's overall financial support to Turkey amounting to € 220 million in the past decade to advance women's rights and tackle gender inequalities in employment, childcare, education, combating violence against women, anti-discrimination and political participation.