Investment and Growth in Tunisia
Millennium Partners and Banyan Global team up to evaluate the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund
Millennium Partners together with Banyan Global, recently conducted a performance evaluation for USAID of the Tunisian American Enterprise Fund (TAEF). TAEF was established by Congress in 2012 for the purpose of supporting small and medium enterprise (SME) growth and promote international commercial best practices. Millennium Partners and Banyan fielded a diverse team of experts to conduct an “early implementation” evaluation on how the processes, investment strategy, governance, and operational structures of TAEF support the achievement of the goals of developing Tunisia’s private sector.
MEGA Print is a highly successful Tunisian enterprise that received TAEF assistance.
The Millennium-Banyan team conducted numerous interviews with TAEF’s Board of Directors (Board), management, staff, investees, as well as SMEs in Tunisia that have not received a TAEF investment. Meetings and key informant interviews (KIIs) were conducted both in the U.S. and Tunisia, while focus group discussions (FGDs) and investee site visits in Tunisia enabled the team to critically assess TAEF’s foundational structures.
Using a rigorous mix of quantitative methods, namely electronic surveys of TAEF’s Board, senior staff, and investees, a body of data was collected against which qualitative information collected from interviews, FGDs, and meetings were coded and analyzed. A thorough review of documents, including those internal to TAEF, USAID, and outside literature provided crucial context to understand the private sector in Tunisia, and a means to question, triangulate and analyze findings from various sources.
Among the Millennium Banyan team findings were TAEF’s strategic engagement with the private sector, along with other key stakeholders, including USAID-funded projects were important elements in identifying investees. TAEF it should be noted, recognized that it is important not to compete with the myriad of existing financial institutions and investment funds in Tunisia but instead focus on filling the gaps in SME’s access to finance.
In conducting this early implementation evaluation, the evaluation team has determined that TAEF has successfully laid the foundations for achieving its purposes to develop Tunisia’s private sector. The TAEF evaluation sets the groundwork for the midterm and final evaluations of the fund’s activities and provides valuable learning tools on how the Enterprise Fund model can contribute to the private-sector development and economic growth in a more-advanced financial system. The report 120-page in-depth study has been submitted to USAID and is awaiting approval. It will be available on the USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse website.