In preparation for the upcoming Financial Education Training of Trainers (TOT) next week in Tunis, the WES Financial Education Master Trainer, Tarek Lamouchi, reflects on what inspired him to enter this field and why financial education is important for women entrepreneurs.

For over six years I worked at Enda Inter-Arabe, a microfinance institution that is active throughout Tunisia, and much of my work focused on supporting women entrepreneurs. While working closely with entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed there is a general lack of knowledge about financial management. More specifically, I consistently see women entrepreneurs who do not set clear and realistic financial goals or set aside money for emergency situations. They have big dreams and high hopes for themselves and their children; however lack sufficient training to separate their household and business expenses or save adequately to make their dreams a reality.

I have found that training entrepreneurs requires concerted effort on the part of the trainer to break the ice and create a trusting environment. I believe that successful trainings are based on the following principles:

  1. Action Learning in which trainings are interactive and participants have the opportunity to apply the techniques and methods presented. This helps participants better understand and remember the tools and resources shared during the training.
  2. Building on the experience of the entrepreneur by creating an environment in which attendees have the opportunity to share their life experiences. My goal as a trainer is to build on the knowledge that already exists in the room. This creates a dynamic in which participants learn from one another, as well as the trainer, and are empowered by their knowledge and life experiences.

Certainly financial education alone cannot solve all of the challenges that women entrepreneurs face, however it is a great framework in which to begin to successfully organize finances and operate successful businesses.

Additional information about Tarek, and his professional experience and training can be found by visiting his LinkedIn page.