Social entrepreneurship incubator in Tunisia seeks to foster civic engagement

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In Tunisia, the revolution has lead to a real revival of civic engagement. To help this movement bear fruit and be sustainable, a group of Tunisian specialists teamed up with Development Without Borders, an entity of French Groupe SOS, a group aimed at promoting social innovation, to launch Bureau Association Conseil three years ago. The BAC, as it is known, was funded by the French Agency for Development, and offers consultancy, training, mentoring, and networking to associations. 

Even though social entrepreneurship is developing in Tunisia, it is still an unknown concept for many. But the concept is simple: create and support viable for-profit ventures to address social and environmental needs.

In attempt to make these enterprises sustainable, IMPACT offers a 12-month incubation program based on three pillars: coaching, hosting, and networking.

The incubator offers, to selected companies, strategic and individual coaching on-site, collective trainings thanks to its partnership with the IHEC Tunisian School of Business and coaching sessions with IHEC professors and mentors working at the Groupe SOS’s Comptoirs de l’Innovation.

The selected companies also have access to a workspace in BAC’s Maisons des Associations (a workplace open to all associations), and benefit from BAC and IMPACT’s extensive networks.

IMPACT doesn’t finance its projects. However, it puts them in contact with organizations that finance or give loans such as YUNUS Center. It also gives companies that seek funding a so-called “seal of credibility”. 

Five enterprises have joined the program:

  • Envitou Sarl, specialized in environmental waste management.

  • Karhbena, the first online carpooling service in Tunisia.

  • Tunisie Coop, a cooperative supermarket stocked with local products seeking to fight overconsumption.

  • T’illi Tanit, a co-working and co-creation space for women artisans and young designers to enhance traditional skills and provide respectful working conditions to craftswomen.

  • Regie de quartier, an association for Mourouj 2 residents. The project aims at developing services for residents and buildings syndicates in Mourouj 2 to create jobs for unemployed youth and ameliorate residents’ lives in the region.

While these are its primary focus, IMPACT also provides support for other enterprises by offering strategic help and networking. The group is working on a co-working space project that will open its doors to all Tunisian social entrepreneurs.

If you are an enterprise or have an idea for sustainable enterprise, you can contact IMPACT on impact@labess.tn

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