A Social Innovation Platform in Istanbul: imece

Established by ATÖLYE and Zorlu Holding as founding partners and S360 as a strategic partner, imece is a social innovation platform based in Istanbul, that brings together individuals and institutions tackling social challenges. Through its incubation process, imece offers various resources in the form of mentorship, workspace, grants, training, access to the ecosystem and investor relations to teams providing solutions to social challenges.

imece pursues the goal of building social entrepreneurship stories in Turkey by introducing a new perspective. It is open to all individuals and companies to help create social transformation, and to entrepreneurs and people from all corners, occupations and ages in Turkey who want to create social impact based enterprises.

In an effort to catalyse innovative approaches to promoting gender equality and empowerment, imece have launched their second incubation process. imece is focusing on women and girls’ empowerment within the framework of one of the United Nation’s 17 sustainable development goals on gender equality (goal number 5).  imece is focusing on women’s participation in the workforce, women and girls’ access to education, ensuring the content of education is not reproducing gender roles, and the physical, social and mental health and wellbeing of women.

Selected teams for the second incubation process of imece announced

Over 77 teams of 290 people from different provinces in Turkey applied to take part in the incubation. Ten teams have recently been shortlisted and over the next three months will take part in a three-month long pre-incubation period, receiving support to prepare for the jury selection taking place in April.

In April, three teams will be selected to take part in the incubation, receiving a grant of TL 30.000 EURO and support to work on their challenge.

Young people care about social problems

The strongest interest for the incubation process was from Istanbul. There were 45 teams that applied to the incubation process from Istanbul, 8 teams from Ankara, 4 teams from Izmir, and one team from each of the following cities, Düzce, Diyarbakır, Kayseri, Mardin, Muğla and Van.

The most striking aspect among the applicants was their age. Of the total 290 applicants, 45.6 percent were young people born in the digital age, from 1990 to 1999, while 29.9 percent were born in generation Y between 1982 and 1989. Only 12.7 percent of the applicants to the support program were from generation X that were born from 1974 to 1982, and 11.8 percent were born in 1973 and before.

10 projects selected for the Incubation Process were:

1) Kadın Eli. Preparing women, who seek to start a business, through a mentorship program; a training and application system made up of different courses.

2) Kızlar Sahada Academy. Ensuring that women at all ages are socially empowered thanks to the uniting power of the sports and team spirit.

3) Wo-Co Generic Platform. A platform established for overcoming the challenges, which women may encounter in their corporate lives, by using different modules.

4) Baby Academy. A mother care mobile application which offers customised daily development support to the babies aged between newborn and five years according to their speed of development and their needs.

5) Öğrenme Tasarımları. A didactic kit and mobile application that transforms the social gender roles and concepts.

6) Monolab Yaratıcı Teknolojiler. Configuration of the maker movement, programming and electronic trainings for girls.

7) Kök Basmane. This project is about providing first training and then employment opportunities to women in the Basmane district of Izmir, including refugee women in the region via food production facility.

8) Ladybirdlist. Helping female entrepreneurs reach the funding needed to finance their projects.

9) Empathically. An artificial-intelligence-based application that focuses on changing  toxic communication language into an emphatic language through a screening software.

10) reflect. Cash transfer through the sale of textile products in order to ensure the integration of disadvantaged girls in education.

For more information about the program: imece.com