December 6, 2016



« I want to set up my own business but I don’t know where to start. I need advice, training and sharing with others like me. »

  • FOR WHOM IS IT: JANA BIZ is open to anyone willing to set up his own activity (self-employed activity, small business, start-up), either as an individual, with a partner or as a cooperative.


  • THE PROJECT IN SHORT: JANA BIZ is a program to support refugees willing to develop their (micro) business in Turkey. It is based on an online path coupled with dedicated online support and offline community building


  • WHY WE ARE DOING IT: next to the various initiatives to facilitate employment of migrants in Turkey, entrepreneurship is an extremely interesting alternative to help refugees develop their livelihood in Turkey. Firstly, studies show that migrants have a creative entrepreneur spirit since it is a need for them to rebuild their life and be creative in inventing new forms of livelihood. Besides, the settlement of migrant communities in cities is a great opportunity for new businesses to provide them with the adequate products and services as well as to promote self-employment and, in the future, to create new jobs. Proof is that in the last 2 years, 4000 Syrian businesses have been registered in Turkey, participating to the growth of the Turkish economy. Some of these businesses were set up with Syrian capital by people who wish to move their investments to Turkey. According to our survey with existing Syrian entrepreneurs in Turkey, although it is easy for former businessmen in their country to set up a replica of their business in their new country, difficulties such as a new language, complexity of regulations, lack of experience, lack of digital and financial literacy are challenging barriers that may discourage potential entrepreneurs. By providing candidates to entrepreneurship an integrated online and offline community and support, we would like to give them the best tools they need to complete the whole journey towards their business project.


  • HOW DOES IT WORK If you have the project of creating your own business, either alone, with a partner, or as a cooperative, JANA BIZ will provide you with 3 essential tools to help you:

    • Access to a community of entrepreneurs like you : if you enter the program you will have the opportunity to meet monthly with your community of entrepreneurs (based on location) in order to exchange your issues, share your successes, share best practices and motivate each other! Each one of your community will be your best client and promoter in the future so it will be very important you are committed to these meetings.
    • An online platform where you can register and follow the journey of setting up your business step by step : what needs to be done at each step of the project, resources to help you solve your administrative, legal or accounting problems, and a timeframe to follow.
    • Access to our team of experts who will advise you in Business development, Marketing, Finance, Legal, Accounting, Communication and many other resources : through the platform, you can ask your questions and get expert answers in your language. You also get access to some trainings in Arabic or English. If needed, some mentoring can also be put in place.

               Our aim is to make sure you have all the tools to make your project a successful one!



    • Step 1: in order for us to get to know you, you need to fill in the online survey below or to send us an email or a Text message and we will call you back (email: [email protected], Text “JANABIZ” to +90 531 561 33 74).
    • Step 2: we will organise to meet you personally in order to assess your project advancement and your needs.
    • Step 3: based on your location, we will assign you to a community of entrepreneurs and we will organise an offline networking/sharing event where your group will be introduced to our online platform, the path and the tools it proposes. If needed, digital literacy training will be provided that day.
    • Step 4: with your personal profile on the Jana Biz the platform, you can follow step by step what you are supposed to do next to set up your business. You will find resources (videos, toolkits, FAQs, administrative forms samples and guidelines…) for each step from ideation to market research, supply, cost and price definition, business planning, legal registration, marketing, communication…etc. If one step is blocking you, you can ask for support online or from a competent Pro Bono expert who can either organise a workshop for several entrepreneurs or advise you individually on a specific issue.
    • During the 1 year program, your JANA BIZ community will commit to meet regularly (every 2 weeks or monthly) to share experience, ideas, best practices, difficulties… and to celebrate!
    • Step 5: if we identify through the platform that several entrepreneurs need a specific training, we will organise one with our network of experts and our partners.
    • Step 6: when your business is set up and running, we can celebrate together! You will remain a member of our network of JANA BIZ entrepreneurs and will be offered to help future entrepreneurs in return.



    • I would like to set up a business but I am not sure about my idea. Is that a problem? If you have an idea, you can fill in our survey and we will meet you to assess your idea and help you test it and adapt it to the needs of the market. You can definitely participate to the Jana Biz program!
    • Is this program open to any nationality? This program is designed to promote integration of migrants in Turkey. If you are a migrant in Turkey and speak Arabic or Turkish, you can participate. At the moment our program is not open to Turkish nationals.
    • I don’t live in Istanbul, is it a problem? We want our program to be scaled up to the main Turkish cities. Our program is based on community of interest so it is essential each participant can find a JANA BIZ group in his locality. According to the number of candidates in your city, if we can create a JANA BIZ community (minimum 5 persons), you will be able to participate to the program.
    • I am ready to set up my business but I need the funding. Can you provide me with the funding? JANA BIZ is a program supporting entrepreneurs in their journey. We don’t have funds to finance any of our entrepreneurs’ project. Nevertheless, once the idea of the project and the business plan are ready, we can advise on the different ways to find funding. But it will remain the responsibility of each entrepreneur to find his funding.
    • Will I get any mentoring? JANA BIZ provides each participant with an online platform from which we can follow him, his advancement and his difficulties. Our network of experts is also here to answer any specific question.
    • During the pilot phase, most of the micro- entrepreneurs will be supported by Arabic speaking buddies to brainstorm around the ideas, clarify some points and make sure the process is suitable to the needs of the micro entrepreneur. We aim also to have entrepreneurs from the same area meeting every month to share experience and to encourage each other.



    • Funding partner: US Embassy
    •  us-state
    • Implementation partner:
      • Patica: Patica Learning provides a digital learning engagement platform allowing individual learner to interact with the right content and get the right guidance at the right time
      • [email protected]: [email protected] is a non profit Turkish company set up in 2014 to foster dialogue between private sector and civil society by inspiring and mobilizing professionals to use their expertise together Pro Bono to support Turkish Civil Organisations in a qualitative way. carma
    • Participating community centres and NGO partners in this project
      • Small Projects Istanbul: SPI provide access to formal as well as supplemental education that will assist students and families from Syria to succeed in Turkey and beyond, paving the way for better opportunities in the future. in addition, SPI runs a women’s craft collective for livelihood support to provide the opportunity for skills development and livelihood support, critical for those who need to support themselves and their families but don’t have the right to work. 



      • YUSRA: Yusra Community Center Yusra Communıty Center is a volunteer run humanitarian organization dedicated to providing resources and assistance as well as a learning environment for people displaced by war in their home countries. The primary beneficiaries are women and children from the families living in and around Fatih, Istanbul. The center’s goal is to provide a safe space for children traumatized by war and displacement, with programs designed to provide educational, social and recreational enrichment. As well as provide assistance – legal, medical, skills training, language and literacy training, information services – to the refugee families.
      • Okmeydanı Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği : Community center supporting Turkish and Syrian communities in Okmeydani.
    • Pro Bono supporters
      • Istanbul & I is an initiative supporting volunteering among young people in Istanbul. Istanbul & I volunteers have been helping us with the arabic translation needed during the surveys and for some brainstorming around name, etc.
      • Caroline Gaujour: is an artist writing blogs in french illustrated by cartoons. She helped us with the design of our drawings and leaflet. You can see more on her on
      • Arsel Partners: Abdulraham Jaber has been with us from the beginning and is supporting us for the logo and some designs.



    • If you would like to develop your business or you have already a business that you would like to improve and you are ready to commit for this 1y program, fill up this questionnaire and we will contact you shortly.
    • Are you an existing entrepreneur or a corporate willing to help us accompany new business creators? Send us an email at [email protected]


  • IMPACT AND REPORTING We just started the project but we hope we can soon fill this place with reporting, survey we conducted and all the documents we used. Feel free to use them as well or let us know if you think we should improve some part of it:
    • Survey on potential entrepreneurs
    • Results on surveys on potential entrepreneurs
    • Survey on existing entrepreneurs
    • Results of survey on existing entrepreneurs
    • Video testimonies of existing entrepreneurs
    • Report on the employment situation of refugees in Turkey and mapping of entrepreneurship initiatives for refugees in Turkey
  • BLOG



Create your own user feedback survey