BİLGİ Genç Sosyal Girişimci Ödülleri

The BİLGİ Genç Sosyal Girişimci Ödülleri (Bilgi Young Social Entrepreneur Awards) has adapted the YouthActionNet® Global Fellowship model to provide a tailor-made, culturally-relevant, and Turkish-language centered leadership development experience for 10 young Turkish leaders, ages 18-29, per year.  The Bilgi Young Social Entrepreneur Awards (Bilgi YSE Awards) strengthens the personal leadership and entrepreneurship skills of young Turkish leaders, while connecting them to their peers and experts to create a national network of youth leaders affecting positive change.  This customized learning experience, coupled with a USD $3,500 award, allows these youth to deepen and extend the impact of their work as each becomes more confident on how to effectively address social needs in their community.

Results to Date
• 20 youth-led initiatives
• 112 training hours
• 117 applications

Youth Spotlight
Aysegul Guzel, 29
Zumbara (Time Bank)
Zumbara (a coinage combining the words time and bank in Turkish) seeks to foster relationship-building, reciprocity and trust among people so as to create communities where citizens share and contribute. Through using the Time Bank system, individuals are encouraged to help someone for an hour. In return, they win an hour and put it in the 'money box' and can later use it to obtain services, or a 'wish,' from someone else. The project is predicated on the belief that there are more important things in life than money, and that time itself has great value. It shows us that our differences make us richer, and that we need each other. Users of the system report that it was easy to ask for help without feeling or making others feel any obligation of commitment. Awareness of an alternative economy increased. New friendships and relations developed. Existing notions of time, money and value started to be questioned.    

In 2009, İstanbul Bilgi University (BİLGİ) joined the Sylvan/ Laureate Foundation, the International Youth Foundation and the TEGV Foundation to launch the Bilgi YSE Awards.  The Bilgi YSE Awards celebrates and supports young social entrepreneurs who have developed innovative solutions to community challenges in Turkey.  A member of the Laureate International Universities network, BİLGİ was founded in 1996 as a non-profit institution. With more than 10,000 students and a faculty of approximately 700 staff, BİLGİ offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the social sciences, economics, business, communications, the arts and law.  As part of the Laureate network, the founding premise of BİLGİ is to make education more accessible and affordable so that all students can pursue their dreams.

The Sylvan/Laureate Foundation is a founding sponsor of the Bilgi YSE Awards.

Global Contact
Joel Adriance, Program Manager, YouthActionNet®
E-mail: j.adriance@iyfnet.org

Local Contact
M. Serdar Apaydin, Program Director, Bilgi YSE Awards
İstanbul Bilgi University
Inonu Cad No:6 Kustepe - Sisli
Istanbul / Turkey
Phone: +90-212-3116152
E-mail: serdar.apaydin@bilgi.edu.tr