The great benefit of being based at the African Leadership Academy for Anzisha is the wonderful network of young leaders we have access to across 44 countries whom can also help us spread the word about the Anzisha Prize. After all, young people will know where we can find other young people. Navigating Tunisia was made a breeze with the assistance of our African Leadership Academy student, Eya Somai. As an active citizen in the Tunisian youth space, she was able to help us target realistic means for helping young Tunisians find out about the Anzisha Prize.
To start off our tour, we went to AMIDEast. AMIDEast is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. At AMIDEast, we had a strong engagement with participants who are excited about making a difference in their communities. Walking through the business ideation process with them leading into pitches at the end was a gratifying process because participants were coming up with viable solutions to problems they experience daily. Having Eya alongside to share ways Anzisha Fellows have addressed similar problems in their communities as well as share resources one can use to become an entrepreneur were helpful in having our Tunisian participants recognize their capabilities.
Some of the organizations we were in contact with that Eya shared resourceful for our participants include:
- Cogite Tunisia: Cogite describes itself as a community of doers, and a place to get things done, and host events and programs. Through meeting with staff there, we learned about potential program applicants and the kind of businesses they had. Some potential applicants who were mentioned to us include a young man who is starting a code academy at age 20.
Start Up Haus Tunis: Start up Haus Tunis is similar to Cogite, in that it has strong facilities, and seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While their target group isn’t the Anzisha age range of 15-22, the staff works with youth organizations.
Overall, key takeaways from our Tunisia experience is:
- When it comes to marketing the Anzisha Prize, a youth presence who is from the country or involved in Anzisha makes for a more credible sell. This means as a player of the ecosystem, consider teaching entrepreneurship and hosting workshops with youth who share their journey so participants have a real life example that this is a viable path.
- As a Pan-African award – on the ground support and knowledge is essential to giving youth viable means to accomplish their goals of starting an enterprise. For you, this means, if you are looking to expand your reach as an organization, meaningful engagements with people or organizations in the region you would like to reach out to, are most useful.