The groundwork of EYDK, which is designed to serve as a top-tier board for discerning the requirements and strategies related to impact investment, and for shaping policy recommendations in Türkiye, was initiated in April 2019. This decision was made in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Türkiye office to prepare a report on Türkiye’s potential for impact investment. The “Impact Investment Ecosystem in Türkiye,” Report, which maps stakeholders with the potential for impact investment and provides the initial analysis of the potential ecosystem, was prepared by the United Nations Development Programme Private Sector Centre for Inclusive Policies and Sustainable Development (UNDP ICPSD) in November 2019. The report was published with the support of the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Investment Office. As the first publication in our country on impact investment, this report introduces impact investment as a “new business model” and serves as a crucial starting point for developing our capacity in this field, directing capital in the context of the impact economy, and attracting external investments.

The idea of establishing a national advisory board with the mission of increasing awareness and capacity in impact investment in Türkiye, advocating the cause on a national scale, and acting as a gateway through which Türkiye engages with the international community on impact investment, has begun to mature. Meanwhile, in April 2020, the Impact Investment Platform (Etkiyap) was established with the aim of raising awareness about impact investment in Türkiye and fostering the development of an ecosystem. Since its inception, Etkiyap has been actively producing content on impact investment and has played a catalytic role in bringing together national and international stakeholders to take steps in the field of impact investment. The establishment of the Impact Investment Advisory Board (EYDK) followed through the collaboration between the Presidency of the Republic of Türkiye Investment Office, Etkiyap, Türkiye Development and Investment Bank (TKYB), UNDP IICPSD, and UNDP Türkiye. In the inaugural meeting of the Task Force in November 2020, it was decided that Etkiyap would coordinate the establishment process of EYDK, taking into account the application criteria of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSG), headquartered in London. Conversations facilitated by Etkiyap with the GSG team and GSG member countries starting from its establishment in 2020, evolved into a more structured framework.

Following the presentation of the strategy document, legal status, operational and communication plan, and budget required for EYDK’s establishment by EYDK and acceptance by Task Force in February 2021, the initiation of compiling a shortlist of invited institutions for participation in the advisory board ensued. In March 2021, following stakeholder meetings coordinated by Etkiyap, the list of candidate institutions for EYDK was finalised, and on April 28, 2021, with the consensus of all institutions, EYDK was officially established.

Upon its formal establishment, EYDK promptly and efficiently initiated its operations, fostering close collaboration with all stakeholders in the ecosystem. It compiled inclusive and data-driven reports, considering the strategic priorities of the country over the initial two-year period. Significant progress was made in policy development, market expansion, improving communication by creating a common language, and advancing research areas. In March 2022, after completing a thorough due diligence process, EYDK joined the Global Steering Group for Impact Investing (GSG) community, solidifying its position as an active participant in the global impact investment ecosystem. As part of global impact investment networks, EYDK assumed a crucial role as a bridge, bringing global developments to Türkiye while sharing good practices with international stakeholders, and contributing to the mobilisation of international capital to Türkiye.

In 2023, EYDK proudly hosted the GSG Leadership Summit in Istanbul, playing a significant role of representing Türkiye in the global impact investment ecosystem. This opportunity allowed EYDK to emphasise Türkiye’s potential to be a catalytic entry point for impact investments into the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia markets.

Within a remarkably short period of two years, EYDK witnessed the initial steps of Türkiye’s transition to an “impact-focused” economy and took pride in achieving key milestones during this process. As of 2023, the activation of impact funds, the issuance of the first social impact bond, and the launch of impact-oriented fund of funds signify a bright future for impact investment in Türkiye.

Having swiftly completed its incubation period, EYDK continues its journey by strengthening its institutional structure under the legal status of the “EYDK Association” as of November 2023. Since its inception, EYDK has aimed to create an enabling environment to facilitate the growth of impact investment and establish an ecosystem promoting sustainable development in Türkiye. By uniting stakeholders within the ecosystem, EYDK aims to foster an innovative, inclusive, and impact-focused economy while generating measurable social and environmental impact. Through collaboration with national and international partners, EYDK supports Türkiye in showcasing its potential, acting as a gateway for the country to enter the regional market for impact investment, bridging the gap between the Global East and West.

The mission and vision of EYDK mark a promising future for impact investment in Türkiye, striving to strengthen efforts to make impact investment a mainstream, sustainable, and inclusive choice.