Ergem and Georgie are the partners in crime behind the Yesilist idea. After sharing their frustrations about the lack of information of clean, eco- products for their kids and their home, they set out to create the source of all things green in Turkey. With a deep sense of humor, entrepreneurship and passion, they set out to convince vendors and consumers alike about this growing market. They are both committed about spreading the word about the advantages of a healthy world, and use all of their time and resources to share their experience and create new ventures within the green space.
ERGEM ŞENYUVA TOHUMCU
Always an avid environmentalist, I grew up fascinated with nature and all the beauty it brings to our lives. Over time I realized that we are taking this beautiful world for granted and yet, we have the power to preserve it. I traveled a long path until I found my true calling. I started my career in financial services industry in the US following my master in finance. I enjoyed a good number of years in some of the world's leading financial institutions, where I grew professionally and personally. Like many mompreneurs, the call the action came for me after the birth of my daughter. Having moved from the US to Turkey, I found myself researching greener and healthier consumer choices for my family and myself. I found out that most of the green products produced in Turkey were being exported due to lack of demand in the local community. I realized that the green options were there, but there was not a simple resource to find them. In response, the Yesilist idea was born to help people like ourselves make choices to green their lives.
With Yesilist, we have founded Turkey's first online green directory and sustainable living platform. Like many greenies in my shoes, I wear different hats. Besides Yesilist, I am a pro bono speaker for Al Gore's The Climate Reality Project, to raise awareness on climate crisis. I am a partner in a company that creates and enables consumer oriented waste management solutions, helping the world to become a cleaner place at a time. I also host Green Drinks in Istanbul, a monthly get together event for all green minded individuals. I am a global citizen currently living in Istanbul with my two daughters and husband.
As for myself, as a global gypsy out of birth and choice, I am first and foremost a catalyst for climate change action around the world. I do this while wearing many hats: as a businesswoman working in a women-owned financial services firm where I facilitate the financing of cleantech projects in Puerto Rico and Latin America. As a pro-bono speaker with Al Gore's Climate Reality Project. As a founding advisor of R21, a Latin American NGO focused on raising awareness on climate change and founded by a very dear and famous Argentinian rock star. As a mother, collaborating with the local Land Trust to finance the creation of a Forest School project in Puerto RIco where children can benefit from early contact with nature.
I never cease to think about positive ideas and projects to move forward the agenda. I continuously seek out collaborative partners to make them happen, and I freely give out my time and resources to empower others to achieve their goals in this space. I actively participate in international forums and nurture local ones such as co-founding Green Drinks Istanbul and now San Juan.
As a result of all these efforts and living abroad throughout all my adult life, my network represents now a beautiful kaleidoscope of countries, interests and ages where I can draw upon for inspiration and action. I keep my sanity practicing yoga and playing with my toddler who reminds me everyday of how essential it is to laugh and be present in this beautiful world.