The United States provides funding for the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund (TAEF), a private corporation established to promote the development of the Tunisian private sector, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises. To date, the U.S. has provided $80 million for TAEF.
In May 2011, the U.S. president announced that he would seek authority to fund a Tunisian American Enterprise Fund to promote the development of the Tunisian private sector. TAEF invests in SMEs to promote inclusive economic growth and employment.
On July 9, 2013, the U.S. provided an initial grant of $20 million. TAEF has since been funded with three additional tranches of $20 million each, for total funding of $80 million. The majority of this funding is being used for loans and private equity investments. One more tranche of funding is expected to complete the U.S. Government’s capitalization of TAEF. TAEF is seeking to leverage private capital for investments as well. TAEF will seek to develop an investment portfolio which, over the long term, will make it self-sustaining.
TAEF Board of Directors and Management
The board of directors determines the investment priorities of TAEF and evaluates individual investments. The board must be comprised of private U.S. citizens and private Tunisian citizens who have had international business careers and demonstrated expertise in international and emerging markets investment activities. The Board has hired a small staff in Tunis to manage the investments and administrative affairs for TAEF.
The exact nature of TAEF transactions is determined by the board of directors and executive management of TAEF. TAEF is making both equity investments and loans, and seeks to develop financial transactions and instruments which are appropriate to the existing circumstances of the Tunisian economy and financial sector. This includes investments in financial institutions, private equity funds, private equity co-investment vehicles and/or separate accounts that delegate the discretion to make underlying investments to investment managers. TAEF may also deliver technical assistance or engage third parties in undertaking or financing technical assistance activities that directly support investments and potential investments.