• For youth, the future of Turkey
  • For a healthy society
  • Serving science, culture and arts
  • For equal education opportunities

CALENDAR
Cevdet Erek: Bergama Stereotip
Arter
Feb.27-November 15, 2020
Ayşe Erkmen: Whitish
Arter
Sept.13, 2019-July 26, 2020
Altan Gürman
Arter
Sept.13, 2019-Jan.24, 2021
What Time Is It?
Arter
Sept.13, 2019-July 26, 2020
Sadberk Hanım Museum
Opening on June 30, 2020
Alexis Gritchenko, Constantinople Years
Meşher
Opening: Sept.1,2020
Words Are Very Unnecessary
Arter
Sept.13, 2019-July 26, 2020
Josephine Powell Exhibition
Vehbi Koç Evi
Opening June 30,2020-indefinite
CIVIL SOCIETY

Projects Supported

We act to foster social transtormation in Turkey and the region in cooperation with national and international organizations.

Koç University Center for Civil Society and Philanthropy Research (KÜSİTHAM) (2019): Marking an important first for Turkey, the Center for Civil Society and Philanthropy Research, was established at Koç University on the Vehbi Koç Foundation’s 50th anniversary.

The Center aims to create a multi-disciplinary environment for scientific research and activity on the topics of civil society and philanthropy by bringing together experts from diverse fields in economics, business administration, political science, sociology, law, and history. It will seek to support research projects and help further understanding of the structure and dynamics of civil society. It also aims to support the development of civil society and philanthropy by providing research and training programs that will offer guidance to all those working in the field of philanthropy.

kusitham.ku.edu.tr

“The Onus Is on Us” Platform (2019): On the foundations 50th anniversary, Vehbi Koç Foundation launched a new internet platform inspired by the foundations 50th anniversary slogan “The Onus Is on Us”. The platform showcases stories of philanthropic action, where individuals took it on themselves to tackle a specific social issue, highlighting the idea that everyone can create positive change in their own environment. Also featured on the platform is a video series called “Lives, Adding Value” (Değer Katan Hayatlar), where Vehbi Koç Foundation employees and students tell their own stories of creating social impact. The website also provides a list of institutions that offer volunteering opportunities.

ustumuzevazife.vkv.org.tr

Ashoka Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Program (2018-ongoing): Vehbi Koç Foundation provides annual grant to Ashoka’s Turkey office for the Social Entrepreneurship Program. Ashoka is the world's first and largest social entrepreneurship platform. The scope of the grant covers one-on-one consulting by the Ashoka Turkey team to Ashoka fellows (social entrepreneurs elected for fellowship by Ashoka), as well as their participation in activities providing support to fellows considering opportunities abroad.

In addition, Ashoka Turkey holds community meetings that enable social entrepreneurs to meet with colleagues and other stakeholders in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. The scope of the Vehbi Koç Foundation annual grant also provided support for the Social Entrepreneurship Day, supported by VKV for the second time. With the participation of over 130 social entrepreneurs and industry, nonprofit and public sector leaders from 10 provinces across the country, the event was one of Ashoka Turkey’s largest gatherings in 2019.

ashoka.org

Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Network (TSGA) (2018-ongoing): Under the leadership of the Vehbi Koç Foundation, a 15-membered consortium conducts the Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Network. The project is funded by the European Union and Republic of Turkey within the scope of the Grant Scheme for Civil Society Organizations, Partnerships and Networks. Vehbi Koç Foundation received a grant from the EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for the first time for this project.

The project aims to meet social entrepreneurs’ needs for know-how, networking and visibility, to help the spread of social entrepreneurship as an alternative solution to social and environmental problems in Turkey, and to raise awareness of social entrepreneurship. The project, launched in October 2018 and scheduled for completion in October 2020, is being conducted in Ankara, Istanbul, Bursa, Van, Gaziantep, Kayseri, Samsun, and Muğla.

In 2019, Turkey’s first social entrepreneurship trainer’s training held at Koç University. The program’s participants later conducted social entrepreneurship trainings in Kayseri, Van, Gaziantep, and Samsun.

As part of the project activities, #TSGA Açık Sahne (Open Stage) events were held in Ankara and Istanbul in 2019 to improve the visibility of social entrepreneurship projects by giving participants the opportunity to present their projects and make new connections. The project also utilized digital platforms as well as face-to-face interactions, in order to strengthen the dialogue between the stakeholders. As a result, a social entrepreneurship platform is established through the link sosyalgirisimcilikagi.org.

A baseline research study was also conducted within the TSGA framework in order to identify the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Turkey, as well as the existing needs and problems of social entrepreneurs. Data gathered from Van, Gaziantep, Bursa, Samsun, Muğla, and Kayseri will be presented in a report published next year. Another project output has been a research study conducted by Koç University Law School to identify the legal status and needs of social enterprises in Turkey.

The Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Network was launched by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in collaboration with the Koç University Social Impact Forum (KUSIF), Ashoka Foundation Turkey, the Association for Innovative Solutions in Sustainable Development, TED University, the Social Innovation Initiative Association, Social Enterprise UK, and the Mozaik Foundation. Abdullah Gül University, Ankara Development Agency, Eastern Anatolia Development Agency, Silkroad Development Agency, Middle Black Sea Development Agency, Nilüfer Municipality and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey supported local activities as contributing partners.

sosyalgirisimcilikagi.org

“Change with Business” Social Entrepreneurship Development Program (2016-2018): Vehbi Koç Foundation, in partnership with the The Koç University Social Impact Forum (KUSIF) and the UniCredit Foundation, completed the two-year social entrepreneurship development program. The program addressed obstacles to the development of social entrepreneurship and its function in the Turkish social and economic system. The project became a successful example of collaboration by gathering the several actors determinant for the social entrepreneurship ecosystem. In this respect, the project provided knowledge and experience for the Turkey Social Entrepreneurship Network project, launched by VKV in 2018.

As part of the project, the Social Impact and Social Finance Conference was organized in 2017. NGOs, experts, social entrepreneurs, analysts, academics, investors as well as private and finance sector and funder institution representatives gathered in the conference. In addition, a training program named the “Business Model Development Training for Social StartUps in Turkey” was organized. At the end of the training, five five social start-ups were awarded a “Seed Funding” grant.

In 2018, a social entrepreneurship conference series were organized between January and July. KUSIF also published a textbook on social entrepreneurship aiming to serve as a resource for the development of social entrepreneurship at universities.

The project was carried out in cooperation with Yapı Kredi bank, while the Center for Social Innovation acted as the content partner. Mikado Sustainable Development Consulting, Ashoka Turkey and Impact Hub Istanbul participated as supporting institutions.

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European Foundation Centre Conference (2015-ongoing): The European Foundation Centre organizes various thematic networking events to foster cooperation among member organizations. One of these events is the Grantmakers East Forum (GEF), which annually brings together major philanthropic foundations in Europe, mainly from Central and Eastern Europe. Vehbi Koç Foundation provides annual support for the organization of the conference. Also, VKV is one of the members of GEF Steering Committee.

The annual Grantmakers East Forum was held in Istanbul in 2015 with the theme of “Creating Equal Opportunities: Overcoming Divides.”

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European Foundation Centre (1997-ongoing): Vehbi Koç Foundation has been a member of the European Foundation Centre (EFC) since 1997. EFC is an international body that aims to support social change by strengthening links and collaboration between charitable organizations. Located in Brussels, EFC’s membership has now reached 200 leading philanthropic organizations from across the world. VKV is one of the five members operating in Turkey.

In 2015, VKV was selected for the Annual Conference Committee as well as the Grantmakers East Forum Committee. In 2019, Erdal Yıldırım, president of VKV, was elected to the 2019-2021 Governing Council of the EFC.

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