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Learning from the various lessons of the pilot phase, which funded and supported 61 projects on business creation and business development across the country, the second edition of Souk At-tanmia intends to be even more ambitious: this year, the number of grantees will be even more and the focus will be on business creation. Thus, the winners of this edition will benefit from personalized assistance and seed-funding (up to 50,000 TND) from the very inception of their project to the launching and success of their business.
An even more ambitious second edition
Many players have joined forces with the Partnership to implement the dissemination and communication campaign of the second edition of Souk At-tanmia: the commitment of thirty civil society organizations, the national network of incubators of l’Agence de promotion de l’industrie et de l’innovation (APII), in addition to the local media, demonstrates the strength and joint synergies unleashed by the partnership to carry out the dissemination campaign that surrounded the launching of this second edition.
The ultimate goal of Souk At-tanmia is to fight unemployment in the most disadvantaged regions in Tunisia. The partnership stresses the importance of investing in the Tunisian youth, their innovative spirit and entrepreneurial projects to stimulate job creation. The pilot phase has already contributed to create more than 400 jobs in the country, most of them in regions known for high unemployment rate, especially among women and youth.
One of the main priorities for Souk At-tanmia is to fight against regional disparities in access to employment and financing in Tunisia. Souk At-tanmia had to implement a wide communication campaign across the country to be able to identify good quality projects: TV and radio programs, articles, regional workshops, etc. Since mid-2014, everything has been done in order to publicize the initiative throughout the country, even in the most remote regions to give everyone the opportunity to apply and participate.
The selection process has been strengthened for the second edition and articulated in different steps to better help the candidates develop high-quality projects with a special focus on long-term job creation. Nearly 250 pre-selected candidates had the opportunity to participate in a training to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills, in collaboration with the partner NGO Education for Employment Tunisia (EFE).
Following the capacity building training insured by EFE, 160 candidates were still in the running in January 2015. EFE gave each candidate a personal « coach » to help them improving their business plans and obtaining the funds for the implementation of their project. The ultimate goal was to maximize their chances to have their finance request approved.
Souk At-tanmia closely collaborates with two partners banks (Banque tunisienne de solidarité and Banque de financement des petites et moyennes entreprises), as well as other major financial institutions and organizations, such as Banque Tunisienne du Kuwait (BTK), Banque internationale arabe (BIAT), Banque nationale agricole (BNA), Qatar National Bank (QNB), Attijari Bank and Réseau Entreprendre. Experts and financial analysts involved by Souk’s partners have actively cooperated in support of candidates along all the coaching phase.
« MedMosaic project would have never been implemented without Souk At-tanmia’s assitance » says Iheb Touhami, one of the participants of this second edition. With an engineering background, he holds a Master in Entrepreneurship and Business Administration from the University of Sfax and he is currently preparing the launch of his business “MedMosaic” in Gafsa for the production of mosaic floor tiles, mixing tradition and contemporary design.
« Thanks to Souk At-tanmia’s support, I managed to get the funds I needed for my project from BFPME and Attijari Bank », he added.
A proactive dialogue with the Tunisian ministry of finance and the Agence de promotion de l’industrie et de l’innovation (APII) has been fostered to accelerate the procedures to obtain the necessary permissions, and public contributions to which some projects are eligible from the Fonds de promotion et de décentralisation industrielle (FOPRODI) or the Agence nationale de protection de l’environnement (ANPE) among others.
Equal opportunities for all finalists
The selection process is coming to a close with the last phase being initiated. In order to guarantee and provide equal chances of success to all the candidates, some changes have been introduced with respect to the previous edition. The finalists will not be chosen and announced at the same time, but the announcement will be made progressively between July and September 2015. On the one hand, this will not slow down those projects that are ready for implementation because the resources required will be disbursed; and on the other hand, projects that still need raising complementary resources or finalizing other procedures will still have more time to be ultimately selected.
Congratulations to the first laureates of the second edition, whose names and projects are announced here. And good luck to the other candidates that are still in competition during this last phase!
Launched on April 30, 2014 in Tunisia, the second edition of Souk At-tanmia has seen a rush of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs’ applications. When the call for proposals closed on 30 June 2014, 1419 completed proposals had been submitted.
About Souk At-tanmia: Since its launch in July 2012, the Souk At-tanmia partnership, whose main objective is to tackle the unemployment problem in Tunisia, has contributed to create a remarkable value chain to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in Tunisia. Thanks to its close cooperation with more than 20 official national and international partners from both the public and private sector, Souk At-tanmia has successfully managed to develop new opportunities to entrepreneurs, offering them integrated support tailored on their needs, on both the financial and technical side.
About Souk At-tanmia’s Partners : Banque africaine de développement (BAD), Banque de financement des petites et moyennes entreprises (BFPME), British Council, Banque tunisienne de solidarité (BTS), Centre des jeunes dirigeants d’entreprise (CJD), Confédération des entreprises citoyennes de la Tunisie (CONECT), gouvernement du Danemark, Département du développement international du Royaume-Uni (DFID), gouvernement des Etats Unis d’Amérique, Education For Employment (EFE), Association des Tunisiens des Grandes Ecoles (ATUGE), Microsoft Tunisie, Mediterranean School of Business (MSB), Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM), Organisation des Nations Unies pour le développement industriel (ONUDI), Programme des Nations Unies pour développement (PNUD), Talan Tunisie, Tunisie Place de marché (TPM).
Affiliated organizations and collaborators : Agence de promotion de l’industrie et de l’innovation (APII), Tunisia e-business Network, Pragma Corporation.