Monia Jendoubi, Communication and International Cooperation Manager, El-Gazala Technopark
Goldman Sachs 10,000 MENA Women Entrepreneurs, March 2015
10,000 Women is a global initiative supported by The Goldman Sachs Foundation that provides female entrepreneurs around the world with practical business education, business advising, and networking. The program cultivates the leadership potential of women in the region, promotes women’s economic empowerment, and strengthens the entrepreneurship ecosystem. It was an amazing opportunity for me; I met with mentors at Goldman Sachs and visited successful business incubators in Washington D.C. I visited the Harvard Innovation Lab and saw startups with innovative ideas eager to better serve humanity with new solutions and innovative business models. Coming back home with a certificate from Harvard was really an achievement for me. My dream has become a reality.
The most valuable part of the program for me was the networking opportunity. I met lots of experts who served as mentors to entrepreneurs, helping them to scale up and go international with their ideas. I gained practical skills in planning, negotiation, leadership, marketing, communication and personal branding, which I could immediately put into action.
I am in contact with the General Assembly, an incubator in Washington, D.C., and we are developing a plan to exchange best practices in startup development and organize an exchange of visitors between startups.
In Tunisia we are developing a new business model for entrepreneurship ecosystem based on incubators, technological transfer offices, co -working spaces, technoparks, innovation centers, and new funding mechanisms. But we have to believe in volunteerism. Entrepreneurship grows smoothly in an open ecosystem based on sharing without restrictions; if you have the spirit of volunteerism you can help, you can coach, you can be a mentor just because you believe in the idea.