Success stories and best practices shared at the INVESTMED Final Closing Conference


On the 30th November 2023, INVESTMED held its final closing event in Tunisia, presenting project achievements and highlighting the impact made by the project from 2020 until 2023. The 8 project partners, BUSINESSMED, EMEA, IEMED, Beyond Group, CEEBA, LUMSA University, iED, and the Spanish Chambers of Commerce were all present at the event, as well as the INVESTMED subgrantees, several trainees that took part in the capacity building activities, and members of the press from Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Europe. 

The closing event was opened by Jihen Boutiba, Director of INVESTMED's lead project partner BUSINESSMED. She thanked all the partners for their contributions to the project's success, and the MSMEs for their work under INVESTMED, strengthening entrepreneurship.She was accompanied by Alaa Ezz from CEEBA - Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations in Egypt highlighting the key role of regional and local organisations in INVESTMED as an international project. Focusing on the implementation of the subgrants and direct financial support to MSMEs in the Southern Mediterranean, Roger Albinyana, Managing Director of project partner European Institute of the Mediterranean gave his intervention in the opening panel. Finally, Alejandro Lafarga Martinez representing the Managing Authority ENI CBC Med Programme, highlighted INVESTMED as a key initiative for boosting sustainable entrepreneurship in the Southern Mediterranean.

Then, Takwa Mrabet, Network & Development Coordinator at BUSINESSMED, presented the INVESTMED project achievements over the last four years by showing the INVESTMED closing video. The video is available to watch at the INVESTMED YouTube here: 

Takwa then invited the work package leaders to the floor to explain their achievements and activities in more detail. First, Flavia Vighini representing LUMSA University, lead partner in the work regarding Capacity Building and Sustainable Business Management and Carmen Ayllón, representing the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the partner which organised the Mobility Visits to Alicante. They discussed the training activities carried out under the project, specifically the INVESTMED Summer School and the coaching and mentoring activities with Guadaluna Chaer, Cofounder of Luxeed Robotics and 1st prize winner of the INVESTMED pitch competition, Khouloud Kaabi, CEO and Co-founder of Idwey, and Mohanad Salah, CEO of Green Plus. The INVESTMED Summer School brought 21 entrepreneurs to Italy to fortify their business ideas and pitching skills, supporting the budding innovators to launch their businesses and look for further investment and development. 

Turning to the focus INVESTMED rightly put on Intellectual Property Rights, Raya Sfeir , Project Manager at Beyond Group, leader of the activities on IPR, explained the activities carried out by the consultancy with INVESTMED. First and foremost, Beyond Group developed the IPR Guidebook, available here. The guidebook, directed at entrepreneurs and public bodies, gathers 15 case studies and details national laws to provide an understanding of how to manage IPR in each target country and highlight its importance for innovation and entrepreneurship. Beyond Group also carried out several training sessions with INVESTMED entrepreneurs and experts on IPR in the target countries. In total, Beyond Group engaged 170 participants who benefitted from the capacity-building exercise. The subsequent consultations were then used to develop the policy recommendations, which can be found in this recent INVESTMED publication. 

Following that, Mokhtar Kembi, Financial Manager at BUSINESSMED, and Francesca Pugliese, Project Manager at IEMED, discussed the Technical and Financial Support to SMEs, tackling the support given to MSMEs and BSOs through the project in the form of subgrants. They were joined by Georgy Rahayel, CEO of Le Joyau d'OliveNurhan Rani, of Ithaka World, and Amine Messaoud, Mirage Group who shared their success stories with INVESTMED. Georgy was able to expand his team and reduce their order times, dramatically increasing efficiency and in turn, their revenues. Nurhan's team were able to launch their mobile application, turning their hostel business in Alexandria into a platform for travellers to connect and find other experiences in the area. 

Kirsty Fairhurst, Communications and Research Officer, and Maria Ruiz de Cossío, Senior Project Manager, at the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, and Maria Dalakoura from the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development held the final session on advocacy, communication and quality assurance. Kirsty highlighted the communication activities EMEA has carried out including the newsletters and maintenance of the INVESTMED community engagement platform, as well as the 4 key workshops on Access to Finance, connecting the INVESTMED beneficiaries to financial actors such as crowdfunding platforms and business angels, whilst Maria shed light on the EMEA policy papers, infographics, and recommendations, advocating for an enabling environment for entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean. Maria Dalakoura focused on how they have been able to ensure the quality of the INVESTMED activities, including the mapping activities carried out at the beginning of the project. 

To discover more details about INVESTMED's impact, head to the INVESTMED report publication under "Documents".