Ayshé Karslı Represents Canada in G20 YEA
A Young Turkish Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Is Among The 22 Delegates
Humeyra A. (Ayshé) Karslı represents Canada in G20 YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Alliance) Summit 2015
I always loved to meet entrepreneurs. Their creativity, passion and courage impress me and I take real pleasure in talking with them about their journey, new projects and success stories. One day as I was craving for a motivating discussion, I received a newsletter in my mailbox announcing the names of 22 young entrepreneurs who will represent Canada at the G20 YEA Summit in Istanbul. And life wonders will never cease! I went on to check the list of companies and although all were interesting, one caught my attention: Atlantic Trade Bridge, a company that facilitates business between North America and Middle East. The founder’s is a Turkish Canadian woman: Humeyra Ayshé Karsli. I was really curious about her journey. She answered my call and we met at Art Café in Fairmont. So we met at Arts Café in Mile-End. Ayshé is the only Turkish Canadian entrepreneur chosen to delegate Canada in G20 YEA. She will represent Canada on the international stage this September and meet over 600 entrepreneurs from around the world. She is a brilliant, creative, passionate, diligent and beautiful young woman and she is really excited to hold this new responsibility, so am I!
D: Perhaps you can start by telling us about your career. When and why you decided to become an entrepreneur?
A: Being an entrepreneur is an on-going journey which I don’t think you really become in one day; you are born that way. Some life events push you in that entrepreneurial direction and that is the path I have chosen. I moved to Montreal 10 years ago when I graduated from the French high school Saint Joseph in Istanbul. I studied international relations at the University of Montréal where I had a lot of time to observe trends that are shaping the world and international institutions. I believed that much more could be and should be done to bring countries and economies together. After graduation, my entrepreneurial ambitions were put on hold when I joined Cirque de Soleil as the special events manager, a position that I held for 4 years before Moving to Cavalia to develop U.S markets. At the same time, I was involved with Young Board of Commerce in Montréal (La Jeune Chambre de Commerce de Montréal) as the director of entrepreneurship where I have worked with a lot of Canadian start-ups who were really interested in Turkish market but in terms of going international they didn’t know where to begin. I realized that a lot of companies needed guidance and so it was the perfect timing for me to bring that solution.
D: Your motto: “I have no idols; I admire hard work, dedication and competition“. Why don’t you have idols and are you against having idols?
A: I am not against it, you can be inspired by a lot of people who didn’t make it to fame but above all, I think what is more essential is how hard you follow your passion and how determined you are. If you are ready to give what it takes, it is worth being celebrated and recognized.
D: What is entrepreneurship for you?
A: That is a really good question. Entrepreneurship is being ready to face a lot of challenges at the same time. It can be both exciting and scary. When you are entrepreneur, you have a unique power in your hands, the power to create a vision, the willingness to bring it to life and the passion you put behind. When you are an employee, you don’t have that freedom nor power.
D: Can everybody be an entrepreneur?
A: It takes a lot of inner courage, dedication and work to become an entrepreneur and I don’t think everyone is ready to do that. A lot of people have great ideas but they don’t take the extra step to turn them into action.
When I became Director at the Young Board of Commerce of Montreal on the Entrepreneurship Committee, I saw the opportunity and jumped on it. You have to be driven to do it.
D: You have a company now: Atlantic Trade Bridge. What is your mission and how it works?
A: Atlantic Trade Bridge is a business facilitator between North America, Turkey and Middle East. We help companies fulfill their strategic goals and achieve international expansion through an integrated market understanding, development strategy, and product positioning, reaching suppliers, acquiring partners and clients, and providing communication solutions to the language and cultural barriers that exist.
D: What is G20?
A: G20 or Group of 20 Summit is an annual international platform where 20 leading countries gather to find solutions to global economy challenges. They share best practices in and propose solutions to most burning economic and social issues. This year, we will be more than six hundred entrepreneurs from Brazil, Japan, France, and United States of America… We’ll have a very intensive three days of brainstorming and conferences. At the end, the participant countries will deliver an action plan that will be presented to head of states.
I am very happy to be among the chosen young entrepreneurs. We are 22 to go to Istanbul from Canada and 10 from Québec and 4 of them are women, so I am very proud of that. There is a real entrepreneurial boom in Quebec and it is very encouraging.
D: What are you suggesting to other younger entrepreneurs?
A: A lot of things! For those who are not an entrepreneur yet, I would say: go for it! It is not easy, very challenging especially financially… On the other hand, if you really think that you have an idea, a product or a service that you would make the difference, every day you are spending not taking action, it is a missing opportunity. You should find the inner courage to realize it. When we talk about the youth unemployment, it is important that more and more people realize it is an economical solution.
D: Thank you very much Ayshé. I really enjoyed your story and your journey. I feel lucky to meet you. Good luck in G20 YEA Summit this September and later on with your company.
A: Thank you and likewise, Duygu.
Duygu Özmekik / Bizim Anadolu / August 2015