The 7th edition of the “Riyeda” Entrepreneurship Fair opened on Wednesday at the culture city in Tunis. Some 765 Tunisian young entrepreneurs, 271 business leaders and 48 investors attended the two-day fair which provides the opportunity for young entrepreneurs to meet investors, representatives of financing structures and banking institutions.
CEO of “Tunisie Place de Marché” (TPM) Skander Haddar said that this is the largest gathering of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunisia, which brings together a total of nearly 10,000 participants.
One hundred exhibitors including banks, support structures are present to provide solutions and supports to young entrepreneurs,” he added.
Haddar said that 150 speakers will share with youths their experiences with the ecosystem of entrepreneurship within the framework of conferences, workshops and discussion circles.
He also recalled that two competitions are on the agenda of the fair, namely Riyeda Challenge and Riyeda Hackathon.
For Riyeda Challenge, 200 project idea holders participated in this competition. Some 46 projects were shortlisted, 16 reached the semi-finals on Tuesday and six are now pitching before the jury of bankers, experts and investors. The three winners will benefit from a cash prize of 5 thousand dinars; while the two winners will also benefit from a trip to Hub Africa which is a major event scheduled for next April in Morocco, in addition to the support for the creation of their projects. The Riyeda Hackathon is organised with the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ).
According to TPM, the number of created companies edged up 16.6% in September 2019.
Taking the floor, Minister of Industry and Small and Medium Enterprises Slim Feriani said that the implementing decrees of the crowdfunding bill are ready. The bill was already approved by the Cabinet meeting on January 31, pending adoption by the parliament.
Feriani said crowdfunding is a new model of innovative funding that will revolutionise the Tunisian economic ecosystem and help develop startups, investments and exports.
In 2019, the business centres provided 1,000 support sessions which helped create 829 projects with 600 million dinars worth of investments, providing 4,300 jobs, the minister said.
Feriani also said a new industry and innovation strategy for 2035 will soon be completed, in addition to the creation of new integrated industrial zones compliant with international standards in different regions of the country such as El Fahs.