Partners for Tunisian Entrepreneurial Excellence
Partners for Tunisian Entrepreneurial Excellence (PTEE) is a project that is intended to benefit entrepreneurs (particularly females), unemployed youth, and business owners. Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to be at the forefront of strong market opportunities with limited competition, youth will have new job opportunities, and owners of current businesses have the opportunity for expansion funding not previously available. In this way, the project endeavors to support and enhance growth in Tunisia’s interior regions.
PTEE helps develop an ecosystem to promote excellence in entrepreneurship in the long-neglected interior of Tunisia. PTEE virtually links the talent of business school students, successful business leaders and impact investors with entrepreneurs to help them turn their business start-up dreams into reality, from creation of their business models to locating sources of funding.
The project will be incorporated through a series of tactical steps beginning with a pilot program that introduces entrepreneurial applicants to the educational benefits of PTEE and ultimately providing the best applicants with financial capital and support following a rigorous Boot Camp program.
As students, mentors and applicants trade expertise and assistance, entrepreneurial applicants that demonstrate growth in their vision, provide mentors with evidence of business acumen, can clearly articulate the primary factors of their business model and seek to provide meaningful employment beyond themselves will be directed towards funding opportunities like angel investors, grants, and PTEE-specific funding.
In 2011, two recent Georgetown graduates, Jeffery Christiansen and Bechara Azar, worked with the Arab Institute of Business Managers and Professor Robert Sicina of The American University Kogod School of Business in Washington DC, to develop a wide-ranging list of initial business ideas in response to market niches opportunities in Bou-Salem, a town in the interior of Tunisia.
A committee of IACE members then selected the following three projects as most feasible: Specialized Bread Manufacturer, Vegetable Processing Factory, and Water Bottling. Students from The American University Kogod School of Business and Notre Dame prepared business plans for the selected projects, working remotely from the United States. The business plans detailed what steps were needed for the successful development and launch of each business idea.