Meet the Members: Marya, A Syrian Fitness Trainer Launching a Food Business in Turkey

Name: Marya
Business: Handmade Peanut Butter and Jams
Cohort: 3rd Cohort, Mersin
Home Country: Syria

Marya had a background as a physical fitness trainer when the war in Syria forced her to relocate and find a job in a restaurant in Raqqa. After the conflict spread to Raqqa, Marya fled Syria altogether with her two children and resettled in Mersin, Turkey.

In Mersin, Marya connected to the LIFE Project after having an idea to start a business that sells peanut butter and jams that she would prepare in her home. The LIFE Project, Marya thought, would be able to provide her with business skills such as accounting, marketing, and Turkish regulations for kitchen use. The kitchen housed in the LIFE Project facilities in Mersin was a valuable resource for Marya and helped her cut down on many of the usual expenses required to start her business.

As for the most valuable skill she learned in LIFE Project trainings, Marya asserts that the confidence she gained and ability to pitch her business idea to potential investors will be help her to succeed as a new businesswoman. To new entrepreneurs looking to start a food business in Turkey, Marya advises them to persist in their efforts and realize that their culture can become a business idea in itself.

Are you interested in Marya’s story or see potential in her business as an investor? Email the LIFE Project to be connected at [email protected].