Flag of Tunisia

Economic Growth and Trade

Speeches Shim

Woman harvests olives in El Fahs, Tunisia.
Woman harvests olives in El Fahs, Tunisia.
Alison Wright for USAID

The 2011 revolution was a powerful expression of Tunisians' desire to have their voice heard in the economic and political life of their country. Following the 2011 Revolution, the Tunisian government embarked on a series of efforts to improve the quality of governance, advance administrative reforms, fight corruption, increase social inclusion, and reduce regional disparities. USAID Tunisia supports these efforts through economic and governance assistance programs to promote both economic participation and democratic consolidation.

Job creation is one of the Tunisian government’s top priorities. A particular concern is the lack of good jobs available to the thousands of young Tunisians entering the job market each year. To support the people and Tunisian government, USAID is helping the private sector create more jobs and move forward on a stronger fiscal and economic framework. 

Current Activities

Tunisia Jobs, Opportunity, and Business Success (Tunisia JOBS) is a new five-year activity that began operations in June, 2018. The project will deliver targeted, firm-level assistance to hundreds of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to expand their business and create thousands of new jobs. In addition, the project will address market and policy constraints to improve the business climate and the matching between workforce development programs and private sector needs to enable SMEs to expand and hire new workers. Tunisia JOBS builds on the results of past USAID employment projects including the Business Reform and Competitiveness Project (BRCP), which helped private businesses grow and add thousands of permanent jobs. 

Fiscal Reform for a Strong Tunisia (FIRST) assists the Ministry of Finance to rationalize tax policy, modernize tax administration and undertake other fiscal reforms to secure a sound fiscal foundation for economic stability and long-term growth. The project aims to help the Tunisian government better target and audit public revenue collection, reduce administrative steps and the quality of administration while improve improving the budgeting and expenditure process and public accountability.

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED) project in Tunisia provides business mentoring, marketing and management training to Tunisian entrepreneurs and links new businesses with established mentors to promote business development and generate additional private sector employment. With USAID funding, CEED Tunisia has trained over 450 entrepreneurs in Tunis and is expanding into the south of the country. 

Mashrou3i (My Project) is a partnership with Hewlett Packard, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and the Italian Cooperation Agency to foster entrepreneurship and job training among at-risk youth in interior regions of the country where unemployment is highest. With USAID support, Mashrou3i expanded its operations from four governorates to fourteen, using HP’s online training program helping students, teachers, and entrepreneurs gain the business and IT skills needed to help create jobs and stimulate economic growth. 

The Tunisian-American Enterprise Fund (TAEF) is an independent, autonomous organization governed by a board of directors consisting of six American and three Tunisian members and funded in full by a grant from USAID. TAEF’s objectives are to promote private sector development, increase investments in promising small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Tunisia’s economy, and improve access to finance especially for SMEs to promote and disseminate international commercial best practices.