In 2019, with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), FSVC launched a project to build the capacity of the Chambers of Commerce (CoCs) of the Northwest, Southeast and Southwest of Tunisia to serve as major drivers of local development and investment within their communities. To do so, FSVC is strengthening the internal capacities of the CoCs to provide meaningful services to their members and promote private sector development.
- Conducting an in-depth needs assessment of each of the three targeted CoCs to draft a strategic plan that includes activities to develop export-oriented services for the local entrepreneurs. During the assessment, organized working sessions that focused on women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses in each region to ensure a gender-sensitive approach is included in the strategic plan.
- Providing tailored technical assistance to each CoC to help them identify weaknesses, threats and opportunities, and implement strategic plans that address them.
- Assisting the CoCs in improving their business operations by adopting new systems and workflows that provide effective and consistent services to their business communities.
- Helping each CoC become a more meaningful resource to the local business community by adopting new marketing and communication tools, delivering new regular services and providing small grants to local businesses to achieve a commercial objective.
As a result of FSVC’s technical assistance, the CoCs will become financially sustainable and operationally more efficient. The CoCs will also be a strong resource to local small businesses by proving them meaningful tools and services, including small grants and community networking events. By increasing their engagement with small businesses and supporting them, CoCs will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the interior and southern regions of Tunisia, hence increasing the economic activity and opportunities in these regions.