MEPI Fueling Business Growth in Tunisia

The Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations Customized Assistance Program (CBACAP), funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by Deloitte Consulting LLP, has made strides in building the capacities of eight Tunisian Chambers of Commerce (CoCs) and three youth entrepreneurship organizations over the past three years.
The mission of the program is to drive inclusive economic development through increased competitiveness, business growth, and entrepreneurship in communities across Tunisia.
Key accomplishments include:

  • Launch of demand-driven, fee-based services: new training curricula, market intelligence, One-Stop-Shop services, and trade/export promotion
  • Improved CoCs’ operational efficacy and service innovation
  • Promoted key sectors and business competitiveness
  • Increased CoC and youth organizations’ public policy advocacy and dialogue capacities

Most recently the CBACAP Team assisted the Sfax Chamber of Commerce in organizing a major Organic Olive Oil Industry business forum, which convened more than 550 businesses from all over the world. Over a dozen potential international buyers from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, the UK, Russia, and South Africa attended the event, which facilitated 100 business connections, resulting in a number of potential partnerships.

With CBACAP’s support, Cogite and Reseau Entreprendre Tunis (RET), two youth entrepreneurship organizations, built a public policy advocacy platform, “Aventures d’Entrepreneurs”, which documents challenges entrepreneurs face in Tunisia. CBACAP
assisted Cogite in publishing a position paper on barriers in access to finance, based on a survey conducted with over 100 young Tunisian entrepreneurs. The paper proposes that financial institutions engage directly with entrepreneurs to assess project viability and argues for the legalization of crowdfunding to address critical funding gaps.