In a specific context where the Tunisian administration remains incapable of integrating a larger number of graduates, and the private sector is not in shape to recruit more, the move to private initiative which encourages young people to create their own projects is becoming more and more a national issue. However, it requires the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit.
A large responsibility is incumbent on all stakeholders including the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training to find a solution to the crisis of employability, through the dissemination among young people of corporate and private initiative culture in a country where the economy is more than ever at half-mast as a result of the worsening political crisis.
Faycel Zahhar, Director of Promotion of Small Enterprises in the National Agency for Employment and Independent Work (ANETI) recognizes the slowness of this process particularly with regard to young people’s reluctance to engage in private initiative because of the obstacles they encounter when setting up their own business in the areas of finance and administrative procedures.
In a statement to Africanmanager, he finds that the creation of a new generation of entrepreneurs remains dependent on an efficient intervention of the ministry throughout the entire educational system.
How? There is indeed a solution. The director not only suggests the revision of the educational system, but also the development of parallel programs at the regional level to successfully implement this corporate culture. “We are working to ensure a better response in schools and universities. It is for this reason that we have strengthened our partnerships with the ministries of education and higher education to develop parallel programs in this area,” he explains.
There is still a long way to go, given the many obstacles faced and related to the lack of experience and financing of candidates to start their own business. Added to this is a weak entrepreneurial culture that has steadily worsened after the revolution because of the increasing number of competitions organized for unemployed graduates in order to allow a large number of unemployed to access the public labor market.
This new reality and the general climate that discourages young people to engage in private enterprise, forced the Ministry of Employment to strengthen these intervention programs while promoting its links with other actors like the Tunisian Solidarity Bank (BTS).
Indeed, four cooperation agreements have been signed for this purpose, containing clauses designed to rescue projects in difficulty, as well as measures to spur investment.
Start of 600 new small businesses
From the date these agreements were signed until the end of November, the results are encouraging, according to Faycel Zahhar. Indeed, over 600 graduates have started their projects and the Department has approved more than 5,087 projects, he indicated.
He stressed that 4,702 are revising invoices with suppliers, among which 3,565 files were completed and transferred to the BTS to receive permissions for the acquisition of equipment, and 2,300 have already received these permissions.
Regarding the program of promotion of entrepreneurial activities developed in collaboration with the Ministries of Education and Higher Education, Faycel Zahhar noted that the program “Best Business Plan” organized annually for the benefit of university final-year students is undergoing a consolidation work to improve its contribution.