Building on the philanthropic tradition of their family, Esas Sosyal (Esas Social) was established in April 2015 by the founders of Esas Holding to professionally manage their social investments.
The initial area of investment for Esas Sosyal is youth employment, an issue of most importance in Turkey. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute 2017, 34% of youth with university diplomas are unemployed. Extensive research conducted by Esas Sosyal indicates that the main reason for this is lack of experience and reference. Youth who graduate from ‘lesser known’ universities are especially vulnerable due to lack of equal opportunities for employment.
Taking this into consideration, Esas Sosyal developed a program strategy with three components, to support school to work transition for new graduates: Research, Joint Projects and the First Chance program.
The First Chance program was developed to support youth in their process of transitioning from school to work, especially for new university graduates from lesser-known universities. Since the program launch in 2016, 60 youth were selected to work full time in 21 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for 12 months. All salary costs are covered by Esas Sosyal, and participation includes professional training and mentoring support throughout the year.
We are grateful for the support of private sector partners such as Kariyer.net (online job posting), Peoplise (online search and selection system) and Workinton (shared working space).
Emine S. Kamışlı was born in Adana in 1966. She received her BSc Degree in Economies of Industry and Commerce from The London School of Economics in 1987. Mrs. Kamışlı worked for Willis Corroon reassurance brokerage company in London and returned back to Turkey in 1989. She joined Aksigorta as the Director of Commerce. She had responsibilities such as the Executive Board Member of Aksigorta, Akhayat and Sabancı Holding prior to the establishment of Esas. Mrs. Kamışlı co-founded Esas Holding with Mr. Şevket Sabancı in 2000 and is currently in charge of treasury and wealth management, and management of the family office.
Şevket Sabancı was born in Kayseri in 1936. He graduated from Manchester University with a degree in Textile Engineering. Mr. Sabancı held various managerial positions at Sabancı Holding's textile companies and then started representing Sabancı Holding abroad in 1980. Also a founding member of Vaksa (the Sabancı Foundation), Mr. Sabancı was the Vice Chairman of Sabancı Holding and played a vital role in Sabancı Holding's successful progress. Preserving his stake in Sabancı Holding, he initiated the establishment of Esas Holding in 2000. Mr. Sabancı still leads the company as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Painter Hayırlı Sabancı was born in Adana in 1943. For many years, she has been an active philanthropist, providing scholarships to students, supporting charities and funding the development of institutions for the delivery of basic social services. Mrs. Sabancı has played an active role in the development of Esas Social, which serves as a collective structure for the philanthropic investments of the family.
Ali Sabancı was born in Adana in 1969. After specializing in Politics and Economics at Tufts University in US, he worked for Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. until 1993. He received his MBA degree with a major in International Finance at Columbia Business School in 1995 and then returned to Turkey. He had various duties in Akbank. In 1997, Ali Sabancı assumed the responsibility of Head of Projects in Sabancı Holding, then became the Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development in 2001. Mr. Sabancı, Chairman of Pegasus Airlines since 2005 manages Esas’ aviation investments.
Can Köseoğlu was born in London in 1985. He received his BA degree at Tufts University in Boston in 2008. After college, he joined the Esas Holding food group and worked in various group companies. In 2014 he founded his own company and is operating in the food retail sector under the Donerstop brand. He is currently the Chairman of the board of CZK Lokantacılık A.Ş.
After completing his undergraduate studies of Business Administration and German Language Studies at Brown University in the US, he earned his Masters degree in Finance and Banking at the City University of London Case Business School. He then worked as an investment analyst at F&C asset management company in London for 2.5 years. He currently serves as a Board Member of Esas Real Estate and has an active role in national and international investments.
Esas Sosyal Founding Director
Esas Sosyal Corporate Relations Mananger
Esas Sosyal Program Coordinator
Having served first as a consultant/ advisor in 2014, Filiz Bikmen has been serving as Founding Director of Esas Sosyal since its establishment in 2015. Having graduated from Columbia University in 1998 with a Masters in Organizational Psychology, Filiz worked as a management consultant at Andersen Consulting and with financial institutions in New York and Istanbul. Since 2001, has been working to promote social justice and philanthropy, serving in the senior management of TUSEV and Sabanci Foundation, and as an adviser and executive board member for several other Turkish, European and American NGOs and foundations. She published more than 30 articles on topics regarding civil society and philanthropy and was a research fellow at the Graduate Center in New York and at the Bosch Foundation in Berlin. Filiz currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Interaction Institute for Social Change in Boston and supports the EMpower Emerging Markets Foundation, headquartered in New York, in managing their Turkey funding portfolio (focusing on youth at risk).
Having graduated from Koç University in 2004 with a BA degree in International Relations, Pınar Özyürek continued her education at Sabancı University’s European Studies Program (MA’06) and the University of Chicago’s MAPSS Program (MA’08). Since 2010, she has been working in areas of corporate relations, fundraising and philanthropy. Between 2010-2017, she worked at Koç University’s Corporate Relations and Resource Development Department and was responsible from Anatolian Scholarships Program’s strategic planning, implementation and donor relations management. Between March-December 2017 she worked at Health and Education Foundation (SEV) as the Fundraising and Advancement Manager and organized the newly founded department’s structure. Pınar Özyürek became a member of the Esas Sosyal family in January 2018.
Neslihan Yıldırım graduated in 2014 from Sakarya University with a degree in International Relations. That same year, she completed her thesis on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Nesilhan started her working life as a Human Resources Assistant at the Turkish Education Foundation, one of Turkey’s first and largest foundations. Between 2009-2014 she was active as a Founder and Vice Chair of the Youth Futures Group and managed the ‘Volunteer Exchange’ Project. She completed a training program in Human Resources Management in 2014 and prior to joining Esas Social, worked as an analyst at Garanti Private Retirement Funds.
FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, TURKISH ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOUNDATION
MEMBER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS, TIKAV / TURKEY HUMAN RESOURCES TRAINING AND HEALTH FOUNDATION
VICE RECTOR, MEF UNIVERSITY
Sina Afra is an entrepreneur and the founder of Markafoni, first exclusive shopping club in Turkey. He is also Founder and Chairman of the Board of Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation, Board Member of Endeavor Turkey and Board Member of Turkish Informatics Foundation.
Pelin Akın Özalp is a Board Member in Akfen Holdings. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors at TİKAV (Turkish Human Resources Education and Health Foundation).
Prof. Dr. Erhan Erkut is Vice Rector in MEF University. He is specialized in the field of education and has various awards including “INFORMS Teaching of Management Science Practice Award” and “3M Teaching Fellowship”.
İLK FIRSAT-FIRST CHANCE 2017 PARTICIPANT/PEOPLE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION of TURKEY (PERYÖN) CONGRESS and EVENTS SPECIALIST
HR VICE PRESIDENT AT PEGASUS AIRLINES
PARTNER, EGON ZEHNDER INTERNATIONAL
As a First Chance 2017 participant, Ümran Gündüz worked as an Accounting and Operations Assistant in PERYÖN throughout the program. She volunteered as a member of LÖSEV. Aiming to gain experience and reference in civil society sector, Gündüz, with the support of her mentor, managed the KODA Project (Village Schools Change Network) together with the other 2017 participants. Since January 2018, she is working at PERYÖN as a Congress and Events Specialist.
Dilara Oğur is HR Vice President at Pegasus Airlines since 2015. She worked in HR management in leading corporations in Turkey such as Turkcell.
Ayşe Güçlü Onur leads Egon Zehnder’s Financial Services, Private Equity, and Financial Officers Practices in Turkey. She is also amongst the founders of Yenidenbiz, a social enterprise for women in Turkey, and serves as Chairwoman of the Board of Ashoka Turkey and Member of Advisory Board of Endeavor Turkey.
MEMBER OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES, HÜSNÜ ÖZYEĞİN FOUNDATION
NİLGÜN ULU ACADEMY BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES SPECIALIST
PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, ISTANBUL BİLGİ UNIVERSITY
Ayşecan Özyeğin Oktay is a Board Member of Fina Holding. She also has various responsibilities in Ashoka Turkey, Synergos International Network and UN SDSN.
Nilgün Ulu is a behavioral sciences specialist and founder and owner of Nilgün Ulu Academy. She continues her research studies at Yeditepe University.
Prof. Dr. Nurhan Yentürk is a Faculty Member in İstanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Administration. She is specialized in the field of youth and is the Director of Center for Civil Society Studies in the same university.
GENERAL MANAGER, VEHBİ KOÇ FOUNDATION
Erdal Yıldırım is the General Manager of Vehbi Koç Foundation. He also serves in the boards of various foundations in Turkey. He holds "Thomas Hart Benton Medal” from University of Indiana for his work on NGOs.