The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the region with the lowest rates of female-owned business, as only 10% of all firms are owned by women. Increasing and promoting female entrepreneurship is therefore very important and has a high potential to broaden labour force participation and diversify the economic landscape of MENA countries. This project aims to address this issue by assessing the effectiveness of an export promotion program targeted at female-owned enterprises in Tunisia who have the objective to export to other African markets. This project update shares the methodology used to address this research question and early insights that have emerged so far.
"This study estimates that social enterprises could create more than 1 million additional jobs by 2030 in the 12 focus countries that have been analyzed. Overall, this would result in a total of approximately 5.5 million direct jobs in social enterprises in 2030. These jobs would be created in existing markets, but also for new markets, thus creating new value chains and many more indirect income opportunities in these countries. The implementation of the interventions recommended in this report are thus an important action to prepare the African continent on future demographic dynamics. In addition, they can also be seen as an important contribution to preserve jobs that have been put at risk because of COVID-19."
"In economies characterized by low labor demand and high rates of youth unemployment, entrepreneurship training has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. This paper presents experimental evidence on a new entrepreneurship track that provides business training and personalized coaching to university students in Tunisia."
"Entrepreneurship education has the potential to enable youth to gain skills and create their own jobs. In Tunisia, a curricular reform created an entrepreneurship track providing business training and coaching to help university students prepare a business plan. We rely on randomized assignment of the entrepreneurship track to identify impacts on students' labor market outcomes one year after graduation. The entrepreneurship track led to a small increase in self-employment, but overall employment rates remained unchanged. Although business skills improved, effects on personality and entrepreneurial traits were mixed. The program nevertheless increased graduates' aspirations toward the future."
"What type of local businesses make up the Tunisian private sector? What are the characteristics and needs of local businesses? What is the financial and non-financial offer available to serve the needs of the different types of local enterprises? Get a better understanding of the Tunisian entrepreneurial and financial ecosystem and get acquainted with the opportunities to close the gap for missing middle entrepreneurs locally."