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Tunisia: Women entrepreneurs complain about ”high cost of public services”

A study on “Women Entrepreneurs in Tunisia” has been worked out as part of a regional project coordinated by the Center for Research and Training Institute for Arab women (CAWTHAR).

This initiative involving the National Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs “CNFCE gives an insight into the profile of Tunisian women entrepreneurs Tunisian, the problems they encounter in the scope of their activities and structures and ways to improve their business.It also includes comparisons on many levels between businesswomen in five Arab countries: Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia.

The sample includes women entrepreneurs who are people, highly educated, having a family activity and operating mainly in Greater Tunis. The first general conclusion that emerges from this survey is that respondents, while relatively optimistic about the future of the national economy as compared to their own businesses, express concerns about the fear of foreign competition and the competitiveness of their enterprises, the difficulty of finding and keeping good employees and the high cost of public services.

In addition, they mention laws and regulations that hinder business growth, the improvement of management skills, the expansion to new markets besides the funds and schemes for small loans companies

The study points out that women entrepreneurs surveyed do not perceive it as should be the use of the Internet as a means of competitiveness and accumulation of intelligence and as a strategic tool in the prospect of opening foreign markets and promoting international partnerships .. It has been found also that, overwhelmed by operating activities, they are not always aware of some strategic actions that can help them develop their activities (access to capital, access to foreign markets and technology), but their apparent fear of competition may be tempered by increasing their level of confidence in their abilities through specialized training. The fact is however that this training enables them to acquire more insurance and personal development, but also skills in the area of strategic management, international trade and marketing.

Recommendations proposed by the study involve the establishment of adequate sources of financing, as well as better monitoring of banks to support the company in its fight for competitiveness in the context of the strong competition triggered by “Made in China” products and the will to overcome the under capitalization of SMEs which hinders their development.

It is also called upon women entrepreneurs to be involved in networks, to exchange experiences, know-how and advice, and partnership opportunities ,to establish common interest groups for women and to consolidate efforts for the promotion of competitive products and quality that meet international standards.

The informal sector has not been forgotten. In this regard, emphasis was placed on the need to develop microfinance for women who operate in this field, to mentor and support them so they can develop their businesses and eventually reach the formal economy .


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