Small and Medium Enterprise Finance in Tunisia. The USAID Jobs, Opportunities and Business Success (JOBS) Activity supports small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate growth and create jobs. Connexus is improving SME access to finance and investment, conducting operational diagnostics, and guiding financial institutions to improve their processes for analyzing and investing in SMEs. In 2019, Connexus facilitated more than US$11.6 million in new SME finance and investment. In response to COVID-19, the Government of Tunisia requested assistance from JOBS in April 2020 to develop models, policies and systems to operationalize an Emergency Fund and five subfunds. Connexus’ technical advisors elaborated the investment strategy and negotiated the terms for the Emergency Fund, as well as its governance and operational models, financial and administrative policies. In addition, we supported the development of legal and regulatory documents, a placement memo, business plan and prospectus. With a fundraising strategy in place, and a contribution of 40% of the capital from CDC, the Emergency Fund was ready to launch in July 2020. Connexus also worked with BTE Bank and the Tunisian Leasing Company to develop strategies to support their SME portfolios in the wake of COVID-19. As of the end of September 2020, JOBS had facilitated $15.4 million in new investment (debt & equity), serving 2,875 beneficiaries (30% female).
Client: Chemonics International; 2018-2021
“The project delivers targeted firm-level assistance to businesses to accelerate growth and create jobs. Additionally, JOBS improves the employability and skills of Tunisian job-seekers based on demand-driven enhancements of Tunisia’s vocational training system.” – USAID Tunisia JOBS webpage