Entrepreneurship in Tunisia

Roundtable on "Opportunities of Entrepreneurship Promotion regarding the High Youth Unemployment Rate in Tunisia"

Tunisia is one of the most promising countries in North Africa. The country along the Mediterranean Coast offers enormous potential for economic growth and has undertaken an unparalleled transition to democracy since the onset of the so-called Jasmin Revolution.

Notwithstanding its commendable improvements, Tunisia is still at the onset of this developmental process. The challenges the country faces, which were the catalysts of the revolution, are among other things the high levels of unemployment, insufficient levels of investment and lack of perspectives for the comparatively s well educated youth. These challenges have yet to be mitigated.

The Westerwelle Foundation for International Understanding seeks to provide the momentum Tunisia requires, and by drawing the attention of young and highly ambitious young Tunisians to the possibilities and perspectives available within their transforming nation, the Foundation aims to contribute to a sustainable economic and democratic development.

In realising this objective, the foundation has becoming actively involved in the promotion of Entrepreneurship. Collaborating with the partner organization enpact e.V., the Westerwelle Foundation plans to create an entrepreneurial incubator centre based in Tunis, which will form the central contact point for young business founders and entrepreneurs, and host the key stakeholders for entrepreneurship in Tunisia. The Foundation envisions this centre to become a spot at which gifted young Tunisians can transform their ideas into reality, with ample space to generate new ideas, access to national and international programmes, as well as supervisory and advisory capacities on their way to economic independence.

The Westerwelle Foundation invited representatives from politics, the business sector and civil society to participate at a roundtable in Tunis in May, the subject of which was “Entrepreneurship in Tunisia”. During this event, the foundation and their partner organization enpact e.V seized the opportunity presented by such a diversified audience, to not only introduce the forthcoming project and the opportunities it promises, but also to discuss specific challenges that might emerge.

Representing predominantly Germany and Tunisia, the 30 participants of the roundtable discussed and jointly identified approaches with which entrepreneurship in Tunisia could better be promoted and supported.