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Aviator Girls Step into Entrepreneurship

Issue 14 - 2022
Aviator Girls  Step into Entrepreneurship

Prof. Dr. Ferhan Kuyucak Şengür 

Doç. Dr. Nazire Burçin Hamutoğlu 

Arş. Gör. Hilal Tuğçe Lapçin 

Eskişehir Teknik Üniversitesi

"Aviator Girls Take a Step into Entrepreneurship", entitled to receive grant support within the scope of the TÜBİTAK 4004 Education in Nature and Science Camps/Schools Support Programme, was hosted by Eskisehir Technical University between 10th-13th October 2022. In the project team, Prof. Dr Ferhan Kuyucak Şengür, Head of the Aviation Management Department of the Faculty of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Director of Research and Application at Women in Science and Technology in Eskişehir Technical University (ESTU) acted as the coordinator, Assoc. Prof. Dr Nazire Burçin Hamutoğlu from ESTU Learning, Teaching and Development Unit and Department of Aviation Management Research Asst. Hilal Tuğçe Lapçın took part as a researcher. 

In the aviation sector, the number of women in professions such as pilot, technician, and manager is considered more "man's job". Although there is an upward trend in the number of women in aviation, this increase is quite limited. In the USA, in 1960, 1% of pilots or technicians were women. This number only increased to 4.3% for pilots and 2.17% for technicians In 2010. Besides, at management levels, the 'glass ceiling effect' effectively promotes women, and women are rarely ever encountered. According to International Air Transport Association-IATA, less than 5% of global airline chief executives (CEOs) are women. 

However, women can play a significant role in the larger entrepreneurship phenomenon and economic development. The field of women's entrepreneurship has come a long way since its emergence in the late 1970s. In 1976, Schwartz published the first academic paper on female entrepreneurship in the Journal of Contemporary Business. In the 1990s, as the number of women business owners grew, research studies on women entrepreneurs also grew. Initial research focused on listing similarities and dissimilarities between male and female business owners. Differences were reported on educational background, occupation, motivation and business creation and growth methods. Therefore, supporting women's entrepreneurship and diminishing dissimilarities is very important. 

The "TÜBİTAK 4004 Aviator Girls Take a Step into Entrepreneurship Project" aimed at helping aviator girls develop a positive attitude towards practice by becoming aware of their competencies in the field of entrepreneurship. The project aims to enable the target audience to realize the interdisciplinary relations in the field of entrepreneurship with the practice-oriented activities they carried out in Eskisehir. With the planned trips, hands-on training and games, the students will be able to live and have fun at the same time;

Gaining and developing a sense of curiosity about science and entrepreneurship, 

Realizing the relationships between social sciences and natural sciences, 

Gaining awareness about the entrepreneurship ecosystem, raising awareness, 

Creative solutions for putting a business idea into practice and preparing a business plan. 

This project's starting point is to reveal female students' entrepreneurial potential. It is crucial to raise awareness among female students about how they can develop a business idea by meeting a social need and how they can turn it into innovation. Especially since the development of these skills at an early age is supported by research that give more effective results, female students studying at the high school level were preferred as the target audience. 

The project participants study at "Sabiha Gökçen Vocational and Technical Anatolian High School" in Eskisehir. The school is an educational institution authorized as a school recognized by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Mainly it was aimed at female students from the regionally disadvantaged section. 

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Başar, Prof. Dr. Abidin Kılıç, Associate Prof. Rüstem Barış Yeşilay, Assoc. Prof. Dr Zeliha Tekin, Dr Belgin Bal İncebacak, Research Asst. Aslı Sarışan Tungaç, Teacher Demet Eker, Teacher İlker Atasever and Teacher Ebru Söğüt provided trainer support for the project. Research Asst. Ferhat İnce, Serhat Etgin, Teacher Gülay Çelik and Teacher Nurdan Rukiye Aydın served as guides.

In the four-day event, STEM-based interdisciplinary entrepreneurship training was given. Training such as "Breaking the Ice", "Entrepreneurship and Innovation", "How did I set up my business?", "Entrepreneurship with games I-II", "Financial literacy", "My Business Model", "Digital entrepreneurship", "Social entrepreneurship"," 3D character design and" "Green world thinking and film workshop". The certificate ceremony with dinner was held on the evening of October 13th, sponsored by Pegasus Airlines and MNG Airlines. 

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