PepsiCo Europe Helps Empower Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets

Geneva, Switzerland – September 2011 – PepsiCo announces the second phase of its women entrepreneur programme, in partnership with the Trestle Group Foundation, to provide business support to high-potential women entrepreneurs in emerging economies.

Nur Begen, the owner of OrganicEra, a Turkish company producing high quality cotton goods and Deniz Alkan, Finance Director of Beverages for PepsiCo Turkey, have been selected as the second round of executives and female entrepreneurs to participate in the programme which provides a unique blend of executive coaching, collaborative team support, skill building, as well as access to networks and resources.

“One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is having so few people around you who approve of what you are doing and believe that you can succeed,” says Nur Begen, OrganicEra.  “The first thought that came into my mind when I learned that I would participate in the Trestle and PepsiCo Partnership Program was that I could finally make people really ‘believe’ in me and what I have tried to build for the last five years,” she continued.  “The invaluable executive support from PepsiCo is encouraging me so much, and I feel that by the time our partnership has concluded OrganicEra will be ready to grow in a more sustainable way.”

The initiative is sponsored by the PepsiCo Europe Diversity & Inclusion Council and is based on the Trestle Group Foundation’s Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program which identifies a qualified woman entrepreneur in an emerging economy and partners her with a specially selected female PepsiCo executive who will help her build the skills, strategies, practices and networks needed to develop her business. By extension, the partnership also aims to support economic opportunities within the entrepreneur’s wider community by allowing her to fulfill her potential and secure long-term business success.

“At PepsiCo, we are committed to promoting diversity, attracting the world’s best talent and providing challenging opportunities for our women executives to develop” says Maria Sharpe, Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Chief Personnel Officer PepsiCo Europe. “The next stage in our partnership with the Trestle Group Foundation is an exciting milestone for us which not only brings to life one of PepsiCo’s intrinsic values – talent sustainability -­‐ but also provides the opportunity for our female executives to give back, share their experience and effect real change by supporting women-­‐led companies in emerging economies.”

“This partnership is a great experience for me. It will allow me to truly experience the day-to-day life of female entrepreneur, and gain a better appreciation of how hard she is working to succeed in a quite male dominant Turkish culture,” says Deniz Alkan, Finance Director of Beverages for PepsiCo Turkey.

Dana Brice Smith, Director Trestle Group Foundation, comments: “We believe that entrepreneurship fuels the engine that drives economic opportunity and growth. By supporting women-led businesses, we encourage social progress.  Partnerships with companies like PepsiCo – that provide vital executive support – are invaluable in driving the success of women-led companies in emerging economies.”


About Trestle Group Foundation

Developed by a dynamic team of international business professionals, Trestle Group Foundation is an innovative, change-provoking, non-profit organization dedicated to creating and expanding sustainable economic opportunities in emerging economies by supporting high-potential women entrepreneurs.

For more information about Trestle Group Foundation, visit:

About the Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program:

The award-winning Partnership Program identifies qualified women entrepreneurs in emerging economies and partners them with established business professionals who help build the skills, strategies, practices and networks needed to overcome barriers to growth, and further develop the entrepreneur’s business.

The customised, relationship-based program model provides a unique blend of executive coaching, collaborative team support, skill building and networking – actively engaging networks and resources to “open doors” to new business opportunities.

By extension, the partnership aims to support economic opportunities within the entrepreneur’s wider community by allowing her to fulfil her potential and secure long-term business success.

What differentiates the Trestle Group Foundation is its background in and commitment to business drivers, both for the women entrepreneurs and sponsor companies.

The Partnership Program provides a platform for leading organisations – and their executives – to engage, give back and directly affect opportunities for the women-led businesses. Additionally, sponsors can address numerous social and business challenges, while simultaneously reinforcing the company’s established core business objectives and values.

Partnership Program Goals and Objectives:

  • Through executive coaching and collaborative team support, identify, address and overcome the core challenges that limit the woman entrepreneur’s ability to effectively grow her enterprise.
  • Build entrepreneurial partnerships, enriching cross-cultural learning experiences and life-long relationships across the world.
  • Provoke change by supporting women-led businesses – a driving force behind economic growth and social progress in emerging economies.
  • Create sustainable opportunities, measurable results, role models and replicable business models for future women entrepreneurs.
  • Deliver successes that extend beyond the individual entrepreneurs by positively impacting the local community and country, as well as the organizations and individuals who participate in the program.

About PepsiCo Executive

Deniz Alkan, Finance Director for PepsiCo’s Turkish Beverage Division has been chosen to participate in the Partnership Program. Deniz, based in Istanbul, Turkey, has worked for PepsiCo since 2006 and currently coordinates a team of 17 Finance staff. Deniz speaks both Turkish and English fluently and has a very high drive for results and strong coaching skills, which will provide her with the perfect platform to partner with the Trestle Entrepreneur.

About Entrepreneur Partner

Nur Begen is the owner of the brand OrganicEra. Located in Istanbul, OrganicEra is a supplier of high quality textile products such as towels, bathrobes and bed linen made of both organic and conventional cotton. OrganicEra also supplies 100% organic clothing including t-shirts, sweatshirts, shorts, underwear and sleepwear, shirts, and children’s toys.  All OrganicEra organic products are made in Turkey of the finest quality cotton and are certified by Control Union. For more information, please visit:

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses — Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola — also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo’s people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo’s promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate. For more information, please visit:

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Contact information

PepsiCo contact:

Rochelle Mossack

[email protected]

+44 (0) 203 047 2082


Trestle Group Foundation contact:

Dana Brice Smith

mailto:[email protected]

+41 79 836 62 44