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Programs and Ecosystem
Esas Sosyal Ecosystem
Esas Sosyal Ecosystem
Esas Sosyal Ecosystem
Esas Sosyal Ecosystem

Esas Sosyal Ecosystem

Esas Sosyal, led by Emine Sabancı Kamışlı, deputy chair at Esas Holding, offers a range of programs launched as a solution model for unemployment among educated youth. To achieve its mission, Esas Sosyal mobilizes a strong ecosystem of more than 3,500 people, including private sector players and NGOs, corporate/in-kind supporters, business people, executives, HR professionals, interview consultants, mentors and young people around its programs.

What is offered?

  • Raising wide-scale awareness in the public to further spread the mission of equal opportunity in youth employment
  • Encouraging HR professionals to give more chances to new graduates

Social Impact: Esas Sosyal offers funding aimed at upskilling and developing the employees at NGOs. Esas Sosyal stands apart as a unique example of mobilizing the private sector to support youth employment.

Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program
Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program
First Chance Program
First Chance Program

Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program

The program offers 12-month full-time paid work experience in some of the leading NGOs in Türkiye for young people who have recently graduated from lesser known universities, which the employers may not tend to favor.

What is offered?

  • 12-month full-time paid job opportunity for new graduates
  • Supporting NGOs with qualified workforce
  • +250 hours of training with First Chance Academy
  • Interview practice
  • Personal development
  • Mentoring
  • Reference letter
  • Esas Sosyal Program Participation Certificate

Social Impact: To date, all participants who completed the Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program have been recruited within the first six months.

Hayırlı Sabancı English Chance Program
Hayırlı Sabancı English Chance Program
English Chance Program
English Chance Program

Hayırlı Sabancı English Chance Program

This program offers English language education to increase the employment chances of the students at lesser-known state universities. English Chance, designed as an innovative social investment program, is delivered by Berlitz Language Schools.

What is offered?

  • 144 hours of English language education
  • Language certificate by Berlitz
  • Career development
  • Esas Sosyal Program Participation Certificate

Social Impact: More than 50% of the participants who complete the Hayırlı Sabancı English Chance Program are offered internship, employment and study abroad opportunities.

Alumni Program
Alumni Program
Alumni Program
Alumni Program

Alumni Program

The objective of this program is to strengthen the alumni ecosystem of Esas Sosyal.

What is offered?

  • Working as advisor to the Alumni Committee
  • Professional development and networking opportunities
  • Alumni support toward the equal opportunity goals

Social Impact: The Alumni Program contributes to spreading the mission of offering equal opportunity in youth employment.

4 Quality Education
Esas Sosyal aims to provide equal opportunity by offering inclusive and quality education for young people during their transition from school to professional life.
5 Gender Equality
Esas Sosyal programs empower young women to assist in their transition from school to professional life. Accordingly, 75% of the program participants are young women.
8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
Esas Sosyal advocates diversity, equality and inclusion in youth employment.
10 Reduced inequalities
Esas Sosyal programs are unique examples of mobilizing the private sector to support youth employment.
17 Partnerships for the goals
Esas Sosyal mobilizes various ecosystem players to raise awareness and creates meaningful engagement.
UNDP Special Prize at the 20th Golden Compass Awards
1 Golden
Excellence Award in Leader Communication at the 4th PRIDA Communication Awards
Silver Stevie in Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
1 Platin
Diversity and Inclusion Award at the 8th Sustainable Business Awards
Gold Globee in Youth Employment Strategy category at the 13th Globee Awards for Business
1 Gold
Silver Globee in Diversity & Inclusion category at the 13th Globee Awards for Business
Board of Founders
Esas Sosyal Board of Trustee Member
Vice Chairperson Esas Holding

Emine Sabancı Kamışlı is a co-founder of Esas and has been serving as Vice Chairperson since 2000. She also leads Esas Social which was established to facilitate sustainable social investment.

Prior to co-founding Esas, Emine served as an executive board member of Aksigorta, Akhayat and Sabancı Holding. Before that, she was the director of commerce at Aksigorta. She started her career at Willis Corroon, a reassurance brokerage company in London.

Emine Sabancı Kamışlı earned her B.S. degree in Economics of Industry and Commerce from the London School of Economics.

Chairperson Esas Holding

Ali Sabancı is Member of the Board of Pegasus Airlines and vice chairperson of Mars Sportif which are part of the Esas Private Equity portfolio. He also serves on the board of Esas Properties.

Ali is one of the co-founders of Esas Social, which was established to facilitate sustainable social investment. He focuses on increasing awareness of entrepreneurship in Turkey. As the president of the Young Entrepreneurs Board in the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), he has led successful projects including Angel Investing Legislation, Global Entrepreneurship Congress, G3 Forum, Global Entrepreneurship Week and TIM Innovation Week - Born Global. He is also an angel investor in more than 25 start-up companies.

Ali is a member of the Turkish American Business Association and the Turkish Family Business Association. In 2018 he was awarded the Légion d'Honneur by the French government for his contributions to economic relations between Turkey and France.

Ali Sabancı earned his M.B.A. degree with a major in International Finance from Columbia Business School and B.A. degree in Politics and Economics from Tufts University.

Member of the Board Esas Holding

Kazım Köseoğlu is the Managing Partner of Esas Real Estate and serves on its investment committee. Also a board member at Esas Holding.

He currently chairs UK network group of Tüsiad (Turkish Industry & Business Association).

Previously, Kazım worked as an investment analyst at F&C REIT Asset Management.

Kazım Köseoğlu earned his M.S. degree in International Finance and Banking from Cass Business School and B.S. degree in Business Economics from Brown University.

Member of the Board Esas Holding

Can Köseoğlu is a member of the Investment Committee of Esas Ventures. Can started his career at Esas Holding’s Food Group, working for various portfolio companies including Gıdaser, Bonservis and Esaslı Group. Can also founded Döner Stop, a fast food chain with eight branches across 4 cities in Turkey and exited the business to TAB Food Investments in 2018.

Can Köseoğlu received a B.A. degree in Economics from Tufts University.

Member of the Board & CEO Esas Holding

Çağatay Özdoğru oversees all of Esas’ business segments including real estate, private equity, venture capital and wealth management, and serves on their investment committees. He is a board member of Esas Properties and various private equity portfolio companies including Pegasus Airlines, Mars Athletic, Korozo and Ayakkabı Dünyası.

Çağatay joined Esas Holding in 2005 as an executive board member. He played a major role in establishing Esas Private Equity where he served as CEO since 2010, until transitioning to his current role in 2019. He led a number of Esas’ private equity investments and exits of various portfolio companies including UN Ro-Ro, Mars Cinema Group and Peyman.

Previously, Çağatay was the president of IT & Telecommunications Investments at Sabancı Holding. Prior to that, he held various positions at France Telecom Group, where he last served as the executive vice president of the REEMEA region. He was also a member of the Global Operating Committee.

In 2020, Çağatay was appointed as the chairman of Turkey - France Business Council at DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Council) and Independent Board Member of Fenerbahçe Football A.S in 2021. Çağatay is also a member of the Board of Directors at Tüsiad, Turkish Business & Industry Association as of April 2022. Previously, he served as the chairman of Turkey - Sweden Business Council and Turkey - Croatia Business Council, and board member of TBV (Turkey IT Foundation) and TUBISAD (Turkey IT Industry Association).

Çağatay Özdoğru earned his M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University, where he received the Hall of Fame Award for Alumni in 2016, and B.S. degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from Istanbul Technical University.


Özlem Akgün Eşmeler, Director of Esas Sosyal, is responsible for developing Esas Sosyal’s programs and managing the corporate communications and corporate affairs processes.

Özlem, who brings 15 years of experience in human resources and training & development, has previously worked at Yapı Kredi Bank and its subsidiaries (2010-2019) in strategic human resources management, training & development, and talent management and also served the training & development projects of Koç Holding and Unicredit. Her prior experiences include various roles in human resources at Akbank and Garanti Bank.

Özlem holds two bachelor degrees; one in public administration from the Faculty of Political Sciences and the other in labor economics and industrial relations from the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University.

Senior Advisor

Senior advisor Filiz Bikmen has supported Esas Sosyal since its establishment in 2014, including the design process of the First Chance Program, and served as the founding director (2015-2020). Filiz is also a senior advisor to the EMpower Foundation, social investment consultant for various international organizations, and a member of the editorial committee of Alliance Magazine. Previously, she served in the senior management of Sabancı Foundation and the Third Sector Foundation of Türkiye, board member at the European Foundation Centre, and president of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL). Prior to stepping into the social investment sector, she worked as a management consultant at global companies, including UBS, Andersen Consulting and Citibank. Filiz has received fellowship for the Richard von Weizscaker Fellowship program of Robert Bosch Foundation and Emerging Leaders Fellowship of the Graduate Center. To date, she has published more than 30 papers. Her recent papers include: Philanthropy Networks: Creating Value, Voice and Collective Impact (WINGS, 2020) and ‘More than the Sum of its Parts: Insights on the Future of European Philanthropy and Social Investment Infrastructure’ (Wider Sense, 2019). Filiz holds a master’s degree in Social and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University.

Programs Manager

Ece Akyel, programs manager at Esas Sosyal since August 2021, entered the field of civil society working as a volunteer trainee at TEGV for nearly four years. She started her professional career in civil society and humanitarian aid. After working as a social interviewer for a year at the Izmir Sustainable Living Center, supported by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operation, she served as an event manager tasked with supporting young people to create and implement their social projects as part of the “Together We are Stronger” project supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation. She also worked for the My Future Youth Center, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, helping young people have access to sustainable employment that fit their skills and interests. Ece holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Dokuz Eylül University (2015) and a master’s degree in sociology from Maltepe University with a thesis on white-collar employees.

Corporate Communications Senior Specialist

Yiğit Gürbüz, corporate communications specialist at Esas Sosyal since October 2020, started his career as a corporate communications officer at AÇEV after completing the Şevket Sabancı First Chance Program of Esas Sosyal. He left AÇEV two years later and transferred to the private sector. He most recently worked at Coşkunöz Holding as a corporate communications specialist serving the corporation and its subsidiaries. Yiğit, who holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and publicity from Akdeniz University, prepared many public relations and advertising projects during his university education and participated in various communication competitions with these projects, winning three awards in these events.

Program Development Specialist

Gülşen Hazal Çatalbaş, program development specialist at Esas Sosyal since September 2022, holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University (2015) where she also completed the pedagogical formation program for teaching. Starting during her university education, she worked at various museums and art galleries and then went on to serve as the education officer at ÇEKÜL Foundation’s Knowledge Tree Training Unit where she was responsible for creating and running the training programs on the protection of natural and cultural heritage. She earned her master’s degree in preserving the foundation systems and structures from the department of cultural heritage conservation at Kadir Has University (2020).

Program Development Specialist

Betül Boran, program development specialist at Esas Sosyal since March 2023, graduated from Koç University with a double major in psychology and sociology in 2018. She started her professional career as a program assistant at Koç University’s English Summer School for Children and went on to work as an English language skills teacher at Private Efdal Schools. Betül volunteered in civil society projects, working for the psychosocial development of children and youth starting from her university years and later served as a project specialist at Bir İZ, an association that focuses on community mental health, and then as a content development specialist.

Corporate Relations Supervisor

Serkan Çalışır graduated from Boğaziçi University's Department of Guidance and Psychological Counseling in 2015, followed by completing a master's program in Human Rights Law at Bilgi University. He was one of the Co-Founders of SOIL Innovation Lab between 2017-2019. Then, he worked as an "Expert" and "Coordinator" in various projects such as "TANAP - The Road to Education", "Sabancı Foundation - Together in School, Together in Life", "Google - Game and Application Academy", "U.S. Embassy - ClimateXTurkey", and "Boeing - Airpreneurs" at Tohum Autism Foundation, Turkish Education Foundation, and Entrepreneurship Foundation between 2018-2022. After working as Innovation and Ecosystem Manager at Yapı Kredi, he began his role as Corporate Relations Supervisor at Esas Sosyal in June 2023.