S. Binici, Olivita, Woman Entrepreneur

SBinici_2012Tereza Nemessayni introduced me to Sahver because she thought her story would be a good one to hear.  She was absolutely right.  Sahver's story goes under the title that women entrepreneurs are popping up all over the globe.  What I loved about Sahvers journey is that she is returning to her homeland to build a business, Olivita.…bringing an economic movement home. 

Sahver grew up in Turkey.  She got her college degree in Turkey where she majored in physics and math so she could become a teacher of those topics.   She became really interested in computers and decided to continue her education elsewhere.  Sahver made her way to Northeastern University in Boston where she got a masters in information systems.  Northeastern has a big co-op program which means that some of the education is working with companies in the area.  I really like that.  My college did the same thing.  At my college first semester senior year was a semester that you worked.  Many kids came back and realized that they had no interest in that type of work where others came back psyched to graduate and begin working again.  Sahver did internships with Nortel and IBM.  Real hands on experience.

After graduating Sahver went to work for IBM for four years.  She worked with the Japanese team on software globalization.  During that time she became more curious about other parts of the business particularly marketing.  She decided to apply to go to graduate school so she could educate herself around marketing strategies.  She got in to MIT, Harvard and London School of Economics.  She went with MIT because she wanted to work internationally and look at the world from a global perspective.

At MIT she was able to work on a variety of international projects.  She worked with a vineyard in New Zealand on how their red wines would enter the global marketplace.  She also worked in Germany for Siemens Board of Directors doing her Sloan MBA internship. During her time at MIT she also took a course on India and visited India. MIT's global connections enable the students to get involved and look at the world from an interesting birds eye view.  Post MIT Sahver she took a job with Deloit and Touche focusing on global mergers and acquisitions. 

Once she graduated and started going on interviews and she would talk about her desire to be an entrepreneur. It stuck and after Deloit and Touch instead of taking another job she returned to Turkey.  She wanted to do something around olive oil.  Her family comes from the island of Crete where they own olives.  Sahver continued to consult and do some research to make sure there was a marketplace for what she wanted to create.  Her mission was to create a natural skin care company around olive oil.  Pure olive oil products.  She sold the product to a company before she jumped ship from consulting. Smart move.

Sahver sources the olives from families in Turkey just like the wine business does in Napa.  By doing this she is supporting the local farmers.  She is making soaps, liquid soaps and body gels that are 100% olive oil no coconut or palm oil, strictly 100% natural.  There is no doubt that is a huge growth area.  People want to know what is in their products.

I really like this part of her business too which is helping young women in Turkey.  She finds single young mothers in their 20's who are attending school.  They are ambitious but life didn't take the best turn.  She believes that women are the back bone of every nation and you can't develop a nation without women.  She hires these young women and tries to be a mentor to them.  She has had several mentors that have changed the course of her life and she wants to do the same for the women she hires. 

Sahvers parents and family are part of the operation.  They own a small vineyard and she sources their olives too.  She has a desire to give back to Turkey and her family because of the opportunities that she was afforded.  She came to the US to go to school, went on to MIT for a graduate degree while at the same time she was a teaching assistant at Harvard.  She worked at IBM where she worte java code. 

Sahver has a dual citizenship.  She wants to grow the brand here in the US which will in turn feed the economy in Turkey.  You can find the products here at the Boston Olive Oil Company on Newbury street. She just signed a deal with two companies to distribute the products through out the US.  Just for an added bonus Sahver is working on a baby line.  It is a start and I can tell you that the products are amazing.