Aspiring entrepreneurs compete for INVESTMED funding
The EU-funded INVESTMED Project aims to break down barriers blocking successful, sustainable entrepreneurship in key sectors in Southern Mediterranean countries. To this end, the project offers direct financial support to high-potential entrepreneurs and start-ups in Egypt, Lebanon and Tunisia.
Applications for this funding were opened last year, and the top proposals from each country, as assessed by expert external evaluators, were invited to pitch their business idea to an international panel of judges composed of project partners and local and European experts.
Each country held a two-day pitching event, hosted by INVESTMED partners Beyond Group (Lebanon), CEEBA (Egypt) and BUSINESSMED (Tunisia). A total of 65 shortlisted start-ups and MSMEs across the three countries competed for grants of up to €20,000 to help them implement new strategies, create new products and services, or export their products and reach new markets. As well as the grant, winners will benefit from personalized support and capacity-building programmes delivered by selected Business Support Organisations in their country.
Opening the event in Tunisia, Mrs Jihen Boutiba , General Director of INVESTMED's lead partner BUSINESSMED, mentioned: “Our world is facing major challenges: generalized economic slowdown, health and environmental crises, as well as difficult access to markets, especially for young people... our objective today is not only to select up to 14 initiatives to benefit from funding and coaching, but above all to create a strong and ambitious INVESTMED community that we will seek to maintain, develop and integrate within the ENI CBC MED network.”
All three pitch events heard an impressive array of creative and innovative business proposals, and provided a chance for young, aspiring entrepreneurs to meet and network with like-minded people from their own sector and others.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the winners!
The INVESTMED project is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020. INVESTMED has a duration of 30 months, with a total budget of 3.8 million euros, of which 3.4 million euros are funded by the European Union (90%). It involves 9 partners from Tunisia, Spain, Lebanon, Greece, Egypt, and Italy:
- Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises, BUSINESSMED (TU)
- Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, EMEA (ES)
- European Institute of the Mediterranean, IEMed (ES)
- Beyond Group / Irada Group S.A.L, BRD (LE)
- Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, IED (GR)
- Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, LUMSA (IT)
- Rumundu Social Promotion Association, RUMUNDU (IT)
- Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations, CEEBA (EG)
- Spanish Chamber of Commerce, CCE (ES)