Thinking outside the box: Tunisia – a new hub for start-ups

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2011, with the ousting of the country’s long-time president. Since then, there have been dramatic changes in the fledgling democracy. Now more than ever, Tunisia needs people with the ability to break down old structures and mentalities, and the courage to strike out in new directions.


Plenty of scope for new ideas

Job creation and a robust economy are key to Tunisia’s development. The challenge ahead is to invigorate the economy in order to offer young people in particular – many of whom are very well educated – good prospects for the future. In this respect, several economically deprived regions in the country’s interior are still lagging behind. Tunisia therefore urgently requires entrepreneurs with international experience, the ability to think outside the box, and innovative ideas. Unlike in many industrialised countries, entrepreneurs will still find plenty of scope, niche markets and opportunities to implement their ideas there.

Around 11% of the Tunisian population lives abroad, including many highly qualified people with international career experience, good contacts, and promising business ideas. Abdallah Khenissi was one of them. He left Germany and his life as an employee behind to make his entrepreneurial vision come true in Tunisia.


Tunisia: a new hub for start-ups

Tunisia’s great potential is reflected not least in the growing number of incubators, co-working spaces, and funding opportunities for start-ups. As a result, the country is sometimes known as the new start-up hub for the Middle East and North Africa. The IT and renewable energy sectors are booming and currently bristling with start-ups. However, other sectors such as environmental technology, health services, construction, and of course tourism are also thriving. In the tourism sector, innovative entrepreneurs are urgently needed to create new and attractive services and thus attract more visitors to the country.

Real-life examples

After completing his degree in Germany, Abdallah Khenissi spent three years working in solar research at the renowned German Aerospace Center. However, the expert in renewables and solar thermal energy did not see his future in Germany and returned to Tunisia in 2015. He returned with lots of ideas about how to use solar energy intelligently and cost-effectively.

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Our partners

In Germany: Kompass

In Tunisia: Afkar

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