EBRD partners with Mowgli Mentoring to support women-led enterprises in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib


Promoting equal opportunities and addressing market failures

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is partnering with Mowgli Mentoring to provide mentoring support to the beneficiaries of the EBRD’s Women in Business (WiB) programme in Tunisia.

The Bank seeks to address market failures and give women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) equal opportunities so that they can deliver in terms of economic performance and growth, job creation and other social gains, thus contributing fully to building free, market-oriented economies and democratic societies.

To address Tunisia’s gender gaps, the EBRD is supporting women through the Programme d’Appui à la Compétitivité des Services (PACS Programme), funded by the European Union. Mentoring is an integral part of the PACS Programme, with the aim of building women’s confidence and capacity to grow their businesses sustainably over the medium to long term. Such support will be available to assist women-led enterprises within four service sectors – tourism and handicrafts; information and communication technologies; transport and logistics; and professional services.

The EBRD’s WiB mentoring programme will complement the other activities under the PACS Programme. It will serve as a catalyst to facilitate networking among participants and build a platform for further development of women’s entrepreneurship.

Based on Mowgli’s syllabus, which is accredited by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council, the EBRD’s WiB mentoring programme will train 12 female professionals in the art of personal mentoring. It will match them with 12 mentees from within the PACS Programme, supporting their relationships over a 12-month period.

Anis El Fahem, Principal Manager of the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business programme, commented: “Inclusive growth is a strategic goal for the EBRD in Tunisia and therefore we are constantly striving to empower women in business. We are providing tailored advisory services to women-led SMEs, as well as managerial and personal skills development through training and coaching activities. We believe that mentoring is another powerful approach to supporting women in reaching their personal and business goals. We are thrilled about our partnership with Mowgli Mentoring to foster the role of women in economic growth and social development.”  

Kathleen Bury, Chief Executive Officer of Mowgli Mentoring, said: “The impact of entrepreneurial mentoring cultivates generations of able business leaders who go beyond shaping economies to also shape communities and societies. In Tunisia, women-led businesses make up less than 10 per cent of the SMEs and through our partnership with the EBRD we hope to build on the great progress they have made to date, strengthen them as entrepreneurs and leaders, and increase this figure to 20 or 30 per cent, which is critical for Tunisia to realise its full economic potential. Mentoring is a key component to human capital development and plays a major role in boosting productivity and the success of entrepreneurs who globally are the key drivers to job creation.”

 

The EBRD

Since 2013, the EBRD has enabled more than 526 companies to benefit from advisory services, using funds granted by the European Union. The EBRD has also allocated €10 million to support SMEs in the service sectors, under the EU-funded Programme d’Appui à la Compétitivité des Services (PACS). To date, the EBRD has contracted nearly 300 consulting firms to implement local consulting projects, and has trained more than 228 local consultants on best practices in the consulting business and more than 220 women entrepreneurs.

Since the EBRD began operations in Tunisia in September 2012, the Bank has invested over €640 million across 32 projects in the country. The Bank’s investments aim to support private enterprises and the restructuring and strengthening of the financial sector, promoting energy efficiency and developing a sustainable energy sector, as well as facilitating non-sovereign financing for infrastructure development.

To learn more about the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business programme, visit www.ebrd.com/work-with-us/advice-for-small-businesses/tunisia.html

Media Contact: Aicha Jaida - Jaidia@ebrd.com

 

About Mowgli Mentoring

Mowgli Mentoring is a not-for-profit organisation driving inclusive economic and social change in the Middle East and Africa. Mowgli’s unique, award-winning methodology provides a supportive framework which empowers entrepreneurs, corporate employees, women and youth to unlock their potential and seize new opportunities.

Over the past decade, Mowgli has worked with philanthropists and local and international governmental and private sector partners to provide mentoring across 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Mowgli has trained more than 1,000 mentors who have supported entrepreneurs from all sectors. They create and safeguard jobs, producing a significant economic and social return on investment. Mowgli are expanding their operations across Africa and in addition to remaining focused on entrepreneurs and corporate employees, they will have an increased focus on women and youth as key additional beneficiaries of their programmes.

To learn more about Mowgli Mentoring, visit www.mowgli.org.uk

Media contact: Corazon Kisilu – corazon.kisilu@mowgli.org.uk