In Turkey, a country that is now host to three million Syrian refugees, Syrians have started over 6,000 businesses since 2011, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). From restaurants to manufacturing companies, Syrian entrepreneurs are creating formal jobs and opportunity, not only for themselves, and for other refugees, but also for their host communities.
Accelerating the growth of these businesses could produce significant benefits for both refugees and the Turkish economy, including helping to offset the cost of the crisis. However, very little is known about the unique challenges and needs of Syrian businesses, which limits opportunities to enable their growth.
With funding from Global Affairs Canada, Building Markets, together with our local partner Syrian Economic Forum (SEF) conducted in-depth research, including in-person interviews with 230 Syrian-owned businesses. Today, on World Refugee Day, I am pleased to share our findings with you in our new report – Another Side to the Story: A Market Assessment of Syrian SMEs in Turkey.