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Seçil Kınay Yılmaz talks ‘About Impact’

Koç University Social Impact Forum’s (KUSIF) podcast “About Impact” features episodes where podcast producers discuss the concept of social impact and strategies for expanding it. The content is created in podcast and videocast format. Select members of the Turkish Social Entrepreneurship Network (TSEN), which was launched as a project between 2018 and 2020 and currently continues as a network, with KUSIF as one of the partners, not only share their social impact journeys and experiences but also talk about the importance of being a part o a network of on social impact.

Seçil Kınay Yılmaz, a founding partner of TSEN and Special Projects Manager at Vehbi Koç Foundation, was the guest of the 51st episode of the series. TSEN was established through cooperation with a consortium of 15 partners, including NGOs public institutions, led by Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKF). With significant experience in both TSEN and VKV, Seçil Kınay Yılmaz talked about the foundation’s work within the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and the importance of networking.

Seçil Kınay Yılmaz, who has been in charge of several national and international partnerships and managed the foundation’s project programs for 16 years, provided information about the work of Vehbi Koç Foundation. Speaking about the role of the late Vehbi Koç, the founder of VKF, in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem, Kınay Yılmaz said, “Vehbi Koç was a pioneer, always looking to the future and emphasizing the importance of innovation and research. His vision still valid today. Therefore, social entrepreneurship has been on our radar since 2016. This concept provides an opportunity to address the evolving – and in fact increasingly complex - social issues worldwide through more effective, sustainable and collective solutions.”

Discussing the social entrepreneurship network in Türkiye during the podcast, Seçil Kınay Yılmaz said, “The young generation is very interested in both entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. On one hand, we observe growing interest from different sectors. On the other hand, financial institutions, banks, and investor networks are creating space to foster social entrepreneurship and impact-driven startups within this supportive ecosystem. These are all very promising developments that will actually advance the potential in Türkiye for the future. There is still much work to be done and many areas of development. We still have a long way to go to support social entrepreneurship and social startups, especially when it comes to financing the early and medium stages. I believe that the practice of social sourcing should become more widespread and developed not as a niche market but as an important avenue for both the public and private sectors.”

Seçil Kınay Yılmaz also underlined the benefits of networking, “Social networks bring the partners together around a shared vision and help them leverage their collective strength and use resources more effectively. In other words, networking presents opportunities to join forces and reach the common goals faster. In my opinion, this networking model could be effective in both social entrepreneurship and also any area that involves social issues in Türkiye. Through networking, you may also compare the work of individual partners side by side in a single place and analyze their differences. I see this as a very effective method for quickly identifying the gaps and the needs.”

To listen to the podcast, please click.