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Bilgi Ekonomisi ve Yönetimi Dergisi

Yıl 2008 , Cilt 3 , Sayı 1

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Micro finance, female literacy, and self sustaining economic growth in turkey

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Among the middle income emerging countries Turkey has one of the lowest rates of female literacy and participation rates in business enterprises, according to the World Bank’s Human Development Report. In order for Turkey to become one of the leading economies in the world these anomalies must be corrected. This task cannot be left alone on the shoulders of the Government and/or government sponsored agencies, but should be vigorously undertaken by the socially conscious public, especially by the intelligentsia and the nation’s youth. This paper examines some of the programs that were undertaken to promote rural awakening, education, and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, China, India, the Philippines, and Thailand, over the last two and a half decades or so, that helped to promote sustainable economic development in these emerging nations, and to show that how such efforts can bear substantial fruits for Turkey. Of special interest is the process of organizing groups and maintaining group cohesion for accessing micro credit for enterprise development in the model of Grameen Bank (Bangladesh) or other micro finance organizations in the emerging East Asian countries. This paper contends that liberalization of trade and large inflows of foreign direct investment may be necessary for accelerating economic growth for a time, but not sufficient for ensuring sustainable development in the long run. Economic prosperity can only be assured when the majority of the population, both male and female, actively participate and benefit from it. For this to happen, a systematic plan of action for Turkey, in line with successful programs in the emerging and developed economies, is proposed in this study. For a better appreciation of the Turkish socio-economic position vis-à-vis the emerging economies and the developed ones, the study starts with a comparative analysis of some key macro statistics of the selected countries. The emerging economies, EE, are: China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam – all from Asia/Europe region, and the developed economies, DC, are: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, UK, and the United States of America, USA. References are also given from the micro-credit and female literacy experience of Bangladesh—a country yet to achieve an emerging nation status due to its frequent bouts with natural and man made disasters.

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