Accelerating Entrepreneurial Growth: How mentoring-centred personalised support pathways led to 2.35 jobs created per entrepreneur in 5 months in Tunisia 

Accelerating Entrepreneurial Growth - Blog Image
The GoRise Mentoring Programme Summary

Being an entrepreneur is a challenging journey filled with uncertainty and risk. Startups typically have limited resources and must operate in a highly competitive environment, making it difficult to establish a foothold in the market and attract customers. Additionally, entrepreneurs often lack a supportive environment or access to networks and resources, which can make the journey even more challenging.

Entrepreneurs in Tunisia face additional layers of difficulties and challenges in growing and securing funds for their businesses. According to Aljazeera, the country is facing a deepening economic crisis, with shortages of basic goods and high unemployment rates. The government has failed to tackle endemic problems that stifle entrepreneurial growth, competition and innovation. Entrepreneurs there complain of being crowded out of the market and forced into bankruptcy by mass producers and state economic policies. Tunisia’s bureaucracy also stifles innovation and the ability for Tunisia startups and SMEs to raise funds. Encouraging early-stage startups in Tunisia is therefore very important, but supporting them during the seed and growth stages is equally as crucial. This helps build the foundation for future growth, innovation, and job creation, which can consequently have a positive effect on the broader economy. This is where the GoRise Mentoring Programme came in.

About the GoRise Mentoring Programme 

The GoRise Mentoring Programme was facilitated by Mowgli Mentoring with the support by the Special Initiative “Decent work for a Just Transition” – Invest for jobs, mandated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ Tunisia through its Digital Transformation Program.

This personalised support programme was aimed at supporting 24 seed and early growth stage Tunisian tech/digital entrepreneurs with international mentors to support them in developing and executing their international business growth strategies and strengthening their leadership so that they are better equipped to grow their businesses.

“As the Digital Transformation Program, we believe that startups are the drivers of the digital economy, and we recognize their importance in the Tunisian local context. Go Rise is well aligned with our mission to enhance the pool of innovative startups in Tunisia, empowering them to compete for excellence in the digital economy, generate employment opportunities, and stimulate economic progress.”

Henrik Wichmann, Programme Director, Digital Transformation Programme Tunisia

The Goal of the GoRise Mentoring Programme 

Go Rise is a personalised programme that takes into account the unique needs, sector, and personality of each entrepreneur. We believe that mentoring is particularly impactful at certain maturity levels, where entrepreneurs need more tailored support.

The GoRise Mentoring Programme was designed to enable entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by pairing them with international mentors who would provide mentoring as the core guiding, relational and grounding pillar and provide personalised support in the form of business coaching and technical support to each entrepreneur as and when they needed it.

The focus was on creating a comprehensive and personalised mentoring experience that would help entrepreneurs navigate the challenging journey of growing a business.

“Go Rise is a personalised programme that takes into account the unique needs, sector, and personality of each entrepreneur. We believe that mentoring is particularly impactful at certain maturity levels, where entrepreneurs need more tailored support.”

Zeineb Chabchoub, Startup Expert – Digital Transformation Programme Tunisia

Our Solution 

To achieve this, Mowgli Mentoring designed an innovative and comprehensive entrepreneurial growth programme that provided each entrepreneur with a personalised learning and support pathway that consisted of:

  • A trusted mentoring relationship, with an international mentor, at the core of the entrepreneur support system. This relationship acted as a guiding and accompanying pillar that enabled the entrepreneurs to gain clarity of their personal and professional vision, set and work towards their goals, identify and explore what may be holding them back from achieving their goals, explore their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats on a personal and business level to move their business forward. The mentoring also helped them better navigate and integrate the different forms of learning and support provided by the programme.
  • Targeted business coaching which met the entrepreneurs where they were at and enabled them to immediately address skill and/or knowledge needs, challenges and/or gaps to help them drive the business forward. These were often uncovered and/or highlighted within the mentoring relationship.
  • Technical support-focused training sessions led by expert mentors on various technical/business-related subjects such as business planning, value proposition, and sales and pricing. The goal of these sessions was to provide in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience.
  • A unique opportunity to be connected with an international network of peer innovators/entrepreneurs and mentors.

The Programme Outcomes 

The 5-month GoRise Mentoring Programme was a game changer for the entrepreneurs who participated in it. They were all able to tap into the power of mentoring and gain a wealth of knowledge and support from an ecosystem of like-minded individuals. The outcomes were seen at 3 different levels:

1. Economic Growth, Job Creation and Retention 

The programme registered an average of 2.35 jobs created per entrepreneur within the 5-month programme. This is significantly higher than the anecdotal MENA average of 1-1.5 jobs created per year. This strongly speaks to the importance of providing personalised learning and support pathways for entrepreneurs to learn, embed and make the right decisions to drive business growth, job creation and retention.

Economic Growth, Job Creation and Retention Results

2. Business Growth, Sustainability and Success 

The mentoring, business coaching and key pieces of training that focused on sales and business planning helped the entrepreneurs increase their confidence levels in key business-related areas such as business skills, business planning, market research, marketing and sales, financial planning, and accounting.

During the course of the GoRise Mentoring Programme, the entrepreneurs revealed that securing funding had become a major obstacle to the growth of their businesses. Due to the challenging business environment in Tunisia, some had even resorted to registering their businesses abroad in countries like France. Yet, despite these odds, and just within 5 months, the financial results and expansion prospects of our entrepreneurs were remarkable:

GoRise Business Growth, sustainability and success results

The financial impact of the programme in that short period serves as a testament to mentoring and the need to provide support and guidance to entrepreneurs in Tunisia to help them overcome obstacles and build successful businesses.

3. Personal Growth and Strengthening of Leadership   

The GoRise Mentoring Programme was a transformative experience for all entrepreneurs who participated in it. They not only gained valuable insights and support for their business but also developed themselves as leaders. They emerged from the programme with an increased sense of self-confidence, honed active listening skills, improved communication, strengthened leadership skills, the ability to inspire and support others, and a willingness to share their knowledge. Working with peers on shared challenges also had a positive impact.

These skills and networks are the foundation for both personal and business success, and the entrepreneurs have gained a lifetime worth of experience through this programme.

Personal Growth and Strengthening of Leadership results

The GoRise Mentoring Programme’s Roadmap to Success 

The GoRise Mentoring Programme not only helped entrepreneurs improve their businesses but also helped them develop the key skills required to excel as leaders.

The GoRise Mentoring Programme Testimonial

The programme was a catalyst for growth and success for these Tunisian entrepreneurs, and it was clear that the comprehensive support provided by mentoring, coaching, and technical support played a crucial role in their success. The entrepreneurs were able to tap into a wealth of knowledge and support, and use it to improve their businesses and enhance their personal development. They emerged from the programme stronger, more capable, and better prepared to take on the challenges of entrepreneurship in an uncertain economy.

Success factors 

Empowering Entrepreneurial Success 

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“We are committed to supporting the growth and success of Tunisian startups, and we believe that designing and supporting mentoring programs is a critical part of our effort. We are excited to see the impact of the program, and we look forward to working with more entrepreneurs in the future.”

— Henrik Wichmann, Programme Director, Digital Transformation Programme Tunisia

The GoRise Mentoring Programme serves as a blueprint for entrepreneurial support that leads to success. With mentoring as the guiding and core pillar, it sets up and supports entrepreneurs on a comprehensive journey that leads to results. This comprehensive approach of mentoring, coaching, and technical support, provides greater impact, achieving greater ROI and impact in the short, medium, and long-term. The programme helped seed and growth-stage entrepreneurs in Tunisia navigate the challenging journey of entrepreneurship and set them up for success. It’s a testament to the fact that with the right support and guidance, entrepreneurs can overcome the challenges they face and achieve their goals. The GoRise Mentoring Programme wasn’t just about providing entrepreneurs with explicit business knowledge, it was about encouraging, strengthening and supporting them to rise above the challenges and unlock and reach their full potential.