Introducing Turkish startups: Givin

As a 3 years old social startup, Givin is planning to expand to the Middle East to take raise awareness for NGOs

Givin is a social startup that sells the products donated by brands, celebrities and users for social good. Having founded by Başak Sucuka in 2017, Givin managed to raise TL 500.000 (USD 68.500) of donations in the very first year. On the other hand Givin decided to go brick and mortar and owns three shops, namely in Akmerkez (İstanbul), Akasya (İstanbul) malls and Yalıkavak Marina (Bodrum-Muğla). Başak Sucuka believes Turkish startup ecosystem doesn’t support women to be outliers/entrepreneurs. I spoke to Sucuka and here’s what she told me.

What is Givin? What are you doing exactly?

Givin is a fundraising platform that combines shopping and doing good. Brands, celebrities and users donates products and these products are sold in exchange for donations for NGOs on Givin’s platforms. We have 3 physical stores in Akmerkez, Akasya shopping malls and Yalikavak Marina and also have digital stores on Trendyol and Dolap marketplaces. Users can buy value for money products on these platforms and help children and education with the money they pay. And also, give away their unused items to be sold in exchange for donations for their preferred charity. 

What’s Givin’s business model?

Givin gets membership fee and service fee from NGOs as it helps NGOs fundraise with a new method and raise awareness for their causes. 

Since the launch of Givin, you raised one round of investment. Are you planning future investments?

We had a seed investment which we refunded after 6 months. It hasn’t been so easy to explain for-profit social business model to investors yet but we haven’t given up. 

Are the similar starups to Givin abroad? Are you planning to expand to different countries?

Oxfam shops and eBay for charity, Omaze and Charity Stars are the similar platforms abroad. We plan to expand to Middle East. Givin shop concept is applicable and expandable to any shopping mall and country around the world. 

Givin’s store in Yalıkavak Marina (Bodrum-Muğla)

As a female entrepreneur, did you have any difficulties in the Turkish startup ecosystem?

Sometimes. Similar to most of the countries in the world, Turkish startup ecosystem or Turkish culture doesn’t support women to be outliers/entrepreneurs. While building something new, as a female founder, you may need to fight and beat the cultural norms at the same time. 

How did COVID-19 affect your business?

We closed our physical shops for 2.5 months but we were agile enough to switch totally to digital.  I believe that with COVID-19  we are reevaluating our consumption habits and the value of Givin’s shopping proposition of environment friendly shopping with social good aspect will be appreciated by much more users. 

That’s all I want to know. If you have anything extra, please add.

Readers can follow Givin on instagram and and visit our stores at Akmerkez lower level and Akasya first floor. 

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