Economic Growth Program 2011

I am starting with the Arab Institute of Business Managers, an exciting and unique program to bring MBA and Master’s students from US to Tunisia, in order to screen micro-business opportunities in the remote and poor areas of Tunisia, from where the revolution actually started : Sidi Bouzid, Gassrine, etc. I just ended the interview of the candidates today, and they all have impressive backgrounds and skills. The US students, in close collaboration with Tunsian …

Extremism Index

Is it possible to quantitively assess the degree of extremism in a society? How to define it? How to set the criteria? Can we design an “extremism index”? 0 % would be for a very tolerant and open society, 100 %  would be for an extremist and very closed one? These questions came after several discussions I have had with friends from Tunisia: “extremism is everywhere”, “people are now very radical”, “it is hard to have a reational and …

Diasporas and entrepreneurship

For those who are interested in knowing more about  how to mobilize the diasporas energy, skills and funds, a very interesting report has been made by  Anima Investment Network, called ” Diasporas: gateways or investment , entrepreneurship and innovation in the Meditteranean”. The report lists a number of initiatives made by diasporas all around the world and particularly in the Mediterranean area to build gateways between the skills abroad and development and entrepreneurship projects in …

Social entrepreneurship in North Africa

I attended a meeting about “Social Entrepreneurship in the Arab World” with Ehaab Abdou, co-author of the very insightful report “Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East” . The main issue raised by this event was how to take advantage of the revolutions to create a better legal and economic framework for social entrepreneurs and impact investment in the area: What are the tax incentives to be implemented in order to develop the Corporate Social Reponsability programs? …

The National Diaspora Collaborative Fund

There is a need among expatriates to give back to their home country in a structured and sustainable way. Many of them are embedded in their host country and feel embarrassed when asked about contributing to the development of their area of origin, because they do not know how to do it in an effective way. Giving away money to small local foundations is not effective and sustainable. They need to stay active while helping, …

A surprise from the revolution

So much to say, assess, deduce, expect and criticize, after what happened recently in my home country. It is obvious that Ben Ali’s departure was not followed by a huge exodus of his allies, servers and loyal supporters. Instead, some of them decided to spread the violence and the chaos with the energy of despair, others have kept silent, and others are simply trying to do go back to business as usual. One could dream of Tunisians staying …