6 incredible ventures solving social problems in Turkey

Otsimo

Otsimo is an online education platform for children with autism that has already reached 3,000 children and has picked up funding from investors and crowdfunding

Co-Founder Zafer Elçik is a young social entrepreneur with a first-hand understanding of the issues autistic students face. “My brother has autism and he has difficulties in learning and understanding many things. One day, I noticed that he had no problem playing games in my smartphone. That’s when I realized that autistic children can be educated via online platforms”.

There are 352,000 children with autism in Turkey and only 21,000 of them are able to take the necessary education in autism specialized schools.

The other problem they’ve discovered was the cost of the education for autistic children. With their business model, they are planning to make education more reachable for the families and help autistic children to contribute to the world more effectively.

Kodluyoruz.org

Youth unemployment in Turkey extends to the tech sector – mainly because of underly paid conditions and unqualified options and a lack of relevant skills in newly-graduated college students.

Their solution is a skills development programme for Turkish youth, with a focus on coding and web development. The programmes will be run in collaboration with US tech-based non profit, LaunchCode

Over 1,500 young people replied to their initial call-out. By the middle of 2017 they’re planning to have coding bootcamps for young people in Istanbul and Şanlıurfa, alongside workshops, online resources and blog posts about skills development written by professionals and experts.

Busy times in the Kodluyoruz office

Givin.co

This mobile app, founded by ex-marketing executive Başak Süer aims to liberate giving, through helping us to sell unwanted belongings and directly donating the income as funds for NGO projects.

Everything you buy in Givin returns profit to NGOs that work with young people and education and it’s easy to track the projects’ development – and their results – online.

Givin will increase the number of individuals and brands that contribute to social impact to make a change and eventually, they want to become a new fundraising channel for NGOs.

Evreka

The internet of things is now offering a new approach to smart, connected waste management systems. Evreka aims to decrease the time and effort spent on collecting waste by providing smart info to collection teams. First, they place censors on bins to calculate how full they are, and transfer the data to cloud servers. Truck routes can then be optimized before collection, decreases collection costs by 55%.

Co-Founder Umutcan Duman states that the amount of money spent on Turkey’s 30 million tons of household waste is 4.2 billion TL.

Right now, Evreka are working in Turkey and Switzerland with 11 clients. Recently, they’ve got 2.7 million TL worth investment.

Tarlamvar

Turkey has rich soil and plenty of empty fields. People are migrating to cities to find jobs – when they could be working the fields in their home villages.

Tarlamvar aims to make people contribute to the agricultural economy by letting them invest in plantations from seed to harvest. People who are willing to help farmers produce simply rent the plantation and provide jobs for farmers that own it so that a circular economy can be created.

“The vision of our project is basically based on solving this problem and sharing the solution with thousands of people while doing that,” says co-founder Ata Cengiz. Currently, they’re focusing on walnut trees which have the capacity to produce 40 kgs of nuts per year.

They’ve already planted 1,700 trees and are aiming for 7,500 by the end of the year.

Kutuda Sanat Var

Kutuda Sanat Var is the first social enterprise in Turkey that focuses on art. It aims to make people create more and more by art to gain their encourage in an artistic way to make people more confident and creative. The enterprise, which launched in January this year, aims to make everyone an artist to break the wall between art and society.

Kutuda Sanat Var aims to make everyone create art with the boxes they send monthly. The enterprise sends all the required tools for the month including pens, pencils, papers and others, and also a little gift from artists and other surprises. Founder Sarp Süerdaş calls this “art excuse” where people can be inspired to get more creative – with benefits for the individual and society.

Your inner artist, in a box
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