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Celebrating MSMEs Mashrou3i in Focus - June 2021

Celebrating Tunisian MSMEs

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of every economy across the world. They make up over 90% of all firms worldwide and account on average for up to 70% of total employment and half of GDP. In recognition of the important role MSMEs play in achieving the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the United Nations designated 27 June as International Day for MSMEs.

To celebrate the contribution of MSMEs to socio-economic development in Tunisia, Mashrou3i organized a webinar focused on social enterprises. Hasna Betiti, business owner and Mashrou3i beneficiary, shared her story and told us more about the specialized school for autistic children she launched in Zaghouan. Afterwards, Mashrou3i business coaches provided participants with training on the HP LIFE Social Entrepreneurship course. The Mashrou3i project and the success story of Ichrak Ouechtati, founder of the textile firm SOTEX in Jendouba, was featured in MSMEs: Key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery event. An interview with Moez Bargaoui, founder of Hrayer Bargou, a dried fruits and medicinal plants business was also broadcast on Radio Kef along with an intervention from Mashrou3i to promote the important role of MSMEs in regional development.

This month, we also take a closer look at how the Mashrou3i project leverages HP LIFE to enrich curricula, support business creation and improve employability skills.

Supporting Business Creation

Mashrou3i provides HP LIFE workshops to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners gain real-life business and technology skills to meet daily challenges. The 32+ self-paced courses are modular, interactive, and full of practical exercises that enable entrepreneurs to develop their skills in their own time and pace.

Mashrou3i HP LIFE training in numbers

This innovative cosmetics brand is redefining natural beauty

Farah Ghozzi launched her business specialized in the production of natural cosmetics in January 2021. Located in Beja, AICOS offers essential oils and skin care products made with regional products and innovative ingredients like snail slime and caviar. Before launching her business, Farah took part in Mashrou3i HP LIFE training to strengthen her business and leadership skills.

“I learned a lot through Mashrou3i’s HP LIFE training and its combination of self-learning, group and individual work. I developed my commercial skills and acquired the leadership skills needed to launch and run my business.”

Enriching Curricula & Fostering Student Entrepreneurship

Mashrou3i is also enriching the curricula of higher education institutions across Tunisia through the innovative tools and concepts of HP LIFE e-learning. Since the start of the project more than 220 educators from higher education institutions have been trained to integrate HP LIFE into their curricula. This integration has been enhanced by Mashrou3i through the localization of content, translation of the highly-relevant business courses into Arabic as well as creation of new courses for the online platform. Together with educators and students, Mashrou3i also developed a series of mini business cases on Tunisian entrepreneurs. These case studies supplement course materials and are designed to inspire and motivate students with real life success stories from entrepreneurs in their immediate surroundings.

The educators supporting a new generation of Tunisian entrepreneurs

Mohamed Ali Khenissi, an assistant professor at the Higher Institute for Technological Studies (ISET) in Medenine, is one of the educators leveraging HP LIFE to support young student entrepreneurs to create a business and enhance their employability skills.

"The HP LIFE workshops have had a very positive impact on the students....they are no longer afraid of unemployment and are confident that they have the ability to create their own businesses in the future."

Tunisyndic - the app digitizing the real estate sector in Tunisia

In 2020, 24-year-old Mohamed Boussaidi launched Tunisyndic - an online application for property management. While studying IT Engineering at the ISET in Siliana the young entrepreneur took part in a Mashrou3i HP LIFE training to help master his business management skills. Tunisyndic already has a growing base of real estate clients and provides employment to 3 people.

"HP LIFE is an excellent training program for beginning entrepreneurs. It teaches all the basics required to understand the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship."

ABOUT MASHROU3I

Mashrou3i (‘my project’ in Arabic) is a joint project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), the HP Foundation and UNIDO. Mashrou3i fosters youth entrepreneurship in Tunisia and supports the creation and growth of enterprises. The project combines UNIDO’s on-the-ground experience supporting beneficiaries in the creation and growth of small businesses, its working relationships with Tunisian partner organizations and HP’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) programme, which consists of free online courses covering basic business, IT and entrepreneurship skills. Stay up to date on all Mashrou3i's project activities and latest entrepreneur success stories by exploring our website and following our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).