By Burcu Arik
An Istanbul-based project will enable 90 women from 18 to 25 years old, with at least a high school degree, to pursue careers as entrepreneurs in the technology field.
The project, called "Technology Angels," is organized in cooperation with the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, or ITO, and the Women Entrepreneurship Council of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey.
"Ninety young women, who will be trained for 120 hours in the mobile technology sector, will have a chance to learn cellphone-selling techniques and cellphone product technologies while improving their professional English," said Hatice Gunerkal, head the project.
At the end of the program will be organized the "Project Bazaar," where participants will be able to have their personal projects evaluated.
"Participants will be able to present their projects to academics and investors. Also, two women will be able to visit the Silicon Valley in the U.S." she added.
Training will start in February 2015.
Supported by the government-backed Istanbul Development Agency, the project promises that 75 percent of participants will find at the program’s end.
Gunerkal said the unemployment for women, 25 years of age and older, was high in Turkey, compared to other European countries.
"The technology sector is improving more and more every day, that's why we chose this sector," she added. "The unemployment rate could be reduced only with the help of developing technology, innovative ideas and education."
Turkey’s unemployment rate rose to 10.5 percent in September, from 10.1 percent the previous month, the Turkish Statistical Institute announced Monday.
The number of unemployed aged 15 and over surged to 3 million, an increase of 120,000 from the previous month.
The jobless rate was 9.1 percent for men and 13.6 percent for women. The unemployment rate for the youth increased to 19.1 in September, from 18.9 percent in August.
Ibrahim Caglar, the head of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, said the Turkish government had heavily supported women's education and female entrepreneurship in the last decade.
"The women labor participation rate has been increasing in the last 10 years with the help of these kinds of projects. We really care about the women employment and entrepreneurship," Caglar said.
As part of the Ninth Development Plan for the 2007-2013 period, the Turkish government set a goal of achieving a socio-economic balance between men and women in order to develop growth.
The plan was to equip citizens, especially women, with the kind of skills needed to successfully participate in today’s information and technology-driven global economy.
According to the official Directorate of Women’s Status, in order to support female entrepreneurship, schemes such as micro-credits and start-up support credits were developed by the government.