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Who wants a standstill when it comes to entrepreneurship?

Interview with Tijen Onaran, Entrepreneur, Speaker and Moderator

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European Business: Ms. Onaran, you’ve been accompanied your whole life by the passion for communication. The question remains: What constitutes good communication for you?

Tijen Onaran: Good communication is infotainment – i.e. a mix of information and entertainment. Any time I’m touched, aroused or surprised, I know: That’s good communication. A lot of people think of elaborately constructed campaigns with good communication. However, good communication is one thing above all else: simple.

European Business: With the establishment of Women in Digital e.V. and Global Digital Women, you created two unique platforms. What was the decisive impulse for you when founding them?

Tijen Onaran: The impulse was to create a network to bring together women from the digital sector and above all to make them visible. My credo here is: Without diversity, no digitalization. Only if companies count on diversely assembled teams are they competitive and especially capable of innovation. That’s why we bring together in Global Digital Women not only the women of the digital sector but also advise companies in particular on their diversity strategies.

European Business: Networking is another important topic of yours: You’ve published your knowledge and experience in the Netzwerkbibel, the Networking Bible. Who are the potential “disciples” for the book?

Tijen Onaran: The book is aimed at anyone who wants to build up a network, expand it and maintain it for the long term. With the Networking Bible, I want to show that networking doesn’t mean wildly collecting contacts and wanting to sell products or services to them. Good networking means first and foremost: building and maintaining relationships. When I look at my own career, for instance, I see very clearly: Without my network, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Tijen Onaran
Good networking means first and foremost: building and maintaining relationships. Tijen Onaran

European Business: In many conversations with female entrepreneurs, they criticize these “dusty” roles regarding women in our society that are still prevalent. Do you feel like an exotic in your demeanour, especially in the economic sphere?

Tijen Onaran: Fundamentally, the status of being exotic doesn’t mean anything bad per se. It just gets exhausting when this status is not seen as an enrichment but as a threat. The problem with roles is that they leave little room to move. The picture is set, and when someone deviates from it, it leads to confusion. Rigid roles mean stagnation, and who wants a standstill when it comes to entrepreneurship?

European Business: ‘Anti-deportation industry’ was voted non-word of the year 2018. What would be your personal favourite for non-word looking back at the past year?

Tijen Onaran: Immigrant background.

Interview: Markus Büssecker | Photos: Urban Zintel

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