AEK Printing is a WEConnect International Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) based in Istanbul, Turkey. CEO and Founder Ayşe Kösebay founded the company in 2013 and was recently awarded new business with WEConnect International Corporate Member Accenture.
Read the full interview with AEK Printing CEO & Founder Ayşe Kösebay below:
What inspired you to start your business?
In Turkey, the majority of the companies in the printing sector are run by men. It was my goal and vision to become a role model for women in this sector.
How did you secure new business with Accenture?
After meeting with the WEConnect International team at an event in Turkey, I was profoundly impressed with the mission of the organization and immediately applied for certification. Shortly after I joined the women-owned network in 2018, WEConnect International connected my business to Accenture. After sending the initial proposal, my team successfully proposed a cost-saving solution to reduce Accenture’s printing processes. After winning this competitive bid, AEK Printing officially signed a one-year contract in September of 2018.
“Thanks to WEConnect International we were able to include AEK in our consideration for contracting a new vendor for printing services,” says Peter Zerp, Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Manager at Accenture. “We were very impressed with how AEK was able to submit cost-competitive solutions that were very much tailored to Accenture’s needs and gave us great confidence in having AEK as a supplier to Accenture in Turkey.”
Looking ahead towards the next year of growth for AEK Printing, I have no doubt that our company will gain new business and expertise with the support of WEConnect International.
What advice do you have for young female entrepreneurs?
Love your job! Trust in your capabilities. Embrace the traits that make women such good business leaders—multitasking, communication, and problem-solving. And above all else, never stop improving and growing!
What was one failure or setback you’ve experienced and what did you learn from it?
While I did study economics before starting my own business, I was not aware of the importance of cash flow management and initially struggled with that. I learned that, as an entrepreneur, the first step is to manage your cash flow and build A-B-C action plans for the future.
What do you find most valuable about your WEConnect International Certification?
I highly appreciate training programs, as well as WEConnect International’s capacity-building and professional development efforts. I also value the meaningful networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs.