The Department of State funded the Chamber and Business Association Capacity Assistance Program (CBACAP) from 2012-201 7. This program worked with the Tunisian Chambers of Commerce to develop demand- and revenue- driven services for Tunisian businesses.
In the first phase of the project, the
program strengthened the chambersâ human and institutional capacity through the development of customized strategic plans.
In phases two and three, the program focused on the integration of chambers, the development of value-added services, and the implementation of public policy advocacy pilot projects, which have enabled the chambers to take on a stronger role as proactive actors and catalysts of local economic development.
Building on the success of this initiative, NEA/AC seeks proposals to assist the regional Chambers in improving good governance within their internal structure, driving regional development in parallel with decentralization, promoting specially tailored services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and young entrepreneurs, and acquiring the additional expertise needed to further facilitate membersâ entry into new international markets and partnerships with international companies, as well as enhancing the capacity and membership of the individual Chambers so they can better serve as a country-wide hub for business creation, development and networking services.
Specifically, this could include:
setting up a process for decision-making to improve good governance; putting up workflow charts to enhance efficiency and save resources; proposing services that respond to the specific needs of SMEs and young entrepreneurs; enhancing the internal capabilities and expertise of the Chambers; encouraging collaboration among the various Chambers as well as enhanced outreach efforts to potential member companies and SMEs; facilitate partnerships between the Chambers and CEPEX (Tunisia Export Institution) and other relevant bodies; and growing Chamberâs ability to serve as a bridge between member companies and jobseekers.
The Chambersâ enhanced governance capacity, outreach and growth will facilitate economic growth and job creation in Tunisia, especially in those areas of the country most in need.
This project should not ignore previous work that has been done to build the capacity of the Chambers of Commerce, but should seek to complement and not duplicate previous activities.
For example, the previously-funded Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations Customized Assistance Program (CBACAP) made significant strides in building the capacity of the Chambers over the past five years.
However, the Chambersâ performance and capacity varies dramatically from region to region, and this project has the flexibility to focus on those Chambers which still need improvement.
The United States Embassy in Tunisia has also previously supported the capacity building and growth of the Tunis Chamber of Commerce.