FSVC began working in Tunisia in 2018 to develop and deliver innovative financial products through non-traditional lenders and investors and build the capacity of business support organizations (BSOs) to provide improved services to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)’ access finance.

  • Encouraging private equity/venture capital investors to adopt Revenue Capital, a fundamentally new investment structure in Tunisia that can bring about systemic changes to Tunisia’s financial landscape for SME financing;
  • Assisting policymakers and financial sector regulators in establishing regulations that are conducive to SME financing via crowdfunding;
  • Building the capacity of leasing and factoring companies (LFCs) to develop a digital platform to process SMEs’ credit applications, introduce financial products for SMEs and reach out to new SME markets, including women- and youth-owned SMEs; and
  • Building the capacity of business support organizations to provide improved services and yield investor-ready SMEs.
  • Build the capacity of the Tunisian bankers’ association to stimulate credit flows to SMEs; and
  • Supporting local SME investing network in Sfax, Tunisia.

Program Impact

  • The operationalization of the Fonds d’Assistance à la Restructuration des PMEs (FAR – SME Restructuring Support Fund) as a result of a series of strategic and operational activities provided to the Government of Tunisia (GoT).  To date, the FAR has successfully processed 376 applications (of which 224 were approved), disbursed approximately US$11 Million and helped safeguard 8,606 jobs. 
  • The design of a Manual of Procedures to help business centers (BCs) provide effective services (e.g., business networking, pre-creation assistance and post-creation assistance) to SMEs and entrepreneurs A significant outcome has been the contractualisation of the Manual between the government and BCs, so that the BCs now receive financial support from the government when they provide the services listed in the Manual. 
  • The launch of a pilot “Portfolio Management” (PM) service at 10 BCs across Tunisia.  These BCs now offer to local banks to monitor the loans that the banks have made to local SMEs.
  • Stronger capacity of leasing and factoring companies (LFCs) to provide credit to SMEs, and helping to modernize the LFC sector by: 1) designing a Leasing Platform to digitalize several parts of the credit underwriting process and allow remotely-located SMEs to apply for leasing products; 2) helping to build a credit scoring model to improve their risk management processes; and 3) providing operational support to advocate for financial-sector reforms to remove impediments preventing LFCs from expanding credit to SMEs.
  • The introduction of Revenue Capital (RC) in the Tunisian context, a major financial innovation that fills a critical financial instrument gap in SME financing, between bank loans and the traditional financing approach used by Tunisian private equity investors.