İNGEV d-FAIRs Women’s Clothing and Footwear virtual fair, which was held between September 12-15, received strong attendance from 20 countries. The virtual fair, which has aimed to support fragile SMEs and accelerate social cohesion and financial integration, is first of its kind.

Speaking at the opening panel on September 12th, İNGEV President Vural Çakır said “a social media campaign was conducted in 20 countries to raise awareness about our virtual fair. While it reached a total number of 8 million people, 75 thousand people visited our website. The most important purpose of the virtual fair is the social impact. As it’s first of its kind, it will remain as a brand-new experience for a while however a new approach, a new system will soon emerge where this kind of virtual fairs will increase in numbers, bringing up national and global busines to such platforms” as he underlined the importance of digitalization and social enterprise.

Orhan Turan, President of TÜRKONFED, one of the contributing organizations highlighted the digitalization of the SMEs during the pandemic and pointed out that “SMEs represent 95 percent of Turkish business. In the pandemic era we are in, especially 40 thousand SMEs within TÜRKONFED and other SMEs are looking for a way out, so it is critical to create a common sense and perspective. SMEs need to use technology appropriately and effectively, and we should look at this as a social change of mindset. ”

UNDP Deputy Representative Seher Alacacı drew attention to the importance of women’s entrepreneurship and said “We should not forget that just as jobs do not have a gender, entrepreneurship is not a gender. During the pandemic period, increasing and supporting the place of women in business life and in every field is a very important issue.”

On behalf of Building Markets, INGEV’s main supporter, Başak Saral “Previously before coming to Turkey, Syrian entrepreneurs already had a good experience in the international trade, that actually accelerated their financial integration and social cohesion in Turkey. Majority of the Syrian SMEs in Turkey operate in the footwear. ” laid emphasis on the right decision as the virtual fair concentrates on the specified sector.

Throughout the fair, many panels were organized with the participation of top executives of EBRD, the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), Mavi Jeans, Metro Toptan, fashion celebrities and famous influencers, while 39 women’s clothing and footwear companies had the opportunity to exhibit their products. During the fair, gifts such as shoes, dresses, coats and wedding gowns from the product range of these companies were also given to the participants.