SwitchMed’s Green Entrepreneurship Programme is drawing to a close and it is time to take stock

The programme has fulfilled its objectives of improving sustainable business development services in the southern Mediterranean countries.

Published on Monday 25 March 2024· START-UPS AND ENTREPRENEURS

The national ecosystems for green entrepreneurship development have been enhanced through the creation of The Switchers Support Partnerships in 8 countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia). The Partnerships bring together more than 110 Public, Private and Non-profit Business Support Organizations (BSOs) that collaborate in the same goal of strengthening the promotion of green businesses. Local capacities in the target countries have been significantly improved through an ambitious training of trainers’ programme on sustainable business development that has reached 345 experts (48% women) members of 132 BSOs.

One of the key cornerstones of the SwitchMed’s Green Entrepreneurship Programme is The Switchers Toolbox which makes freely available various sustainable business development tools to Green Entrepreneurs, Sustainable Businesses, BSOs and trainers and mentors, to develop sustainable Business Models and Business Plans, perform eco-design and lifecycle assessments, measure economic, social and environmental impact of green companies, etc. Tools are available in Arabic, English, French and Italian. To date, the platforms counts with more than 6,800 green entrepreneurs and businesses, 220 BSOs and 400 experts as registered users.

In collaboration with the National Partnerships and local BSOs and experts, SwitchMed’s Green Entrepreneurship Programme has provided direct support to green entrepreneurs in all the countries. 874 entrepreneurs (48% women), whose green business ideas were selected, have been trained and supported to develop and test their Green Business Models according to the SwitchMed’s methodology. The entrepreneurs’ business ideas focused on two main sectors: sustainable waste management and organic food, but also covered practically all economic sectors in the different participating countries (renewable energy, sustainable tourism, sustainable textile, communication for sustainability, sustainable cosmetics, sustainable building, sustainable electronic equipment, sustainable furniture and sustainable mobility).

The best 125 Green Business Models have been selected and incubated to develop and implement their Green Business Plans though one-on-one mentoring support and tailored external technical assistance.

The programme has also strengthened the transition towards sustainable and circular business models in the blue economy sectors, supporting 146 blue entrepreneurs (47% women) in developing their Green Business Models and incubating the best 26 blue circular Start-ups in various economic sectors belonging to the blue economy in the different countries.

Finally, the incubated Circular Start-ups have also been supported in accessing finance. In most of the countries Matchmaking Events between the incubated Switchers and financial actors and investors have been held and activities will culminate in this last implementation period.