Endeavor is announcing the launch of Endeavor Tunisia, a new affiliate office to promote growth and development driven by high-impact entrepreneurship in Tunisia. Endeavor Tunisia will support entrepreneurs and companies that have passed through the initial start-up phase, and who demonstrate the potential for rapid expansion. The launch of the office is made possible by a partnership with Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie, a leading supporter of entrepreneurship in the region.
Entrepreneurship is on the rise in Tunisia. With a high unemployment rate among university graduates, young Tunisians are launching high-impact companies, creating jobs and strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A 2016 analysis from TechCrunch suggests that thousands of new companies have been formed over the last five years, aided by the rise of accelerators and investment in entrepreneurship. Many of these companies led by talented founders are well-poised to scale.
“We’re excited to bring Endeavor’s model to Tunisia with the launch of our third office in North Africa, to support high-impact entrepreneurs, inspire innovation, and help spur job creation and wealth generation,” said Endeavor Co-Founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “With support from a strong, locally-based board and BIAT, the Tunisia office is well-poised to make an impact on the country’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
With the support of key business leaders and entrepreneurs in the region, Endeavor Tunisia will help multiply the impact of the country’s most promising scale-up companies. The founding board will be chaired by Banque Internationale Arabe de Tunisie (BIAT) Chairman Ismail Mabrouk, who currently directs the agribusiness and banking insurance sectors of Groupe Mabrouk, and whose leadership was instrumental in helping BIAT become the first bank in Tunisia. The board is also comprised of eBay Inc. Vice President Sami Ben Romndhane, BIAT Head of Strategy & Corporate and Investment Banking Mohamed Elyes Ben Rayana, Meninx Holding CEO Mehdi Tamarziste, Medina Works Founder and Cogite Co-Founder Rym Baouendi, Le Francaise Global Investment Solutions Founder and CEO Sofiene Haj Taieb, and Talan Group Founder Mehdi Houas.
“The Board of Endeavor Tunisia looks forward to mentoring and supporting the best entrepreneurs across the country,” said Ismail Mabrouk. “We are at the start of making a significant and lasting impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunisia.”
Endeavor Tunisia will be helmed on a day to day basis by Walid Bellagha, who has over 14 years of experience in business development and marketing, primarily in consumer goods with Unilever, Danone and WhiteWave Foods in the Tunisian and American markets.
Endeavor is a 20 year-old nonprofit organization that is leading the global movement to facilitate long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over 1,400 of these entrepreneurs build more than 800 companies across 27 markets, which generated combined revenues of $8.1 billion in 2015. To date, companies led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created more than 600,000 jobs, and often go on to mentor and invest in the next generation of founders, or serve on the boards of Endeavor offices.
Endeavor Tunisia will focus on selecting and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs and businesses from multiple sectors that have the potential to grow to an international level and reinvest back into the country by mentoring and providing financial support for successive generations of entrepreneurs. The new office will be Endeavor’s third expansion into Northern Africa, joining Endeavor Morocco and Endeavor Egypt in supporting the larger region’s entrepreneurs.