Entrepreneurship is booming in the Arab World. Tunisia, as a democratic country going through political and economic reforms, aims to become a hub for entrepreneurship. Co-working spaces are mushrooming while start-ups are the go-to path for many talented fresh graduates. However, the education system remains disconnected from the world of entrepreneurship and students are often self-taught. Moreover, North/West Africa remains disconnected from the major hubs of entrepreneurship in North America. This is a gap that CGC Tunis aims to fill. Our partners BIAT and Africinvest are particularly interested in this field, and so are the US Embassy and the Ministry of Higher Education.
Our flagship project is called Fostering Entrepreneurship in Engineering Education in Tunisia. It involves the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Columbia University and several leading universities in Tunisia, combining schools of business and engineering. The project started in 2015, aiming to introduce elements of an entrepreneurship curriculum in engineering schools, and build an ecosystem that would support entrepreneurial activities in the Tunisian context. There are then annual competitions for students to pitch their ideas, with the winning team flying to New York and competing with CU students.