COVID-19 Response

Assisting the recovery of the Tunisian economy

Immediate emergency support to SMEs
on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic in April 2020

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Assisting the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) to conceptualize and begin implementation of the govermment’s investment infusion for SMEs

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Structuring and implementing a $10 million grants program to provide rapid recovery assistance to thousands of SMEs and microentreprises

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Immediate assistance to SMEs producing protective equipment and other Covid-19 responses

In April 2020, USAID JOBS provided immediate grant assistance to six SMEs on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic.

The companies were producing protective equipment, processing medical waste, and supporting crisis communications for the Government of Tunisia.

This cash equivalent infusion included working-capital support or the purchase of needed equipment. It permitted these companies to continue their operations and serve Tunisians in the struggle against the pandemic.

Assistance to the CDC

cdc

USAID JOBS provided USG assistance to the Caisse de Dépôts et des Consignations (CDC) to implement the Government of Tunisia’s 700 million TND Emergency Fund to assist Tunisian SMEs.

Specifically JOBS supported the CDC to structure and launch four separate sub-funds to support SMEs:

 

  • 300 million TND ($107 million) EMPOWER Fund to support mid to large SMEs to rebound and sustain growth

  • 100 million TND ($36 million) RELAIS Fund to provide liquidity for equity investment funds to reinvest in SMEs

  • 100 million TND ($36 million) IMPACT Fund for underserved interior regions, and

  • 100 million TND ($36 million) ASPIRE Fund to support SMEs to implement their restructuring plans

  • One financing line totalling 100 million TND ($36 million) supporting public health units and hospitals

 

JOBS is also supporting the CDC in implementing tools to measure the social impact of its investments, particularly SMEs impacted by COVID-19, and those in underserved regions employing women and young people.

$10 million grant fund: delivering needed resources to MSMEs

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the Tunisian economy and many businesses are struggling to stay in operation. The U.S. Government is partnering with Tunisia in recovery efforts, and through JOBS has launched a grant fund to accelerate the recovery of thousands of Tunisian businesses nationwide by providing much-needed capital at a critical time.

The COVID-19 Enterprise Recovery Grant Fund delivers support for microenterprises impacted by COVID-19 to recover and to re-hire, sustain, or add employees for enterprises delivering essential goods and services to combat the pandemic. The program will sustain or create at least 15,000 jobs and leverage $20 million in private capital and commercial financing.

The COVID-19 grant fund has three distinct categories of grants:

Support for Microenterprises

Mobilizing $31 million to support 13,000 MSMEs

Partner Grants

Granting JOBS’ ongoing and potential client firms small business grants

Small Grants

Awarding grants to approximately 200 SMEs
Impact To Date

  • 254 MSMEs receiving support (80 partners and 174 small business grants) throughout Tunisia through the COVID-19 Enterprise Recovery Grant Fund to sustain and create jobs and provide goods and services to combat COVID-19.
  • Over 15,000 microenterprises across the country have received grants and loans through the MFI program under the COVID-19 Enterprise Recovery Grant Fund. The total grant funds disbursed are approximately 8 million TND and total lending is 80 million TND.
  • CDC Emergency Fund launched in late 2020 with a first closing of 70 million TND.
  • Monitored and engaged over 400 partner companies to provide Covid-related support.