Skip to content Skip to footer

Bridging Cultures, Fostering Innovation: The Journey of Doğan Şahin with TURKPOL

In an enlightening conversation, Doğan Şahin, the President of the Entrepreneurship Club under TURKPOL, shares his journey of volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and his vision for enhancing Turkish-Polish relations. Let’s dive into his story of impact and innovation.

Personal Journey into Volunteering and TURKPOL

Q: Can you share the story of what led you to volunteer with TURKPOL and eventually take on the role of president in the Entrepreneurship Club?

A: My initial encounter with TURKPOL happened at a student orientation meeting in 2021. I was exploring various organizations to build a new life and network in Poland. When I learned about TURKPOL’s activities, I was motivated to contribute, aiming to promote my culture and create a livable environment. My volunteering journey included participation in numerous events, especially impactful during the 2023 earthquake tragedy. The collective effort to aid our homeland despite being abroad deeply moved me. This experience brought me closer to TURKPOL and allowed me to meet our honorary president, M. Göktürk İplikçioğlu. It fueled my desire to undertake meaningful projects with the remarkable individuals here.

Interweaving Entrepreneurship with Volunteering

Q: How do you connect your entrepreneurial spirit with your volunteer work at TURKPOL? Do you find that one informs or enhances the other?

A: In 2024, under the new presidency of Mr. Tunç Meriç, TURKPOL underwent restructuring, leading to the establishment of new clubs including the Entrepreneurship Club. Believing in my experiences and expertise, I ran for and was elected president of the club. The challenge of entrepreneurship lies in implementing your business plan, a notion we’re keenly aware of and actively address. Currently, alongside valuable team members Atilla Arda Beşen, Yağız Arda Coşkun, and Batıkan Şenay, we’re striving to establish a supportive structure for members and anyone in Poland with a business idea.

Turkish-Polish Relations Through the Lens of Entrepreneurship

Q: From your perspective, how does fostering entrepreneurship contribute to strengthening Turkish-Polish relations? Are there any projects or initiatives that have particularly bridged the two cultures?

A: The historical cultural bonds have always fortified Turkish-Polish relations, with both nations sharing strategic interests across various fields. The economic relationship, exemplified by our trade volume reaching 7 billion dollars in 2022, highlights the strength of our ties. Entrepreneurship plays a critical role in this context, guiding Turks who want to do business in Poland and vice versa, essential for the growth of this economic interaction. We aim to create unicorns that will significantly contribute to both economies.

Vision and Mission for the Entrepreneurship Club

Q: Beyond initiatives and projects, what deeper mission do you hope the Entrepreneurship Club will achieve under your leadership, especially in the context of TURKPOL’s broader goals?

A: My dream for the Entrepreneurship Club is to become an active platform contributing to TURKPOL’s goals and strengthening economic relations between Turkey and Poland. Through educational programs, networking events, Career Days, and Empower Path meetings, we aim to help all members realize their business aspirations. I, along with my team, am eager to make this dream a reality.

Impact of Volunteering on Personal and Professional Growth

Q: Reflecting on your time volunteering with TURKPOL, how has this experience impacted your personal development and your approach to entrepreneurship?

A: Volunteering at TURKPOL and leading the Entrepreneurship Club has significantly influenced my view on entrepreneurship and personal growth. The valuable connections made here have helped refine my ventures in Poland, offering support and shared knowledge that enhanced my plans. Being part of an organization provides access to supportive individuals, one of the key benefits of membership in an organization like TURKPOL.

Challenges and Rewards of Leading a Diverse Group

Q: Leading a club as diverse as the Entrepreneurship Club, especially within an organization like TURKPOL, presents unique challenges and rewards. Could you share some insights from your experience?

A: Leading the Entrepreneurship Club has been an invaluable experience in understanding the intricacies of leading a diverse group. The initial challenge is to take action and make plans for your intended projects. Balancing volunteer work with personal and professional life is demanding, but the time invested in the association teaches management of different perspectives, effective communication, and fostering a sense of belonging in a diverse setting. These lessons will be beneficial in my future endeavors and represent a significant reward of my role.

Advice for Future Volunteers and Entrepreneurs

Q: What advice would you give to individuals looking to make an impact, whether through entrepreneurship, volunteering, or both, within the Turkish-Polish community?

A: The Turkish-Polish community holds immense potential for impact through entrepreneurship and volunteering. Success in these fields starts with finding an area you are passionate about, driving motivation, and perseverance through challenges. Set clear goals and formulate a concrete plan. Hard work and dedication are essential for success. Believe in yourself, join TURKPOL, share your experiences, and strive for collaboration. This will fast-track your journey to achieving your goals.

The Role of Collaboration in Achieving TURKPOL’s Mission

Q: How do you view the role of collaboration, both within TURKPOL and with external partners, in achieving the organization’s mission and enhancing Turkish-Polish relations?

A: Collaboration plays a vital role in achieving TURKPOL’s mission and enhancing Turkish-Polish relations, both internally and with external partners. Within TURKPOL, collaboration between different departments and working groups fosters an effective and efficient work environment. Externally, partnerships with NGOs, government institutions, and the private sector extend TURKPOL’s reach and contribute to the development of Turkish-Polish relations. Collaboration brings diverse perspectives and experiences together, creating more creative and innovative solutions.

The Future of TURKPOL and the Entrepreneurship Club advice for Aspiring Leaders

Q: Looking forward, how do you envision the future of TURKPOL and the Entrepreneurship Club? Are there any upcoming projects or ambitions you’re particularly excited about?

A: I am very optimistic about the future of TURKPOL and the Entrepreneurship Club. I hope to see both organizations play a significant role in Turkish-Polish relations, expanding their impact and developing new projects and programs. I am particularly excited about fostering entrepreneurship among Turkish and Polish entrepreneurs, contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and supporting more entrepreneurs. Our plans include entrepreneurship competitions, boot camps, mentorship, and networking programs, all aimed at nurturing the Turkish-Polish startup scene.

The Role of Collaboration in Achieving TURKPOL’s Mission

Q: As we look to the future, what message do you have for the TURKPOL community and those considering joining the volunteer efforts to strengthen Turkish-Polish relations?

A: I am incredibly grateful to be a part of TURKPOL and extend my thanks to all our members, colleagues, and my team. I believe we can achieve great things together and will continue to work towards that. To everyone considering joining us: TURKPOL needs volunteers from all fields and levels. Whether it’s your language skills, technical expertise, or organizational abilities, there’s always a way to contribute. Volunteering allows you to meet and collaborate with people from different backgrounds. I invite everyone to join this valuable community; come meet us and see for yourself.

Leave a comment