Thinking outside the box: Tunisia – a new hub for start-ups

Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began in 2011, with the ousting of the country’s long-time president. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in the fledgling democracy. Now more than ever, Tunisia needs people with the ability to break down old structures and mentalities and the courage to strike out in new directions.

Success story

Sofiane Kallel (right) lived and worked in Germany for many years before returning to Tunisia in 2000. Having trained as an IT engineer in Karlsruhe, he is now helping to develop renewable energy in Tunisia – with two companies of his own.

Plenty of scope for new ideas

Job creation and a robust economy are key to Tunisia’s development. The challenge ahead is to invigorate the economy in order to offer young people in particular – many of whom are very well educated – good prospects for the future. A number of economically deprived regions in the country’s interior are still lagging behind in this respect. Tunisia therefore urgently requires entrepreneurs with international experience, the ability to think outside the box and innovative ideas. And unlike in many industrialised countries, they will still find plenty of scope and niches to implement their ideas there.

Around 11% of the Tunisian population live abroad, including many highly qualified people with international career experience, good contacts and promising business ideas. Sofiane Kallel is one such person. Born in Tunisia, he returned home after completing his education in Germany and found the right niche for himself and his entrepreneurial vision. 

Tunisia: a new hub for start-ups

Tunisia’s great potential is reflected not least in the growing number of incubators, co-working spaces and funding opportunities for start-ups. As a result, the country is sometimes known as the new start-up hub for the Middle East and North Africa. The IT and renewable energy sectors are booming and currently bristling with start-ups. However, other sectors such as environmental technology, health services, construction and, of course, tourism are also thriving. In the tourism sector, innovative entrepreneurs are urgently needed to create new and attractive services and thus attract more visitors to the country.

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