Ambassador’s Remarks at WES-UP Launch Ceremony

Formal Remarks

WES-UP Launch Ceremony

March 17, 2017

Good evening everyone, I am delighted to be here to participate in this very special occasion.  I want to take a moment to thank Minister Hammami, Ms. Chema, our partners who participated in this project, and all of you for taking the time to join us in this ceremony.  I want to acknowledge in particular the WES Center directors and the trainers, who devote themselves to providing opportunities and support to women entrepreneurs. Thank you for the work you do.

The United States government has partnered with the Institute of International Education (IIE) and Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) for several years now, and we believe in the work that they do for a number of reasons.  They work on increasing the business capacity of rural women where other programs cannot reach.  In the process, women achieve greater self-confidence and independence; they are given access to networking opportunities donors and financial institutions, and also with other women entrepreneurs; and they have better promotion of their products, as WES facilitates participation in local and national fairs.  Finally, the WES programs also strengthen the NGOs that host the WES centers.

It is noteworthy that since 2012, more than 3,000 Tunisian women entrepreneurs have benefited from training, networking and coaching through the WES program.  More than 340 women have launched or consolidated their own businesses.  WESUP is an exciting new accelerator and business development initiative that provides women entrepreneurs with a path to growth and success.

Entrepreneurship is a powerful tool for addressing social challenges in Tunisia.  This entrepreneurship project is one of the many U.S. and Tunisian effective partnerships that aim to increase economic opportunity and inclusive growth.  We are showing that we strongly believe in the enthusiasm, passion, and creativity of women entrepreneurs, who overcome obstacles to create a brighter future for their families, their communities, and their country.

I wish to you all a great success in working to achieve your project goals and help women launch their businesses.

Thank you very much.