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An Examination of the effect of YFYI: Turkey’s first entrepreneurship competition

Bediz Sinan, Beliz
The aim of this study is to investigate and examine the effect of Yeni Fikirler Yeni İşler (YFYI) Entrepreneurship Program on entrepreneurship. The study has two main aims: a. Understanding and documenting the effect that YFYI has had with examples and survey-based statistics b. Investigating whether there is a significant difference between the finalist that were awarded and those that did not receive any award In accordance with this purpose, the teams participating in the program from 2005, when YFYI started, to 2018 were examined. The current job profiles of 370 program participants who got to the finals out of 972 participants were investigated. As a result of this research, a survey has been conducted to 127 finalists with an entrepreneurial background and 49 finalists who did not experience entrepreneurship. The purpose of this survey is to investigate whether there is a significant difference between award-winning vs. non-award-winning finalists and to gain knowledge and inferences about companies established after YFYI participation. The other outcome of the survey was to assess whether the finalists who did not perceive themselves as an entrepreneur are more open to intrapreneurship and innovation. In addition to the survey, interviews were conducted with some YFYI finalists who founded a company and progressed successfully. Through these interviews, the stories of successful YFYI companies from the beginning to the present were conveyed. In this way, the founders’ aim to apply for the YFYI, the supports they got within and after the program, and the problems they faced after the program were revealed. As a result of the study, it is concluded that the individuals participating in YFYI had an orientation towards entrepreneurship before the program; nevertheless, they were still happy to have taken part in the YFYI process. However, although YFYI increases the knowledge and the interest of the participants towards entrepreneurship, it was found that receiving an award from the program did not have a statistically significant effect on establishing a new company. It was revealed that the program contributes positively to the academicians, public and private sector employees, who did not choose entrepreneurship as a career path, to their openness to intrapreneurship and innovation in the institution they work.