Entrepreneurs Create New Opportunities for Tunisia”

Former German president Christian Wulff and Günter Nooke visit Startup Haus Tunis.

After the Arab Spring, Tunisia embarked upon a long journey towards democracy and market economy, and has stayed on its course despite setbacks. This transformation and change of society motivates a lot of young Tunisians to implement their own ideas and build their own businesses, thus creating new opportunities for their country.

On November 28, the evening before the international investment conference Tunisia 2020, we discussed how to take advantage of these new opportunities and which challenges young entrepreneurs are currently facing in Tunisia. Former German president Christian Wulff opened the event with a welcome speech. He was deeply impressed by the young entrepreneurs in Tunisia. “When you enter the Startup Haus Tunis you immediately feel the absolute determination and passion of the young entrepreneurs, who want to take charge of their own lives. I was deeply impressed by how they use this opportunity which is offered by the Westerwelle Foundation”, said Wulff. German public should put more focus on Africa. “We have to increase our knowledge of Tunisia and use it for a cooperative partnership. Tunisia offers a lot of opportunities”, said the former President.

Günter Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa, agreed with Christian Wulff. “It is in our own interest, that Africa is doing well. Sustainable economic growth is the key to a better life in Tunisia.” After a short input Günter Nooke discussed with young German and Tunisian entrepreneurs and investors: Yassine Oussaifi (AfricaInvest), Amel Saidane (Association Tunisian Startups and Westerwelle Young Founder 2016) and Jochen König (Cosmonauts&Kings).

Alexander Vogel, Westerwelle Foundation’s Secretary General explained the concept of Startup Haus Tunis. “We want to support young entrepreneurs on their path to self-employment. Economic success is the key to a better life. This is a contribution to fight against the causes of migration and flight”, said Vogel. “Europe cannot do well, while our neighbours in Africa are doing bad.

The “Startup Haus Tunis" was officially opened in 2016. It functions as a central contact point for entrepreneurs and start-ups in Tunisia, a one-stop-shop for all relevant services and information on the subject of entrepreneurship. Collaborating with local partners, Westerwelle Foundation aims to gather services and initiatives in one location, developing and reasonably complement them. Additionally, the centre assists young entrepreneurs by offering them the required office space and the opportunity of exchanging ideas with like-minded peers, as well as offering access to mentoring programmes and contact to potential investors.