Road to economic recovery starts with productive and resilient enterprises

ILO SCORE and GIZ launched a new "Support to Crisis Management for SMEs” project in Tunisia to strengthen the resilience and adaptability of 100 small businesses to address disruptions and advance economic recovery and progress

Article | 25 January 2023
On 7 December 2022, the ILO SCORE Programme launched the new Support to Crisis Management for SMEs (AGC) project in Tunisia. It aims to improve the resilience of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Tunisia, and equip them with training and tools to confront future crises effectively. Specifically, it focuses on SMEs facing critical challenges to their survival and viability due to loss of business operations and reduced productivity in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

Implemented by the SCORE Programme, this new project is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) under its Qualitative Growth for Employment (CQE) project, and in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Social Affairs, Tunisian General Union of Labour (UGTT) and Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts (UTICA).

SME resilience drives economic recovery and growth. Rooted in this, the new AGC project prioritizes productivity improvement and development of necessary tools and methods to promote crisis management and equitable work environments. To achieve this, SCORE Tunisia will implement three SCORE Training modules on Workplace Cooperation, COVID-19 Business Continuity Planning and Gender Equality in 100 SMEs.

In line with this, the ILO and GIZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the joint project launch event. In attendance were representatives of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Social Affairs, Norwegian Embassy in Algeria, Swiss Embassy in Tunisia, UGTT and UTICA.

The event highlighted the linkages between productivity and working conditions, and emphasized on strengthening the capacity of national partners in implementing win-win solutions for decent work. It also provided an opportunity for national partners to note their experiences so far with SCORE Training in Tunisia particularly in the context of COVID-19, and to underscore the potential of the new AGC project in identifying key sectors, modernizing SMEs and boosting sustainable entrepreneurship.

SCORE Training in Business Continuity Planning improved the competitiveness and profitability of our products, as well as enhanced communication within our teams. Not just this, SCORE tools and techniques also helped us to achieve a triple certification of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001, which has now opened up our business to international markets."

Mr. Ghazi Ben Ayed, CEO of Workman – a SCORE-trained business

The new AGC project is very interesting and relevant to Tunisian workers, especially if we contextualize it to the current challenges from the impact of COVID-19. For us at the UGTT, we are acutely aware of the relationship between decent work, worker productivity and SME sustainability. We welcome this new initiative from the ILO, GIZ and the Government, and reiterate our full support to it."

M. Faycel Kadhkadhi, UGTT representative
The AGC project will run in Tunisia for 24 months until 14 October 2024. It will soon launch a call for applications from SMEs. For more information, contact us.

The ILO SCORE Programme in Tunisia is jointly funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). To date, SCORE Training has supported 124 Tunisian SMEs, which reported reduced production costs, and increased productivity, safety and health and cost savings. Know more