International Launch Day is celebrated on Friday

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International Launch Day is celebrated on Friday


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On 11 March each year, the world celebrates International Startup Day, with the aim of promoting and enhancing startups all over the world.

This is an initiative launched in 2017 by the promoters of the African Startup Forum (ASF) (economic forum for African startups) to encourage socio-economic decision-makers in Africa but also around the world to celebrate startups and their ecosystems.

The “Startups Day” aims to show the positive impact of startups, to promote innovation, to foster the employability of young people and to promote sustainable governance.

A public program “Startup Tunisia”

In Tunisia, a public “Startup Tunisia” program was included in the Digital Tunisia 2016-2021 National Strategic Plan and was renewed as part of the National Digital Transformation Strategy 2021-2025.

The general objectives of the program are to generate high value-added jobs for Tunisian graduates, increase the share of technological innovation in economic growth, especially in gross domestic product (GDP), improve the country’s image, restore and strengthen the investor confidence in the Tunisian country, revive hope among young people and stem the brain drain.

More concretely, this program aims to enable Tunisian startups to do well on a regional and global level and to make Tunisia a hub for innovative companies, attracting companies and entrepreneurs from Africa and the Mediterranean region to settle in Tunisia and thus become a leader in innovation.

This program is based on three main pillars. This is, first and foremost, the Startup Act, enacted on April 17, 2018. It is a legal framework dedicated to the promotion of startups that start in Tunisia or settle there. It is based on a label of merit and a series of benefits and incentives for entrepreneurs, startups and investors.

The second pillar is “Startup Invest”, an investment framework to bring out a solid and dynamic venture capital (VC) industry. This framework is based on 3 tools: Anava Fund of Funds, a management company incubator and Startups Guarantee Fund.

The third pillar is “Startup Empower”, a support scheme dedicated to Startups and Ecosystem Support Structures (SSO). This scheme is divided into 3 missions: start-up and SSO financing, ecosystem guide and international connections.

By 2024, “Startup Tunisia” aims to create 1,000 startups, 10,000 jobs and be able to allow at least one unicorn to hatch with a turnover of one billion dinars. These objectives should be achieved through the labeling program, which is the heart of the Startup Act. The program started in April 2019. Since then, around twenty startups have been certified and / or pre-labeled each month, out of fifty of questions on average.

The implementation of Startup Tunisia has been entrusted to Smart Capital, a management company approved by the Financial Markets Council.

Under this program, any labeled startup has the right to open a special foreign currency account that can be funded for free with capital, quasi-capital, turnover and dividends in foreign currency. Labeled startups are also exempt from corporation tax and are considered authorized economic operators under the Customs Code. They are also exempt from the CERT (Centro Studi e Ricerche in Telecommunications) approval and technical control procedures for imports and benefit from a technology card (the amount authorized on the technology card is increased to 100k TND / year for startups).

More than 650 startups labeled

Since the promulgation of the Startup Act in April 2018, the program has made it possible to label more than 650 startups, to launch the Fund of Funds with a first closing of 40 million euros. The Fund of Funds has a target size of 200 million euros and aims to invest in more than 13 investment funds dedicated to startups at each stage of development (Seed Stage, Early Stage and Late Stage).

In addition, this program also allowed the start of the Flywheel program dedicated to supporting the startup ecosystem.

Thanks to this program, several Tunisian start-ups have managed to raise funds on a national but also international scale and are carving out a place in the most competitive niches on an international scale.

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