By Simay Kardes, Merve Birdal and Erhan Arslan
Turkey is a country that is exposed to extreme weather events and also geophysical hazards such as earthquakes. After Elâzığ and Izmir earthquakes, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw that local businesses were significantly impacted, especially in their ability to recover. Hence, CBi Turkey decided to help local businesses build back better.
In Turkey, the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) is working with a private sector network that promotes climate and disaster resilience. CBi Turkey was launched by TÜRKONFED and UNDP Turkey to promote business resilience as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Business for Goals (B4G) platform. Its main activities are to:
Strengthen the role of the private sector in mitigating the impact of disasters
Support climate resilience, disaster risk reduction, preparedness and business continuity.
İzmir earthquake on October 30, 2020 has caused loss of lives alongside physical and economic damages. TÜRKONFED generated two situation reports in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to determine the initial conditions of SMEs and damaged places and were disseminated through its network. Following this, in order to support affected businesses, the Business for Goals Platform, cooperation with TÜRKONFED, conducted a series of training focusing on business continuity for 29 SMEs.
Mobilizing private sector support for SMEs during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CBi Turkey released regular situation reports and analysed the impact of the crisis on small and medium enterprises (SMEs):
An initial survey provided a sense of the early economic impact of the pandemic alongside related needs of SMEs, as well as a unique advantage and resilience index. (See full analysis of results here.)
The second survey reflected on the continued economic impact, adaptation strategies and use of state aids, future projections, needs and intervention priorities. It also provided insight on the situation for Syrian-owned enterprises in Turkey. (See full analysis of results here.)
In August 2020, TÜRKONFED released the report “COVID-19 / Business Recovery Process” prepared in cooperation with the UPS Foundation, based on a survey of 200 businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The Member Network also provided awareness and information to its members through webinars focused on economic projections, women in business, or the production of Personal Protective Equipment. In order to help the private sector re-purpose its business operations towards current pandemic needs, B4G also created a trusted vendor list of PPE manufacturers in Turkey. The idea is to encourage Turkish businesses to shift their productive capacities to supply national and global PPE demand.
Collaborating for business and climate resilience
With funding from CBi, CBi Turkey is expanding to focus on collaborative climate resilience. The network is planning to create a Working Group will be created, composed of government agencies and national business networks to enable collaborative work. The aim is to facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, coordination, dialogues to follow-up on COP26 and the EU Climate Diplomacy Campaign, and public-private partnerships to address the multi-hazard and interconnected climate-related risks.
Activities will be carried out to increase the awareness around imminent, interconnected, and rapidly shifting risks caused by climate-related disasters.
With its network of federations and over 40,000 businesses, CBi Turkey will continue to support national disaster management entities and mechanisms by sharing knowledge and providing virtual trainings and tools that can be adapted to companies of different sizes and in different contexts, for greater awareness, preparedness, and resilience.
More about CBi Turkey
The CBi Member Network in Turkey is represented by TÜRKONFED and the B4G Platform.
The Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation (TÜRKONFED) is an umbrella organization established by business associations from all developmental regions of Turkey based on the principles of independence and volunteerism, and currently represents 30 federations, 275 associations, and over 40,000 businesses. TÜRKONFED is a civil society organization aiming to raise awareness and contribute to policy reform on matters critical to our country as the common voice of SMEs.
Business for Goals (B4G) is a platform established by TÜRKONFED, TÜSİAD and UNDP Turkey in 2019. It serves as a platform open to all enterprises willing to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their corporate policies and strategies, all public agencies keen on public-private partnership, local governments, academia, international organizations, and the non-governmental sector.
The CBi Member Network in Turkey aims to strengthen the cooperation and collaboration between the private sector, civil society, international organizations and public institutions in emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
Find out more here: https://www.connectingbusiness.org/turkey
Photo credit: UNDP Turkey