Another Side to the Story: A Market Assessment of Syrian SMEs in Turkey

Ucak, S. & Raman, K.
Publication language
Date published
01 Jun 2017
Building Markets
Research, reports and studies
Livelihoods, Forced displacement and migration, Host Communities
Syria, Turkey

The report from Building Markets, Another Side to the Story: A Market Assessment of Syrian Businesses in Turkey, highlights that Syrians have started over 6,000 formal businesses in Turkey since 2011, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have collectively invested over three hundred million dollars in Turkey.

“Turkey hosts nearly three million Syrians, but they are not all vulnerable,” says Tammam Albaroudi, Executive Director of SEF, a registered nonprofit operating in Turkey’s bustling border city of Gaziantep, “there is enormous potential that is not yet fully utilized.”

The study found that Syrian SMEs are employing 9 people on average, and over half plan to hire 8 additional employees in the coming year. In addition to the jobs these SMEs are creating, the revenue their businesses are generating can also help offset the cost of the Syrian refugee influx in Turkey.

However, such gains are only possible in the right enabling environment. Policy-makers, the banking sector, and large firms in Turkey have a role to play in ensuring gains are reinvested in local economies. “Entrepreneurs are very active,” explains Albaroudi, before adding “if it becomes too difficult to operate, they will take their energy elsewhere.”