The SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship Programme achieves significant results while entering its last phase of execution

Sustainable business development has been improved and enhanced in the Southern Mediterranean countries by promoting the networking of more than 100 Business Support Organizations for circular economy development, improving the capacities of 345 local experts and trainers, and supporting 800 green entrepreneurs and Start-ups.

Published on Thursday 23 March 2023· START-UPS AND ENTREPRENEURS

Through its Green Entrepreneurship Programme, SwitchMed has significantly enhanced sustainable business development services in Southern Mediterranean countries.

Significant work has been done in the development of national networks to support the creation of green businesses in eight Southern Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

The national ecosystems for circular entrepreneurship development have been enhanced in different countries through the establishment of The Switchers Support National Partnerships, gathering more than 100 Business Support Organizations. The Partnerships are non-institutionalised voluntary associations of public and private actors that cooperate on green business development services to achieve a mutually agreed-upon objective that can potentially benefit all the involved parties by making resources, skills and knowledge available

Alongside the development and strengthening of networks, the Green Entrepreneurship Programme has made sustainable business development tools and methodologies available at a regional level through The Switchers Toolbox. Over 6,000 green entrepreneurs, 320 trainers and mentors, and 190 Business Support Organizations are registered on the platform and can interact using sustainable business development methodologies. The platform includes tools for developing sustainable business models and plans, eco-design, accessing finance and markets, as well as measuring impact at the environmental, social and economic levels.

A major effort of the programme has been the improvement of local experts’ capacities and skills for sustainable business development. Thus, a significant contribution to improving local capabilities has been made by training 345 experts (48% women) who are members of 132 Business Support Organizations in using the methodologies available in the web platform through a comprehensive training-of-trainers programme.

Regarding direct support to entrepreneurs, to date, almost 800 green entrepreneurs have been supported to develop their Sustainable Business Models out of 3,300 applicants, with 49% women and 41% young people. The main sectors of activity of the green business ideas are Organic food & agriculture, Sustainable waste management & Resource efficiency, Renewable energy & energy efficiency, Sustainable tourism, and Sustainable clothing and textile. Moreover, the Green Entrepreneurship Programme is incubating almost 100 Circular startups (50% of which are led by women) selected among the best Sustainable Business Models in the eight countries to launch their companies.

The following steps in the final phase of the programme’s execution will be to complete the incubation process and ensure access to financial support for the Circular Start-ups through matchmaking with financial actors and investors.