Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

INVESTMED supporting young and women at head of innovating enterprises

on Thursday, December 3rd 2020 à 15:22 | Read 905 times

In Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon, the INVESTMED project will provide support to innovating SMEs and start-up run by young and women entrepreneurs. Version française

INVESTMED supporting young and women at head of innovating enterprises

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The kick-off meeting of INVESTMED took place virtually in the presence of the partners (photo : F.Dubessy)
The kick-off meeting of INVESTMED took place virtually in the presence of the partners (photo : F.Dubessy)
Thirteen partners* on both sides of the Mediterranean are forming a new consortium, INVESTMED (Innovative Sustainable Start-Ups for the Mediterranean) to provide support for newly created innovating enterprises. Officially launched on 24th November 2020, the consortium will be working with young people and women in Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon.
“These young people are facing unemployment rates twice to three times those for adults. In two target countries, Egypt and Tunisia, it’s more than 30%. The percentage of working women there is the lowest in the world, 20% against a global average of 48%, according to the ILO’s estimated figures for 2018,” notes Rym Ayadi,chairwoman of the EMEA (Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association). Emea will be in charge of coordination communication and drawing up a current status report on the blue (sea-based economy), green (sustainable development) and creative sectors. “We are going to provide an in-depth analysis of the current entrepreneurial ecosystem in order to determine how we can strengthen the capacities of SMEs and start-ups run by young people and working women,” she adds.
Set to run for 30 months, (16th September 2020 to 15th March 2023), INVESTMED has a budget of €3.81M, 90% funded by the European Union. “The funds will be used mainly to finance subsidies granted to the beneficiaries,” explains Businessmed general secretary Jihen Boutiba. As project lead, the association is overseeing the administrative and financial management of the project, as well as co-managing the technical side.

Partners relying on know-how

INVESTMED is working on three levers: creating a favourable environment for sustainable enterprises, facilitating access to markets and increasing the authorities’ capacities to support young people and women.
The first point includes coaching and mentoring and measures to provide easier access to venture capital. Twenty-one young entrepreneurs will receive training in sustainable management, and €105,000 in venture capital being raised. “We are going to work with investors, venture capital specialists, financial institutions, business angels and other potential financers to identify investment priorities and set out access conditions for venture capital,” points out Rym Ayadi,
The second involves a special support programme for start-ups and SMEs run by young people and/or women. “Businessmed will contribute its expertise and put in place synergies between INVESTMED and other projects on which it is working, such as EBSOMED, a large part of which is dedicated to strengthening capacities and market access for women and young entrepreneurs,” reveals Jihen Boutiba.
The final lever involves the public authorities. It will also call on the partners’ know-how. “With the SOLID project, we have developed an expertise working with local and regional authorities to set up legal, social and economic frameworks that foster development and young people’s and women’s inclusion,” adds the Businessmed general secretary.

* The nine partners: BusinessMed (Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises), EMEA (Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association), IEMed (European Institute of the Mediterranean), Beyond Reform and Development, LUMSA University (Roma), CEEBA (Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations), iED (Institute of Entrepreneurship Development), Rumundu (sustainable incubator), Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

The four associate partners: Confederation of Egyptian european business associations (FEDCOC), FEBEA (European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and Financiers), AFAEMME (Federation of Mediterranean Businesswomen Associations), Med Confederation.

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