Souk At-tanmia builds capacity of 450 young entrepreneurs, public and civil actors in Tunisia

Souk At-tanmia, an innovative partnership initiated and led by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with various partners, has trained 250 young entrepreneurs and 200 representatives of public structures and civil society organizations working in the field of entrepreneurship in Tunisia.

The training workshops, held from May 3-June 30, 2017, are part of Souk At-tanmia’s third edition and aim at stimulating initiative and strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunisia.

Group photo of Souk At-tanmia’s training for public and civil actors, Tunis (May 2017)

Enhancing support for Tunisian entrepreneurs

In order to improve the support services provided to Tunisian entrepreneurs countrywide, Souk At-tanmia’s partnership launched a capacity-building program for public and civil actors operating in the field of entrepreneurship in Tunisia. This training cycle aims to foster synergies between public institutions and civil society organizations in order to improve the quality of the services offered to Tunisian entrepreneurs.

“This training is in line with the orientations of the African Development Bank’s Jobs For Youth in Africa Strategy 2016-2025 (JfYA), which aims to create 25 million jobs and positively impact 50 million youth over the next decade across the continent,” said Mohamed El Azizi, Director General of the AfDB’s office for North Africa. “Promoting entrepreneurship and creating productive jobs for young people will help improve their living conditions and stimulate the growth of Tunisia and its economic transformation.”

The content of the training was designed following a needs assessment based on a participatory approach, which involved various stakeholders and planned to better meet the expectations and needs of the target audiences and avoid duplication of similar actions already undertaken by other actors.

The training cycle encompasses 10 modules with different themes and includes in-person and e-learning workshops to help beneficiaries to acquire the essential technical and non-technical skills in business practices.

Following a national call for applications, which received more than 400 proposals, 200 candidates were selected to take part in the first phase of the training. Twenty-four three-day workshops were organized in the different regions of the country. Out of the 200 beneficiaries coming from the 24 governorates of Tunisia, 63% represent the public sector and 37% the civil society.

The first phase of the training recorded a strong participation of women (49%) and young people under 37 years of age (48%) and enabled participants to learn how to design an effective entrepreneurship support programs; identify promising entrepreneurs and select best business ideas; and optimize the relationship with the entrepreneur (soft skills and communication aspects).

During these three-day-training, participants also had the opportunity to exchange ideas and broaden their respective network as well as explore areas of collaboration and synergy with public and civil actors. 92% of the surveyed participants indicated that the training had enabled them to establish interesting relationships and fruitful exchanges with other beneficiaries.

“This training helped me to learn more about the missions of each participant and its areas of intervention,” said Awatef Miraoui from the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training. “I had the opportunity to create an acquaintance in each administration, which would enormously help me in accessing to information, either when preparing business plans or for guiding and connecting young entrepreneurs to the relevant organizations in order to effectively meet their needs.”

The next phases of this training program will include new modules through e-learning while taking into account the professional constraints of the participants. A third and final phase will consist of a training of excellence in the form of a boot camp, which will bring together the 60 best “champions” who have succeeded and obtained the best results during the two previous phases.

Providing young Tunisian entrepreneurs with valuable know-how

Following the public sector and civil society training, a 60-hour capacity-building program, based on the Build Your Business curriculum (BYB), was offered to 251 shortlisted candidates out of the 601 who were competing in the second round of the selection process of Souk At-tanmia’s third edition. The training intends to build capacities and strengthen the skills of young Tunisian entrepreneurs, particularly in business management, to help them better manage their ventures, as well as prepare and finalize their business plans. With financial support from the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Education For Employment (EFE), which provided the training, designed the BYB’s curriculum, in collaboration with Microsoft and the International Youth Foundation, adapted its content to meet Souk At-tanmia’s specific needs based on lessons learned from the second edition.

“Our goal is to deliver a practical and interactive training program while providing the young candidates for Souk At-tanmia’s third edition with entrepreneurial know-how and necessary skills to help them set up their own businesses,” stated Lamia Chaffai Sghaier, Executive Director of EFE-Tunisia.

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