Innovation Prize from the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund for Asiye Gedik and Nejla Bekdur
Asiye Gedik and Nejla Bekdur have been awarded the first Innovation Prize by the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund. The co-founders of the Turkish-Dutch Biruni student association were presented with the prize on 13 November. The Biruni student association brings students into contact with the city of Leiden and with Leiden entrepreneurs.
Gedik and Bekdur set up the Turkish-Dutch student association Biruni in 2009, with a view to encouraging students to play an active role in the city. Contact with entrepreneurs is one aspect of this aim. Ex-alderman and outgoing chairman of the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund Aad van Bochove presented the Innovation Prize in Café De Stal and praised the initiative of the Biruni student association as 'innovative'.
The students were both pleased and proud. 'We have had to give up a lot of our free time,'commented Nejla Bekdur. 'This prize is a real encouragement.' With the 2,500 euro prize money the students will have a book published for students and entrepreneurs.
The Consul-General for Turkey Togan Oral and the Vice-Rector Magnificus of Leiden University Simone Buitendijk were also present at the presentation of the prize. Consul-General Oral said he was impressed by the enthusiasm of the Turkish-Dutch students to play a part in the society of their home country, while at the same time maintaining close relations with their native country. 'Young Turkish people need role models, and these young female students are certainly a good role model,' commented the Consul-General.
This prize is also regarded as significant in Turkey, as was demonstrated by the number of Turkish journalists present.
'The presentation of the Leiden Innovation Prize is a wonderful experience for us. We want to thank everyone for such a great event, in particular Aart van Bochove and the Leiden Entrepreneur Fund for awarding the prize. We would also like to thank Mr Togan Oral, Consul General of Turkey, and Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Rector of Leiden University, for always having supported us. We would like to thank Mr Durmus Dogan (Turkish Entrepreneurs Association Rijnland), Kaya Kocak (Rabobank Nederland), Ali Bekdur (HOTIAD) for otheir support since the foundatin of Biruni.'
(Source: facebook SV Biruni)
- Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
- Middle Eastern Studies
(16 november 2012/ MvG, CH)