Meet Busra and Eray. They are in their early 20ies, passionate to make a meaningful difference, persistent to solve problems, hungry to learn from others and not afraid of failures. They are the fellows of Entrepreneurship Foundation who convinced us with their exceptional nature that they will make a mark on our world just by continuing to be themselves.
Born and raised in one of the poorest towns of Ankara, Busra loved her hometown, Beypazari like no other because that’s where she learned to be kind, respectful and to share what she had with others in need. Values she adopted at an early age, plus her unusual personality started to surprise people since her childhood. First of all, she was fair and never hesitated to raise her voice for what she believed in. Secondly, she was so determined that even though she was an average student, she became the second person to get into Ankara Fen Lisesi, a gifted and talented high school program, from her town while everyone said she couldn’t. In addition, she was curious to question things people usually didn’t. Like why her father still worked as a mineworker.
Since she was a little girl, Busra wanted to become a doctor to find a cure for a deadly disease so that she can help many people at once. But after reading the bio of Steve Job’s, her perspective on life changed. She realized that making a cure available for everyone is as important as finding a new one. Inspired by him, she decided to become an engineer and started her studies at the Bilkent University. She was one of the few female students in the engineering program with a scholarship. During her time in college, she came across a motivational tweet about dreaming big and never giving up on what you want in life. It was a tweet by Sina Afra, who spearheaded the spread of entrepreneurship culture in Turkey and established Entrepreneurship Foundation. Inspired by his tweet, Busra applied to become a fellow at the Entrepreneurship Foundation and discovered a whole new world that changed her life.
Born in Ankara, Eray moved to Istanbul with his family when he was seven years old. Since his parents are bankers, he always thought he would become one, too. However, things started to change for him when he was in 11th grade at Robert College. For the first time in his life, he started to think seriously about his future and what he really wanted to do with his life. He wasn’t sure which profession he would like to have but he knew what kind of a person he’d like to become – he wanted to be someone who touched people’s lives. Hoping that a broad program would help him to figure out the career path he’d like to move forward, he started to study management at Koc University. Hungry for more in terms of improving himself, he took the lead in gathering his like-minded peers who want to make a difference with their ideas and founded the Entrepreneurship Club in his freshman year. His adventure on innovation continued as he joined the Entrepreneurship Foundation as a fellow and founded Lala Education with his friends – an app designed to help high school students studying for college exams in Turkey. The app analyzes test results to advice the subjects students needs to improve. Lala Education is one of the 29 start-ups established by Entrepreneurship Foundation fellows that received angel investments.
Busra and Eray come from very different backgrounds but have the same passion of making a change. Their lives wouldn’t have been coincided if it wouldn’t be for Entrepreneurship Foundation. And, they are not the only ones. Founded in 2014, Entrepreneurship Foundation gathers college students who have the characteristics and skills to become entrepreneurs. Since their establishment, they received over 14,000 applications for their fellowship program. Candidates go through a serious process of six phases before they are admitted to the program. They submit their resumes, school reports, information on extracurricular activities and a videos explaining their motivations to become a fellow. And then, they take personality and visual IQ tests to make sure they fit the characteristics and skills of an entrepreneur. Depending on the results, they are scheduled for a Skype interview and then, face-to-face meeting.
Once they are granted with the fellowship, their unforgettable journey of 12 months starts. Young minds with amazing potential meet under one roof to be inspired to realize their dreams, to make an impact, to touch lives and to give back. They meet in person with entrepreneurs from all over the world who used to be just like them once. They listen their motivations and the stories behind their successes. In addition to networking opportunities, fellows participate at various workshops to improve their skills and build lifetime friendships along the way. They discover that nothing is beyond their grasp as long as they believe in it even though they don’t have a specific idea that they’d like to focus on at the moment. Being a fellow at Entrepreneurship Foundation is so much more than having a creative idea. It’s about having the skills and the desire to make a change in the future. To encourage entrepreneurship culture in Turkey, take a look at Entrepreneurship Foundation’s projects. You might be empowering the next Steve Jobs or Arianna Huffington without knowing it.