Two of the Tunisian entrepreneurs present at GES 2016, Beyram Belhaj Amor of Simple Expert and Ryadh Bouslama of Pinhole, are part of TAYP’s Regional Initiative to Support Entrepreneurship (implemented by RISE- a diaspora mentoring program aimed at assisting a select group of Tunisian entrepreneurs to access United States markets), a program funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Both Bayrem and Ryadh have pitched to investors, attended side events and workshops, and met with interested parties like the CEO of Samsung .
Moreover, the RISE program was featured by both the Tunisian and U.S. governments in a closed 30-person session attended by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and former AOL Chairman Steve Case, as a successful pilot mentorship program organized by the Tunisian diaspora in the US (in particular TAYP’s 11 mentors) using a win-win design. Sec. Pritzker and Scott Handler were thrilled to hear that in only 8 months, a dynamic diaspora/local entrepreneurs mentoring and partnership was established, that 5 out of the 9 are currently on the path to securing support from U.S.businesses, and that the two-way dynamic created by RISE is a key to its future sustainability. “This was a life-changing moment for me“ Ryadh said. “One person from Commerce on the ground would have never been able to do what has been accomplished by all of us together “Scott Handler expressed.