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The World Bank plans to invest $75-millionto support Tunisian startups and small businesses.
The initiative will be implemented by the Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and will be co-ordinated closely with the World Bank’s private-sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The project is designed to support the Tunisian government’s Startup Tunisia programme, the World Bank said.
The World Bank’s Tunisia Innovative Startups and SMEs Project will invest in up to 280 startups and small businesses
The Startup Tunisia programme is led by the country’s Ministry of Communication Technologies and Digital Economy and aims to encourage the creation and growth of tech startups and digital small businesses.
The project, which was approved last month and will run until 31 December 2026, includes the provision of equity and quasi-equity investment in startups and small businesses.
It is led by World Bank senior financial specialist Fadwa Bennani and comprises three components, namely:
- The provision of equity and quasi equity financing for innovative startups and SMEs through both the Anava Fund of Funds and InnovaTech Fund to invest in 280 innovative startups and small businesses.
- The provision of grants to startups and ecosystem intermediaries to build a high-quality deal flow and strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
- Covering project management and capacity building costs incurred by the CDC in its role as the project co-ordination unit.
In May last year, Tunisia passed a startup act which includes 20 measures that aim to encourage entrepreneurship, make it easier to start a business, as well as access funding and international markets (see this story).