I just got back from Tunisia (that's me in front of the medina gate in Tunis in the pic below) in preparation for our 2013 conference there next June.
The drive to develop the country's entrepreneurship and business sectors is astounding and I'm thrilled that we'll be coming together there next June for our conference on "Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship".
It being Global Entrepreneurship Week, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the fascinating efforts happening to support small businesses in Tunisia.
Wiki Start Up, the first and only private incubator in Tunisia, is a for-profit company with a social mission, focusing on innovation in science and technology. Wiki Start Up supports aspiring entrepreneurs through all stages of creation, from idea to business plan, and then from raising capital to actual launch of the company. They offer critical advice, support and access to a network of investors able to provide the funds needed at each step of the process.
Elgazala Technopark for Communication Technologies is a government sponsored technology incubator and serves companies both large and small. They have a "start-up factory" for new businesses as well as provide services to growing enterprises. Large multinationals also reside within the techno park and benefit from the cluster of firms and research going on.
MEDI (Maghreb Enterprise Development Initiative) a non-profit think tank initiated by the Mediterranean School of Business to promote entrepreneurship and job creation in the region. The main objective is to rationalize and optimize the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunisia and the Maghreb by doing strategic research, bringing various stakeholders together and eventually, to engage in public policy advocacy to improve the entrepreneurial environment.
I hope this gives you a taste of the innovative initiatives in store for you at GBSN's 2013 conference. I can't wait to see all of you in Tunisia next June for a one-of-a-kind conference where we will explore how business schools, industry, government and development organizations can work together to advance employment and entrepreneurship opportunity through education. See you in Tunis!
Nora Brown is the COO of the Global Business School Network.