Ussal Şahbaz

Ussal Sahbaz is an adviser to the executive director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). In this capacity, among other things, he coordinates the Turkey office of the Global Entrepreneurship Program. Ussal also advises the recently established TOBB Venture Capital Sectoral Assembly (TOBB Girisim Sermayesi Sektor Meclisi), an industry council to foster policy dialogue on private equity, venture capital and angel investing.

Ussal Sahbaz graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s degree in public administration and international development. His thesis on public policies to foster venture capital in Turkey got honorable mention award. He worked as a consultant to the World Bank in Washington D.C. He also worked as a competition economist at Turkish Competition Authority. A native of Ankara, Ussal holds a BS degree from the Middle East Technical University and an MA from Bilkent University, both in economics.


Nihan Sırıklıoğlu
Program Coordinator

Nihan has been working at TEPAV since 2009 and is responsible for business development activities, in addition to assisting research and implementation projects. She also has her own entrepreneurship initiatives and writes columns in TR’de Marka Magazine.

In 2007 Nihan graduated from Hacettepe University Wood Processing Industrial Engineering department. Between 2007 and 2009 she worked in private company active in foreign trade. Nihan obtained her MBA degree from TOBB University of Economics and Technology in 2011. 


Damla Özdemir
Research Associate

Damla Özdemir got her undergraduate degree in Economics from the Middle East Technical University in 2009. Doing an internship at the UNDP in summer 2009, she completed her studies in the "Political Economy of Late Development" MsC programme in London School of Economics. Her dissertation on the rise of the SME's and a new middle class in Turkey, received High Merit.

Özdemir joined TEPAV in October 2010, and continues her studies on entrepreneurship, innovation, the development of the private sector, private equity funds and political economy.


Selin Kıral
Research Associate

Selin Kıral joined TEPAV in August 2012 and assisted various projects, in particular the ones about entrepreneurship. She is experienced in the coordination and organization of events such as GEP - Entrepreneurship Delegation and TEPAV Constitution Platform. In addition Selin assists PR activities as well as data collection and analysis of the projects implemented in TEPAV.

Selin Kıral holds a B.S. degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Middle East Technical University (METU). In METU she was a member of Entrepreneurship Club and participated seminars on entrepreneurship. Selin worked as an intern in the foreign trade department of Petkim Petro-chemistry Holding Inc. and in the Research Department of TODAIE. 

İpek Beril Benli
Research Associate

İpek Beril Benli holds a BSc degree in Economics and an MA degree in Law & Economics from Bilkent University.Benli worked as a financial accountant intern in a public accountant office(October-December 2010) and as marketing ambassador of YKM in Bilkent University (February-June 2009).

İpek Beril Benli has been working at TEPAV since March 2012 and continuing her studies on entrepreneurship, global business bridges and development of the private sector.

Entrepreneurship Delegation To Turkey  May 29th - June 2nd Istanbul - Ankara

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