INVESTMED Summer School for Mediterranean entrepreneurs successfully comes to a close!


From the 4th-13th September 2023, INVESTMED held its Summer School, led by partner LUMSA University in Rome. Over the course of 10 days, the entrepreneurs were able to network with projects across the Southern Mediterranean and Italy as they participated in training activities and visited successful Italian start-ups and hubs.

77 business ideas were received to take part in the school, and after a selection process 21 were chosen. The entrepreneur’s businesses ranged from chemicals and fertilisers, to online market places for selling recycling materials providing employment for young desginers, to innovative gastronomy making camel cheese and delicious responsibly sourced desserts.

In the first week of an intensive 10 day experience, the entrepreneurs participated in workshops and trainings to improve their pitching skills. With the guidance of experts, The Summer School Afternoon Labs gave mentees the opportunity to improve their elevator pitches in terms of structure, language, delivery and non-verbal cues from Alessandro Lamanna from Technogym and key aspects a business angel is looking for in their pitches with Javier Sanchez-Marco. Peer-to-peer feedback was also key as entrepreneurs were able to get 1-1 tips and capitalise on networking opportunities. 

As well as working on their pitches, the mentees had sessions focused on entrepreneurial finance as they learned how to assess the credit worthiness of their businesses with two experts Mr Filippo Vettorato - Investment Manager Banca Etica - & Ms Elisabetta Berto - Specialist in financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

Najet Ben Mabrouk, Business Idea 4Bio-Oil, INVESTMED trainee said: “I was immersed in an incredible INVESTMED summer school that left me with unforgettable memories and valuable experiences. The summer school focused on fostering innovative and transformative capacity building for a sustainable economy around the Mediterranean, and it was an eye-opening experience that exceeded all my expectations.”

Not only did the benficiaries attend sessions in Rome, but also had the opportunity to visit the buzzing Italian city of Florence, and the Amalfi Coast region. The mentees benefitted from a range of visits to start-ups and entrepreneurship hubs around Italy such as the Chiusdino Plant in Siena and Giffoni at Giffoni Valle Piana (SA)! Founded by Claudio Gubitosi, Giffoni has been an active cultural factory for 50 years. Over time, it has become an important cultural and social facilitator.  During the visits, the mentees had the opportunity to learn about the startup.

On the final day of the Summer School, the participants pitched their business ideas to a panel of experts and investors. The pitch session was co-organised by project partner, the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association. The panel was made up of representatives from Alfanar, the first Arab Venture Philanthropy Organisation, MENA Business Women’s Club, Start-ups Without Borders, an international organisation supporting Start-ups, Verkami, a Spanish Crowdfunding Platform, and the Mediterranean Business Angel Investors Network. Each mentee had 3 minutes to present their pitch to the panel and after deliberation, the experts delivered their results...

The winners of the pitch competition were:

1. Guadaluna Chaer, CEO of Luxeed Robotics based in Lebanon

2. Khouloud Kaabi, CEO of IDWEY based in Tunisia

3. Mohaned Saleh, CEO of Clean Plus Chemicals based in Egypt.

Special mentions were also given to Heba Btadini of Cezar's Projects, Joelle El Haban of Un Jar of Jam, and Abdel Hami Shereif of Algaenoor.

Winner of second place, Khouloud Kaabi, CEO of IDWEY based in Tunisia said "During the summer school, we participated in training sessions and workshops, visited Italian startups, and benefited from meeting other entrepreneurs from the Mediterranean region. I'm so glad that IDWEY had the opportunity to be part of this program and to win second place in the final pitch competition.”

Congratulations to all who participated!

The INVESTMED Summer School was organised and implemented by project partner LUMSA University.

The INVESTMED project is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020. INVESTMED will have an impact on MSMEs, start-ups and recently established enterprises where staff will be trained and coached to become more sustainable and competitive and financially supported via an open competition. INVESTMED has a duration of 39 months, with a total budget of 3.8 Million euro, of which 3.4 Million euro are funded by the European Union (90%). It has 8 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)
  • Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations, CEEBA (EG)
  • Spanish Chamber of Commerce, CCE (ES)