This case opens in Istanbul, Turkey in early 2020. The protagonist, Emine, is the executive director of Ulkayo, a fictional, Turkish-based non-governmental organization (NGO) implementing the Köprü entrepreneur incubation program. Emine’s challenge is to develop a business model that sustains the program’s operational costs (including its facility) within the context of the refugee and economic crises shaping the Turkish landscape. The Köprü program was founded two years prior with a three-year seed grant from the U.S. government, and technical and capacity support from U.S.-based partners.
The Köprü program uses a food-related entrepreneur incubation curriculum in aiming to help refugees of Syrian and other national origins alongside members of the Turkish host community. But the program is capital intensive due to the facilities requirements which include a commercial kitchen and coworking space. Students will explore options for continuing a version of Köprü beyond the seed grant, focusing on how they will generate revenue after the grant ends.
The case presents background on the migrant crisis and economic situation in Turkey, opportunities in the Turkish food sector, and the development and implementation of the Köprü program.