The two winning start-ups of the "Green Impact in the Mediterranean - Positive Investments for Positive Impacts" (GIMED) project will be announced on Monday, May 15, said Aymen Mchirgui, coordinator of the GIMED project at the Confederation of Tunisian Citizen Enterprises (CONECT).
These are 2 pilot start-ups with a significant ecological and environmental impact, selected from among 11 start-ups that presented their projects to the jury of this project on Saturday, at a networking and exchange event held in Tunis.
The winners will receive a 7500-euro grant from the European Union.
Launched in Tunisia in 2019, the GIMED project will run until 2023.
In its first phase, it has already selected six idea holders out of a total of 10. It aims to support the development of eco-innovative businesses in order to create jobs and stimulate the green and circular economy in the Mediterranean.
This project, which is being implemented in Spain, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt and Italy, will establish, with the support of the United Nations, a "Green Entrepreneurship Standard" for the support tools needed to create profitable businesses and award them a quality label to improve their access to financing and markets.
Rim Dorghami, who is in charge of managing the GIMED project, said this project dedicated to idea holders and owners of green or circular projects, has allowed, in a first phase, coaching and training of 80 entrepreneurs by experts in the field of entrepreneurship. "The selection criteria for the winning projects are mainly innovation, environmental value and social value.
For her part, the president of the jury, Hela Talhaoui, who is a trainer-coach in entrepreneurship, particularly green entrepreneurship and employability, as well as personal development told TAP THE common point between the entrepreneurs was an ecological watch, that is to say that the projects presented are green projects that respond to the environmental and social dimension, while taking into account economic viability.
The expert said the green project is a social enterprise that takes into account the company's profit, social impact (creation of decent jobs), environmental and ecological impact, in particular to respond to national and international challenges regarding the preservation of natural resources, through eco-innovation techniques and the circular economy. The aim is responsible production and consumption.
Innovative start-ups in green and circular economy
Some of the innovative green and circular start-ups that have benefited from the training and support provided by the GIMED project have presented to TAP their projects in various sectors of activity (industry, agriculture and agro-industry, textile-clothing, energy...).
Mohamed Ali Dhemaied, owner of the company "Exmad Deco", which is in the development phase, said his project offers solutions for the valorisation of marble waste through a special treatment that allows the production of pebbles called "moonstones" and tiles that reflect light in the dark, using a system of light storage during the day. These marble stones are used for decoration.
This solution reduces waste in the marble industry and also helps to minimise energy consumption. Dhemaied plans to commercialise his project in the local market and then move on to European markets.
In agriculture, Ismail Thabet, founder of "Blue Jet", which specialises in the Internet of Things, presented his project which consists of an innovative solution called "irouini." It is a smart irrigation system designed for the irrigation of oases.
The aim is to improve the yield of Tunisian oases and preserve them as a natural resource. This solution allows for lower water consumption and data collection so that the farmer can control his land and his yield.
The company obtained the start-up label in July 2022 and plans to expand its customer portfolio in 2023, which currently includes 10 farmers in Gafsa, Tozeur and Kébili.
Also in the field of agriculture, Taieb Nemissi, an engineer in fisheries and environment specialising in the production and valorisation of microalgae and co-founder of the start-up "Algaepool" said that his company offers an innovative solution for the production of microalgae in recycled maritime containers.
This start-up transforms maritime containers into autonomous microalgae production units, through the collection of end-of-life containers and their recycling, the installation of technical equipment, and then their delivery to customers to be used in the production of microalgae.
The startupper said the specificity of this ecological solution is that it promotes sustainable agriculture by producing microalgae in arid areas that are resistant to the effects of climate change and offer greater profitability. It is a green project that has given a different vision to agriculture, offering a solution that solves most of the problems of agriculture, such as water consumption, especially since microalgae (vegetable protein) do not consume water and are beneficial to health.
"Our company has been in existence since 2021 and was awarded the start-up label in January 2022. It is currently in the product improvement phase and is looking for funding. It is targeting foreign markets as well as the local market.
In the stationery sector, Tarek Mnif, founder of the "PUBAG" agency, presented his project of an advertising agency specialising in the free distribution of ecological bread bags to bakeries.
These bread bags carry advertisements and are financed by advertisers wishing to launch a temporary and geographically limited advertising campaign.
The aim of this solution is to contribute to reducing the consumption of plastic bags in the bakery sector, while protecting the health and well-being of individuals through the use of food paper bags.
The advertiser chooses the geographical area for its advertising campaign and the company ensures the distribution, control and monitoring of the campaign. The company was set up a year ago and the first campaign was launched to coincide with the ban on plastic bags in bakeries.
Intissar Mersni, owner of the company "Green Api Therapy", specialises in the valorisation of beehive products in cosmetology and agri-food and their transformation into natural products intended for different age groups.
In the ready-to-wear sector, Sarra Okbi, fashion designer and founder of the "Tyssara" brand, presented her brand of eco-responsible Tunisian ready-to-wear.
Aimed at young, active and curvy women who like to be casual, the project consists of collecting and valorising textile waste and second-hand items to create a collection of eco-friendly ready-to-wear clothes based on natural materials (wool and silk...).
The aim is to reduce the use of natural resources, especially as the textile sector is a polluting sector, as well as to reduce textile waste and to promote Tunisia-made garments.