GROWING start-ups and SMEs in Tunisia with Impact Partner

GROWING start-ups and SMEs in Tunisia with Impact Partner
In September 2020. We launched the GROW mentoring programme in partnership with Impact Partner Tunisia, using mentoring as a complementary entrepreneur support tool that accelerates the growth and learning curve of start-ups and SMEs.

Funded by the Danish Arab Partnership Project (DAPP) through Oxfam Ibis Youth Participation and Employment (YPE) and supported locally by Oxfam Tunisia, the 9 month mentoring programme’s intention is to develop the capacities and capabilities of Impact Partner’s grantees and investees to further develop their entrepreneurial skills, enabling them to effectively grow and run enterprises that positively impact their communities and economy.

“Effective mentoring is a key enabler for entrepreneurial growth. Sustainable employment and economic growth can be created if start-ups and SMEs have access to capacity building and mentoring. It facilitates inter-connectedness among actors of entrepreneurial ecosystem.’”

— Shekhar Anand – OXFAM IBIS

“As YPE intends to provide enhanced economic opportunities for youth and women in Tunisia, supporting the entrepreneurs is one of the most important pillars of the project. Mentoring comes as one of the components the entrepreneurs we work with benefit from through YPE, as it provides guidance and useful advice to the mentees while taking a more holistic approach to their career development, rather than focusing only on technical capacities. The mentoring programme GROW is complementing the other services of financial and technical support provided by YPE to Tunisian entrepreneurs”

— Ahmed Ben Nejma, Oxfam Tunisia

Why mentoring?

“Mentoring is the glue that binds and amplifies the impact of it all together — skills, knowledge, access to capital, business training and networking. Mentoring unlocks the potential for all those other interventions. ”

— Kathleen Bury, CEO Mowgli Mentoring

At Mowgli Mentoring we have been advocating for effective mentoring programmes in the support of entrepreneurial growth, as we see first-hand the catalytic impact that quality mentoring can have on entrepreneurs personally and professionally.

“Mentoring helps to provide a supportive framework for the often bumpy and chaotic journey of an entrepreneur, helping people to amplify and escalate their own growth and impact, as well as that of their business.”

— Sarah Abjeg, Project Manager, Mowgli Mentoring

For Impact Partner, an organisation that supports to early-stage SMEs and start-ups, this programme gives them an opportunity to test the viability of mentoring as a vital component of entrepreneurial development, and gain insights on the intervention’s actual impact, as well as learn best practices that will enable them to continue to develop this area of support going forward as they co-create the programme with Mowgli Mentoring.

“Our experience as a support organization for social entrepreneurs in Tunisia has brought us to believe that one of the most positive and long lasting impact on the entrepreneurs is the relationship they develop with their advisors and mentors. Mentorship puts entrepreneurs in a human centered learning situation where the benefit is dual: both on the personal and business level.

— Zeineb Fakhfakh, Project Manager, Impact Partner.

The programme was officially kicked off with two Mentoring Awareness Sessions which gave participants the opportunity to learn more about mentoring by experiencing it in practice, while learning more about the programme structure and expectations.

This was then followed by a thorough recruitment process that selected 10 mentors and mentees who before being matched, underwent:

  1. Mentor and mentee preparation through facilitated discussions, mentoring practice, role-play, reflection, review of theory models and frameworks
  2. Mentor training, molding the professionals into effective mentors who do not coach or advice, but play a support system role, empowering the mentee to unlock their potential

We can’t wait to share the participants’ journeys over the next few months!

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