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Social entrepreneurship in North Africa

March 3, 2011

I attended a meeting about “Social Entrepreneurship in the Arab World” with Ehaab Abdou, co-author of the very insightful report “Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East” . The main issue raised by this event was how to take advantage of the revolutions to create a better legal and economic framework for social entrepreneurs and impact investment in the area:

  • What are the tax incentives to be implemented in order to develop the Corporate Social Reponsability programs?
  • What is the best way to build a strong public/private partnership towards promoting entrepreneurship?
  • How to improve the NGO laws so they can have access to more funds and more autonomy?
  • How to provide more funds and assistance for entrepreneurs in the area to scale up their innovations?

Is anyone trying to address these questions in Tunisia? The demand so far seems to be exclusively political, but we have to tackle these problems as soon as possible too. Tunisia is clearly lagging behind in terms of promoting social entrepreneurship and attracting impact investments in North Africa. The opportunities, the skills and now the freedom are here.  A first step would be to consider a public/private partnership in order to create the first social entrepreneurship center in Tunisia. Any thoughts?

Hatem Mahbouli

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