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10 universities gather in Tunis to launch student incubators

On the 29th of March 2018, 10 Libyan universities from all territories (Al Margheb, Benghazi, Gharyan, Misurata, Sebha, Sirte, Tobruk, Tripoli, Zawia and Aljufra) launched their university incubators in the presence of H.E. Bettina Muscheidt, the European Union Ambassador.

The objective is to build a Libyan startup ecosystem driven by Libyan students and universities that would attract talented youths to design, create and grow their businesses. After the signing of a memorandum of understanding in June with the Universities, SLEIDSE has provided their chosen UEIC Directors with more than 300 hours of training and organized several study visits of business incubators and accelerators in France, Lebanon and Tunisia.

On the legislative aspect, the Minister of Higher Education signed a drecree to implement the incubators within universities.

As a part of the launching ceremony, the universities with the support of SLEIDSE have identified nearly 100 potential student-entrepreneurs, to come to Tunis and receive training to prepare and deliver a three-minute “elevator pitch” about their business idea. From all these students’ presentations, 10 winners were selected as “best business idea” and will earn the privilege of participation in a future SLEIDSE “entrepreneur Bootcamp”. During the event in Tunis, these 10 winners also joined the University Presidents and UEIC Directors to visit a large public incubator in Tunis, Istic Startup Enterprise. This incubator managed by the Tunisian Agency for the promotion of Industry and Innovation (APII) and is specialized for ITC start-ups.

In launching these ”Universities Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centers”, SLEIDSE fosters an active and accessible startup ecosystem in Libya for young people across the country. In today’s troubled context, creation of private business incubators has only just begun in two large cities: young entrepreneurs lack access to the necessary support, advice and training on business management.  In launching these 10 incubators managed by trained staff, SLEIDSE contributes to provide them with the concrete support to develop entrepreneurship in their country.

This activity was performed within SLEIDSE project, also financed by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France, which aims to support the development of entrepreneurship in Libya.