Tunisia: 'Senior Women in Business' Programme Closes, After Supporting 9 Start-Ups

Tunis/Tunisia — The incubation programme dedicated to women "Senior Women in Business", which was spread over 3 months and led to the creation of 9 start-ups, was closed Wednesday in Tunis.

This is a support programme for business creation, established by the German association "Global Project Partners" (GPP) and the National Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (CNFCE), in collaboration with the network of female entrepreneurship "TheNextWomenTunisie" (TNWT) and the incubator Betacube.

The programme, launched in Tunisia on December 15, 2020, targets a specific segment of women researchers and senior scientific entrepreneurs (45 years and older).

The 9 women scientists and researchers who were selected from a total of 103 candidates from 12 regions, are Nejla Stambouli, Doctor in epigenetics, Arfa Lamia, Teacher researcher in rural economy, Yosr Haffani, Doctor in biology, Saloua Sadok, Professor and Doctor in natural sciences, Meriem Jaïdane, Doctor, Professor and Engineer ENIT Electrical Engineering, Raja Ben Ammar, Professor and Doctor in chemical engineering, Ines Blagui, Doctor in medicine, Aziza Gasmi-Boubaker, Professor in agricultural sciences and Kaouthar Selmi, Researcher in private law.

Their startups consist respectively of a digital platform of services dedicated to people with disabilities, a digital platform of data collection and analysis aiming at providing a dashboard to farmers for a sustainable and more profitable agriculture, a clinical research center aiming at discovering new molecular markers for breast cancer molecular markers of susceptibility to breast cancer and responses to treatment based on pharmacogenomics.

They also include a project for the production of natural dyes for the agri-food and aquaculture industries, a startup developing innovative digital systems dedicated to masking disruptive noise in the workplace for better quality of life and work performance, and a startup producing wastewater recovery solutions.

Among the startups supported are also an organic certification startup, another manufacturing gluten-free flours based on oak acorns and an online platform for arbitration, mediation and amicable dispute resolution.

The Demo Day held Wednesday allowed the winners to present their project ideas, their business models, as well as the steps they plan to take to develop their startups and the funds needed for that purpose.

"The main objective of the programme is to create bridges between the university and the private sector and to unleash the potential of female entrepreneurship which abounds in Tunisian universities, through turning research ideas into projects and encouraging researchers who were locked in their laboratories to become entrepreneurs open to their environment, "said President of the CNFCE, Leila Belkhiria.

"Senior Women in Business", will be extended to other countries, including Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria, after the success of the Tunisian experience, said the project partners.

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