Olcay Silahlı is the Co-founder and CEO of Whole Surplus. He was born in 1988. He spent his childhood in Tekirdağ in his grandfather’s farm house. Since he was a child, he always sought to find solutions to food waste happened in his grandfather’s and neighboor farm hauses.
He went to Kuleli Military High School and he continued his university education in Turkish Military Academy. However, because of his passion to create a social enterprise, he dropped out from military academy, moved to İstanbul and got into Istanbul Technical University. He has gratuated from Management Engineering department and joined business life in 2011.
He had started his work life in Deloitte as a consultant. Before Whole Surplus, he worked in Unilever as a Brand Manager for six years. Additionally he managed several food waste responsibility projects in Unilever. He always placed great importance on volunteering and global problems throughout his student and work life. He volunteered in Kenya to help children and had been delegated by Unleash to attend One Young World to tackle with food waste.
These experiences made him realized that, there is no sustainable initiative to tackle with food waste. Thus, he decided to create a social enterprise to show young people in the world it is possible to do a job that involves goodness for people and the world.
In 3 years, through the initiative he established with his friend and co-founder Arda Eren, 14.000 tonnes of food have been saved and 400.000 families got monthly food help and more than 48.000 tonnes carbon emission have been prevented in Turkey. In 2018, he was invited to NY UN General Assembly as speaker and good example as well as Social Good Summit in Geneva. He is also selected as Thought For Food ambassador.
He will continue to tackle global problems with the people who share the same vision with him. And his next goal is to open up to world and to grow the impact of Whole Surplus.