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An opportunity for Tunisian entrepreneurs to benefit from training of two months, startup capital between 100,000 to 600,000 Tunisian dinars and coaching to create their social businesse.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday, March 25 launched the first call for proposals to select entrepreneurs for iBDA ( ابدأ), the first Social Business accelerator in Tunisia. iBDA, which literally means “launch” in Arabic, aims to provide an ecosystem conducive to the development of Social Businesses and a new era of entrepreneurship for people, especially youth and women, with innovative business ideas.
iBDA is an AfDB-funded program with the support of the Japanese Trust Fund and the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Countries in Transition, in collaboration with Yunus Social Business (YSB) and in partnership with Mazars, Yale University and the advertising agency JWT.
The call for proposals intends to attract and select the most promising Social Business entrepreneurs in Tunisia to join the iBDA program and benefit from individual coaching and personalized networking facilities and a two-month training program with access to capital between 100,000 to 600,000 Tunisian dinars (or up to US $350,000). This accelerated program will help entrepreneurs acquire key skills, meet professionals and investors maximizing their chances of being funded. It will also provide investors with an array of bankable projects.
“iBDA is a key program of the Holistic Social Business Movement in Africa that we launched in 2013 and comes at a time when Tunisia needs a truly inclusive growth,” said Agnes Soucat, Director of the AfDB’s Human Development Department.
In the current economic environment, projects with high social and environmental impact are not necessarily being supported and funded. Often, entrepreneurs do not always receive adequate training and support to develop their businesses. To meet these challenges, the African Development Bank (AfDB) in close collaboration with Yunus Social Business (YSB), organized a National Conference on Social Business in Tunis in March 2013 to launch the Holistic Social Business Movement program (HSBM).
In this context iBDA aims to develop and disseminate Social Business in Tunisia.
Social Business entrepreneurs are invited to apply online: www.ibda.tn between March 25 and April 18, 2014.
A Social Business is first and foremost a business, created specifically to respond to a social or environmental problem. It is financially sustainable and its profits are reinvested. Just like a normal business, the costs of the Social Business are covered by the revenues it generates. Funding usually comes from minority shareholders or loans with favourable interest rates.
Investors may recover the amount of their initial investment. Additional profits are reinvested either in the Social Business (development and innovation) or to create a new Social Business. Successful examples can be found in the health sector, in the employment of marginalized people, access to energy, etc.
iBDA is an initiative designed to support the AfDB/YSB “Holistic Social Business Movement in Africa” (HSBM) program. It is part of the AfDB Strategy for 2013-2022 and aligned to the Country Strategy Paper 2014-2015 for Tunisia. The National Conference on Social Business in Tunis in March 2013 marked the launch of MHSB Tunisia.
YSB is co-founded and chaired by Nobel Laureate for Peace, Professor Muhammad Yunus. YSB generally occurs via incubators looking for, select and support businesses of Social Business and investment funds that finance loans and equity after a thorough selection process properly. YSB also offers consulting services to businesses, NGOs, foundations and governments. YSB currently operates in Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, India, Uganda and Tunisia and supports projects in other countries.
The AfDB has been supporting job creation, skills and entrepreneurship development and private sector in Tunisia. Souk At-Tanmia, an initiative launched by AfDB in 2012 (by cooperating other 19 development partners), contributed to MSMEs development by providing grants as down-payment capital that can be leveraged to access market finance. The success of the initiative has created an unprecedented demand to establish more projects, scale up existing projects, and/or incubate innovate social and environmental project ideas into social businesses. iBDA, by availing financial instruments including credit and equity, providing a higher investment threshold, and by accompanying training, coaching and other technical assistance services, will support the implementation of the Souk At-Tanmia Partnership for those entrepreneurs who aim to engage in social businesses.
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