Supporting LIFE Entrepreneurs and Their Communities during COVID-19

Even in the most enabling environments, entrepreneurs are accustomed to adversity. In Turkey, the business journeys of LIFE Entrepreneurs and their peers inevitably include institutional, social, and financial challenges. Now, as social distancing and other safety measures are put in place, entrepreneurs in Turkey and around the world are faced with more uncertainty than ever before. 

These challenges are directly impacting LIFE Entrepreneurs, many of whom are providing valuable food and nutrition services to their communities through their small business ventures. During this time, we are committed to ensuring the safety and success of these entrepreneurs. To protect members, their families, and the wider community, we are closing our Food Enterprise Centers in Istanbul and Mersin until conditions improve and health regulations in Turkey allow. However, we are actively working to develop remote solutions to continue providing our network of nearly 300 members with advisory services, business development opportunities, and community support - including providing access to the entrepreneurship training program through online platforms.

Additionally, many food businesses around the world have adjusted their model to work with greater agility during these times, such as offering food delivery or ingredients packages for home cooking. We will also be working closely with our members to suggest ways they can pivot or adapt their business plan in this environment.

At the LIFE Project, we believe the shared language of food can bridge cultures and strengthen communities - and that food entrepreneurs are the key drivers of this impact. In the face of this unprecedented global challenge, enabling a vibrant food industry is critical for social cohesion and community resilience. We are determined to ensure LIFE Entrepreneurs and their communities have the tools and support necessary to thrive.

As the situation continues to change, we will be posting updates and resources on our Twitter and Instagram channels. For inquiries about our activities and safety measures during this time, please contact us at [email protected]

To help support our members through the LIFE Project during these challenging times, please consider purchasing a copy of the new LIFE Project cookbook The Cuisine of LIFE: Recipes and Stories of the New Food Entrepreneurs of Turkey!