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Standard Chartered strengthens support for young women through the growth of microbusinesses which help create and sustain jobs in Türkiye

on 19 Mar 2024

19 March 2024, Istanbul – Standard Chartered Türkiye announces the launch of a new Futuremakers programme, The Future Lab, part of Futuremakers by Standard Chartered which is the Bank’s global youth economic empowerment initiative to provide skills development opportunities to boost employability and business training to encourage entrepreneurship.

Delivered by Habitat Association and supported by Youth Business International (YBI) with funding from the Standard Chartered Foundation, the programme will run until December 2027 and aims to empower 672 young entrepreneurs through intensive support. Priority will be given to business owners who have had relatively limited access to commercial opportunities as having grown in low-medium income communities, women entrepreneurs and those with limited access to resources, opportunities and support. Additionally, a dedicated focus will be directed towards reaching young entrepreneurs in the earthquake zones (Kahramanmaraş, Hatay, Adıyaman, Osmaniye, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Malatya, Diyarbakır, Adana, Kilis ve Elazığ).

The Future Lab is the next phase of the existing Futuremakers entrepreneurship programme, Transforming SMEs, which was launched in Türkiye in 2021 as part of the Bank’s Covid Economic Recovery Programme. The previous project with Habitat reached over 1758 people. Some recent successes include helping 262 microbusinesses which remained in operation six months after they received support, and the creation of 272 jobs.

The programme has now evolved to deliver greater economic impact for participants and respond to the complex challenges within the Turkish entrepreneurship landscape. It will consist of two main components: the Future Lab Entrepreneurship Programme, to support early-stage micro, small and medium sized enterprises (who have not received investment), and the Future Lab Accelerator, which will support more established organisations to grow their businesses and sustain jobs. Both components will be enhanced by complementary activities designed to create a vibrant and collaborative entrepreneurial community.

Standard Chartered colleagues have been instrumental in the successful delivery of the programme as part of the Bank’s employee volunteering programme. Over the next three years, they will continue to support The Future Lab through mentorship, networking partnerships and contributing valuable knowledge and insights to inspire the entrepreneurial community.

Kaşif Atun, CEO and Head of Corporate, Commercial and Institutional Banking, Türkiye, Standard Chartered said: “We are pleased to be continuing our incredibly important partnership with Youth Business International and Habitat Association to support even more inspirational young people on their entrepreneurship journey. We hope to build on this success with The Future Lab to drive greater impact for entrepreneurs and the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

YBI’s CEO, Anita Tiessen, said: “Youth entrepreneurship can be a transformative option for young people to gain economic independence, shape economies and create jobs. But for too many young people entrepreneurship remains out of reach. We are pleased to continue our work with Habitat and Standard Chartered Foundation to empower those whose entrepreneurial opportunities have been limited by their socio-economic conditions, including women and people from low-income backgrounds, with the skills and support they need to start and scale successful businesses and build a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Türkiye.”

Habitat’s Board Chair, Sezai Hazır, said: “As a social impact and development-oriented NGO, Habitat knows that the development of a society depends on young people playing a strong part in socio-economic life. Supporting young entrepreneurs and shedding light on their paths is one of Habitat’s biggest goals. Therefore, we are proud to be part of Futuremakers. The Futuremakers initiative is currently helping young entrepreneurs from around the world to write their success stories. The aim of The Future Lab, implemented by Habitat with support from YBI and funded by Standard Chartered Foundation, is to support young entrepreneurs in Türkiye and empower them to become a strong part of this large international ecosystem.”

The Future Lab aims to support young entrepreneurs to build businesses that embrace sustainability, inclusivity and social impact and develop products and services that support these values. It started in January 2024 and is open to young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35, focusing on sustainability, digital transformation and the circular economy.


For further information please contact:

Kate Matthews
Communications Director, Europe
Standard Chartered
+44 20 7885 7899

About Standard Chartered
We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 53 of the world’s most dynamic markets and serving clients in a further 64. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

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About Standard Chartered Foundation
The Standard Chartered Foundation (SCF) is a charitable organisation that tackles inequality by promoting greater economic inclusion for disadvantaged young people, particularly young women and people with disabilities. Its programmes focus on employability and entrepreneurship, helping young entrepreneurs and jobseekers access the skills, networks, opportunities and support they need to achieve economic power and participation.

Established in 2019, SCF is a registered charity in England and Wales (charity number 1184946) and is the lead delivery partner for Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, a global youth economic empowerment initiative.

About Youth Business International (YBI)

Youth Business International (YBI) leads a growing global network of over 50 enterprise support organisations with a passion for empowering underserved young people (18-35) to start, scale and sustain their businesses. Together with its members, YBI focusses on sustainable and inclusive entrepreneurship, equipping underserved young people with the skills, confidence, and connections they need to beat the odds and become successful, responsible business owners.

About Habitat Association
Habitat Association (Habitat) is a non-governmental organization that produces social capacity-building and impact-oriented projects based on strong partnerships compatible with the digitalizing world and aimed at sustainable development. Since 1997, Habitat has been carrying out activities for all segments of society with thousands of volunteers in 81 provinces of Turkey, regardless of religion, language, race, political opinion, gender identity and sexual orientation. Taking its strength from international networks, knowledge and the positive energy of its volunteers all over Turkey, Habitat continues its work in the fields of entrepreneurship, digital transformation, financial awareness, and socio-economic cohesion while expanding its activities in the broad geographical region where Turkey is located.