Owners of small and medium-sized businesses from diverse industry sectors in Turkey were in the capital on Thursday to explore business opportunities as part of a unique networking event organised by Leaders of Branding Intelligence (LOB’IN) and the European Turkish Association (ETA). Titled 8thInternational European Quality Conference, the business summit took place at the London South Bank University (LSBU).
Among the Turkish companies attending were airline Atlasglobal, leading coffeehouse Gönül Kahvesi, TGRT TV – selected Turkey’s Best News Channel of the Year in 2015, Altınçatı Elderly Care Homes, healthcare experts ILO Autism, and telecommunications and wireless solutions specialist Net İletişim. They met with entrepreneurs based in Britain whose ethnic origins and business interests spanned Africa, Europe, and South Asia.
Keynote speakers included Sunil Chopra, the past Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark, whose term in office was marked by activities aimed at bringing diverse communities together. The event kicked off with a welcoming speech from Prof. David Phoenix, the Vice-Chancellor of LSBU, who explained that the university was not only home to 20,000 students from 120 countries, but also assisted SMEs through the university’s unique range of consultancy services.
Some 80 people attended in total, including university heads of departments, a former UK government advisor and the head of Turkey’s UK Tourism Office. Along with exchanging ideas and exploring business opportunities, awards were also presented by Fahri Ustaoğlu, President of LOB’IN, to those companies and individuals who have demonstrated outstanding quality in their work.
T-VINE columnist Semra Eren-Nijhar was among those recognised. The sociologist and documentary-maker has extensively documented Turkish migrants and their contributions in Europe. In December 2014, she launched the UK’s first-ever Turkish Heritage Day, backed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
Working with local partners, LOB’IN helps to build important business bridges for Turkish companies by organising a range of events around the world, including in Istanbul, New York, Frankfurt and Brussels. Their next event is set to take place in San Francisco. Their LSBU event was organised in conjunction with ETA.
ETA chair Mustafa Aydın told T-VINE: “While the event was smaller than usual LOB’IN events, the calibre of participants was fantastic, as was their feedback. Everyone commented on the warm and inclusive atmosphere, and the excellent opportunities that have arisen from networking. Even our entertainer Ekin [renowned Turkish folk singer] fitted the bill perfectly: his duet with Caribbean artists [Soca Boys] and experiences growing up in Denmark hit a chord with our diverse audience.”