By Tuba Sahin
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey will work on a venture capital initiative in order to produce high value-added products and services, Turkish development minister said on Monday.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), Lutfi Elvan said “venture capital initiative” and extending “Young Entrepreneur Centers” are in the government's agenda.
The WBAF -- backed by Anadolu Agency as global communication partner for the second time -- focuses on angel investors partnering with family offices and wealth management institutions.
"In order to reveal enterprises which are in need of venture capital and produce high value-added products and services, Venture Capital will be implemented both at the national and regional level with the cooperation of development agencies," Elvan said.
Elvan added 428 angel investors are licensed and 94 percent of them are operating in networks.
Noting that total amount of angel investment, venture capital and private capital investment stood at $177 million dollars in Turkey, Elvan said: "This amount is not enough for a country like Turkey that offers various profitable business opportunities."
"To improve the entrepreneurship ecosystem, we aim to take steps that will further empower legal framework, ease the access to finance, increase the efficiency of the public system and enhance the R&D and innovation capacity," he added.
The minister said Turkey aims to increase the number of firms that angel investors can finance and to raise awareness about angel investments through the country's 26 development agencies.
"Development agencies support the internationalization of early stage entrepreneurs and technological initiatives via several mechanisms," Elvan said.
He called entrepreneurship a “key” to overcome the challenge of bridging the gap between sophisticated demand pattern and current supply structure.
"Dynamic, flexible and trend setter enterprises are critical for strong and sustainable growth both for advanced and emerging countries," Elvan said.
He underlined that angel investors emerged as a "catalyst" to bridge the gap between entrepreneurship and finance as enterprises are having difficulty in accessing finance due to their smaller size, lack of collateral and an opaque financial structure.
The minister added the traditional financial institutions are reluctant to provide finance to start-ups or early stage companies since they bear high risks.
He said that angel investor's success depends on existence of strong regulatory infrastructure such as intellectual property rights, sound legal framework and strong institutional base.
"Those are indispensable prerequisites for their business eco-system. I can say that, Turkeys’ experience in these areas deserves attention," Elvan said.