Innovative and Entrepreneurial Women Project

The project in brief

Implemented by

Sultangazi Municipality, Istanbul




November 2011 - 31 December 2021

This initiative will continue with complementary project target to establish a woman cooperative.


The project is aiming to enhance refugee and host community women’s self-reliance through kitchen and sewing workshops. Women has been producing and marketing of the products like washable mask organic noodles, pickle and jam.


Two people posing next to produce


Project aims 


  • To enhance self-reliance of refugee and host community women
  • To promote social cohesion

Resources used 

UNHCR funding

Main activities of the Good Practice

  • Sewing and gastronomy workshops were established in Gaziosmanpaşa and Sultangazi Municipalities.
  • 30 women from the host community and 30 refugee women produced washable masks, organic noodles, pickles, and jams.
  • The sales of the manufactured products were carried out in the district markets and at the sales points determined by the municipalities. The income obtained was distributed equally to the beneficiaries.


  • Sultangazi Municipality
  • WALD

Challenges and how they were overcome


There was no significant challenge encountered as the project staff did research and development before the project.

In the beginning of the project, participants did not feel enough comfortable with people from different cultures.

How they were overcome

The risks that could be encountered in the project were eliminated thanks to a municipality and project team who know the field and the context well.

Social cohesion events were organized.

Results of the Good Practice 


Jars of jam


  • The women who participated the workshops has started to produce their products at home for their use and for the market.
  • Host community and refugee women participants has developed social relationships and continued to see each other.
  • Refugee women has become more familiar to the culture in Turkey.
  • Participant women have been empowered by supporting the household income and finding a chance to go out their home.
  • After the project ended, the municipality referred the participants to other facilities and activities of the municipality.

How the project meets the GCR Objectives

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

The project not only strengthens social cohesion between refugees and women from the host community, but also creates an income-generating opportunity for them.

Next steps 


  • Participant women has requested to extend the project to initiate a women’s cooperative. The municipality has started to develop the continuation efforts of this good practice in line with the feedbacks and recommendations of the participants.
  • A sales office to be opened will serve as a marketplace for the products that refugee and host community women produced.
  • The participants needed consultation on online marketing.

Further support required for the project to continue or scale up


  • There should be more physical and women-friendly places for activities targeting women.
  • The activity places should also be child friendly so that more women would be encouraged to participate in the activities.
  • There are some bureaucratic difficulties such as market restriction for the municipalities.
  • Need for more funding for the projects to be developed.
  • There might be a huge time gap between the submission and approval of the project. This brings a very limited time for the implementation.