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IFC Invests in Flat6Labs Tunisia to Help Boost Startup Ecosystem in Tunisia


In Rabat:
Shobhna Decloitre
Phone: +212661839733
E-mail: sdecloitre@ifc.org


Tunis, Tunisia, September 26, 2019—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $1 million into Anava Seed Fund (ASF), an accelerator and early stage fund managed by Flat6Labs Tunisia, to help support tech entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs in particular, as well as to boost Tunisia’s nascent venture capital ecosystem. Half of this amount is provided by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a partnership among governments, multilateral development banks, and other public and private sector stakeholders, hosted by the World Bank Group. We-Fi supports women entrepreneurs in developing countries by building their capacity, scaling up access to financial products and services, and providing links with domestic and global markets.

Flat6Labs Tunisia, a partnership between Flat6Labs—the region’s largest acceleration program and early stage investment platform—BIAT, TAEF (Tunisian American Enterprise Fund), Meninx Holding and Le15, is increasing its seed fund size to $10 million to support up to 100 technology companies, and to help address the lack of early stage capital in Tunisia.

Ramez El-Serafy, CEO at Flat6Labs, said, “We believe that our partnership with IFC will enable us to continue providing entrepreneurs with a better support program and encourage more candidates, especially women, to apply and thrive through it.”

As part of the We-Fi program, IFC will also work with Flat6Labs Tunisia to support women entrepreneurs and help overcome the challenges they face through a gender-led strategy to foster greater inclusion and create more opportunities.

“Early stage funding is vital to building a robust startup ecosystem and to help entrepreneurs establish companies that can develop innovative solutions and create quality jobs,” said Georges Joseph Ghorra, IFC’s Resident Representative in Tunisia. “We aim to address the funding gaps in this space, especially for women entrepreneurs, to continue to spur innovation and economic growth in Tunisia and the region.”

The investment in Flat6Labs Tunisia is part of IFC’s $30 million Startup Catalyst initiative, which backs accelerators and seed funds in emerging markets to catalyze the venture capital ecosystem and spur entrepreneurial activity. It aims to help bridge issues of insufficient seed capital and business know-how and drive innovation by supporting the crucial early stage of local VC ecosystems. The Flat6Labs Tunisia investment follows two other investments through the Startup Catalyst program in the MENA region— Flat6Labs Cairo, Flat6Labs’ flagship accelerator program based in Cairo, and Ibtikar Capital, an early stage fund in Palestine.  

About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About We-Fi

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is a collaborative partnership among fourteen governments and eight multilateral development banks. Housed in the World Bank Group, We-Fi seeks to unlock billions of dollars in financing to tackle the full range of barriers facing women entrepreneurs—increasing access to finance and markets, while strengthening policy, and legal and regulatory frameworks. As one of the We-Fi implementing partners, IFC supports private sector clients with investments and advisory services to expand financial services and market access for women-owned/led firms, as well as increasing the capacity of women entrepreneurs to run high-growth businesses. For more information, visit www.we-fi.org.

About Flat6Labs Tunisia:

Since the launch of the initiative in 2016 between the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund (TAEF), Meninx Holding and BIAT, Flat6Labs has supported 28 innovative Startups in Tunisia. The program welcomes startups working in various sectors geared towards innovation and the knowledge economy, including Education, Energy, Transport, FinTech, GreenTech, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), as well as Electronics and Industrial Solutions. The program is backed by Anava Seed Fund and offers several investment tickets up to 1 Million Dinars.Flat6Labs supports the next wave of entrepreneurs developing innovative solutions and applications. We are proposing a unique program tailored to the national context and contributing to the growth of the Tunisian entrepreneurial ecosystem. In two years, Flat6Labs Tunisia has invested more than 6 Million Dinars in 28 innovative Startups.

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