How Could Turkey Bring Up Entrepreneurs Like Steve Jobs?

Turkey’s largest investment bank, Aktif Bank has embarked on numerous projects that spur entrepreneurships and entrepreneurs until now.

Turkey’s largest investment bank, Aktif Bank has embarked on numerous projects that spur entrepreneurships and entrepreneurs until now. The Bank’s CEO Dr. Önder Halisdemir says, “Turkey also has the potential to bring up entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs. We are always ready to support entrepreneurs with creative ideas. As Aktif Bank, our mission is to increase the number of entrepreneurs in Turkey”.

The inventor of new-generation banking, Aktif Bank makes its mark through its support for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. The Bank has recently supported the publication of the booklet “Guide to Finding Angel Investors”, which elaborates on diverse issues relevant to the shining stars of economy, namely, angel investors and entrepreneurs. 

The CEO and Board Member of Aktif Bank, Dr. Önder Halisdemir emphasized the Bank’s ongoing support for creative ideas, and reiterated his belief that “Turkey also has the potential to bring up entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs”. Below is a list of observations and recommendations by Halisdemir for individuals with creative ideas:

AN ENTERPRENEUR IS AKIN TO A COOK: Entrepreneurs are cooks. You may have all the ingredients to cook a meal, yet, without a cook the ingredients are merely raw materials. In other words, you eat uncooked zucchini; not a zucchini meal. You eat zucchini and sell zucchini. Since there is no added value, the profit margin will be low and business will be bland. The people in Africa live their lives as impoverished guardians of their massive underground treasure. Had they raised enough numbers of successful entrepreneurs, their underground treasure would have been their end product rather than raw material, and they would have experienced wealth on a large scale. In fact, since they lack entrepreneurs, they can’t even extract and sell their raw material on their own.

AN ENTERPRENEUR NEEDS THE FREEDOM AND COURAGE FOR ENTERPRENEURSHIP: The inventors of several well-known brands were successful because they brought together the right consumption dynamics. This is more about philosophy, logic, and of course, setup. It is not about having a lot of money; it is about learning real life lessons, and having the freedom and courage for entrepreneurship.

DON’T PUSH YOURSELF TOO HARD TO BE CREATIVE: Don’t push yourself too hard to be creative since that is the main obstacle in front of doing anything new. If you consider creativity in terms of discovery and inspiration, the barriers will disappear. You will experience a better integration with the world. You will take better advantage of what other people and nature have to offer.

INNOVATION IS SYNONYMOUS WITH PROFIT MARGIN: Innovation is synonymous with profit margin. Where there is innovation, there is no competition; there is just more profit. When you innovate your costs, your profit margin increases further and you profit further. Keep chasing innovation without falling in love with what you do. Don’t overrate the challenge either: Take simit (A kind of Turkish bagel); a few years ago some people could never imagine what could come out of something that simple. Yet an entrepreneur showed up and built a whole new world out of it.

TURKEY WILL BRING UP NEW ENTERPRENEURS LİKE STEVE JOBS: In coming years Turkey will also bring up entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs. In my opinion, agriculture, mining and services will be the most productive sectors in that regard.


Aktif Bank firmly believes that the angel investor ecosystem will grow substantially in Turkey. As of the end of 2012, in tandem with various organizations operating overseas, the Bank sponsored the growth of the Angel Investment ecosystem in Turkey, joined competitions, and offered all kinds of material and emotional support to entrepreneurs.

By the end of 2012, following its EBAN membership, the Bank sponsored “EBAN Winter Universities Competition” and introduced Turkish investors to EBAN.

“Guide to Finding Angel Investors” is a booklet developed for European investors by European Business Angels Network (EBAN), elaborating on important issues for angel investors and entrepreneurs. The Bank adapted the booklet for the local context and distributed 30.000 free copies to entrepreneurs.

The Bank is the main sponsor of “Bir fikrin mi var?” (“Do you have an idea?”), the only entrepreneurship show that is broadcast on Turkish TV. It also invests in ideas that compete in the show.

Aktif Bank is in the process of establishing an angel investment company. The mission of the company will be to offer mentorship/consultancy services to selected entrepreneurs, extend financial and legal support, and assist them in structuring their sales channels. Currently, the Bank is working closely with entrepreneurs and coordinating the negotiation and development processes.

Aktif Bank was the main sponsor and local partner of the world-renowned entrepreneurship competition “Seed Stars World” in 2014, and also sat on the jury. Held in 34 countries in the world, Seedstars World Start-Up’s winners in each country will compete in the international finals to be held in Switzerland. This will allow our investors to meet international investors and represent Turkey in international platforms.

The Bank also sponsored the ““Techno Entrepreneurship Summit” held by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology upon participation of 120 entrepreneurs. It was also one of the investors that joined the elevator pitch.

It has launched the initiative “İlk İşim Girişim” for university students in collaboration with Yıldız Technical University, with 225 projects from 18 universities in 11 cities.

Within the framework of its “R&D Finance” program, Aktif Bank offers collateral-free letter of credit to entrepreneurs who have won the support of TÜBİTAK (Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey), responding to an important problem for especially beginner-level entrepreneurs who experience difficulty in obtaining letters of credit.

Aktif Bank is currently working on a web site to bring together entrepreneurs and investors on a common platform where they can promote their ideas through professional videos. The Bank also aims at offering a range of consultancy and mentorship services to entrepreneurs during this process.