Tunisia is arguably one of the Africa’s most startup-friendly governments, Tunisia is giving its small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a helping hand with its new approval of a loan agreement from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
The loan, which was first signed in January but just approved by parliament, aims to help Tunisia achieve its goal of creating 1,000 startups and 10,000 jobs in five years. In 2018, Tunisia passed its revolutionary ‘Startup Act’, an unprecedented legal framework to support entrepreneurs and the first of its kind in the region.
The loan agreement, signed between the Republic of Tunisia and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) on January 30, 2020, aims to help Tunisia achieve the objectives of a five-year programme for the creation of 1,000 startups and consequently the creation of 10,000 jobs.
The programme also aims to achieve a cumulative turnover of 1 billion dinars and to set up a giant Tunisian start-up with global reach (ICORNE).
456 applications have been submitted for startup labels since April 2019, of which 268 applications have been approved.
One of the biggest perks of the act was the establishment of an online application process to obtain a ‘Startup Label,’ of which the country has given out 268 since the law came into force.
The massive surge in the number of startups in the past two years, while building one of the region’s most thriving ecosystems, also means there are hundreds of founders facing increased precarity in the COVID-19 economic crisis.