Melike’s story is one of a kind, certainly an inspiration to all women out there wishing to become entrepreneurs. After a BA in Economics, and 2 years working for an insulation company, her professional ambition brought her to found a MIR Izolasyon, a company specializing in the production and export of insulating materials for industries in Turkey and abroad. She has been the product coordinator at her company for 14 years now, and she keeps thinking big, always looking for ways to increase her business and especially the impact of her daily efforts for the development of her country. She considers herself to be lucky because she could always count on the support of her family, particularly of her husband, co-founder of MIR Isolazyon with her. The presence of her family helped her overcome some important barriers during the initial stages of her entrepreneurial career. “The Turkish traditional system of values does not fully recognize women as subjects of leadership and self-development. Society tries to keep us [women] passive, and to not realize our potential. But if you work hard, there will be no barrier strong enough to prevent you from succeeding.”, she proudly tells us in her office in Ankara. Melike recalls having been especially puzzled by finding a balance between family life and work, as she often had to sacrifice time with her children in order to grow her business. “My job takes 60% of my time away, which means I often had to face the emotional stress of not being always there for my children, and for the rest of my family. Ultimately though I am working for their wellbeing, and to secure a solid future for them. I want them to understand they can be who they want regardless of their gender.”, she explains. Melike and her husband did not receive the State support they hoped, having created their company entirely from their personal efforts. When asked what she would modify of her working environment had she the possibility, she replies that bureaucracy to access financial assistance for women is too slow, and therefore making the process easier and less complex would help a great deal of women achieving their professional aspirations more readily. “I am definitely a lucky person, and I will never cease to thank my husband and family for believing in me. I know I will keep doing my best to develop MIR Izolasyon. It is a symbol of my fight for personal realization.”, she concludes.


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