16 representatives from 8 non-governmental organizations spanning across 6 different regions of Tunisia gathered in Tunis on June 26th for the Business Planning for Sustainability (BPS) Training of Trainers (TOT). The three days training, coordinated by the WES staff in San Francisco and Tunisia, was held in the Tunis Grand Hotel and was led by Ms. Widad El Hanafi.
WES Country Director, Chema Gargouri opened the training with an introduction to the WES program and vision for training Tunisian women in running sustainable business ventures.
Ms. Widad El Hanafi, former Country Program Manager for Women in Technology (Morocco) and Country Director for E-Mediat (Morocco) led the BPS TOT sessions. The topics covered during the training included essentials of business planning, brainstorming the organization’s objectives, exploring the entrepreneurship training market in Tunisia and identifying target groups. The participants were trained on planning the operations of their organizations with focus on issues like recruitment and cost analysis of furniture, fixtures, equipment, maintenance and labor.
The participants were encouraged to design their marketing strategies based on demands and needs of their local communities. Institute of Internal Education will provide customizable marketing material to the Partner Organizations during the kick-off conference in September. The most critical aspect of the BPS training involved creating financial tracking tools and cost recovery models. The concept of nominal social fees for services was introduced to help organizations pay for expenses and create sustainable businesses.
WES social media platforms were launched during the BPS training and received phenomenal response. Ahmed Hamza, WES Program Coordinator, actively tweeted and updated the program Facebook page. The WES Facebook page received over 65 likes in two weeks and continues to receive several messages expressing interest in the program.
The participants were excited to interact with the WES team at IIE via skype on the 2nd day of training. Heather Ramsey, Director, Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives and Heather Murphy, Sr. Program Officer welcomed the participants to the WES program and outlined the program objectives.
The 8 organizations are expected to submit completed business plans for review and shall receive feedback from the WES team. It’s heartening to see that so many members of the Tunisian community have started their journey towards creating sustainable organizations and contributing to the economic progress of the country. The WES team is honored to take this journey of economic empowerment with the aspiring and talented Tunisian women.