Context of the Inauguration of SSE Cluster:

On Friday, November 24, 2023, the Tunisian Center for Social Entrepreneurship (TCSE) and the Municipality of Tunis organized the SSE Day in La Medina of Tunis, to inaugurate the social and solidarity economy Cluster (SSE Cluster). Launched within the framework of the MedTOWN project, funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Med program, and the “Dignifying the Working Conditions of the Domestic Sector – Phase II” project, funded by Generalitat Valenciana.

SSE Cluster: Genesis

The Social and Solidarity Economy Cluster (SSE Cluster) stems from a productive process involving actors from the public, private, and civil society sectors, initiated by the TCSE in November 2022 in the Medina of Tunis. This materialized through the organization of a national workshop focused on the co-production of public and social policies and services. The main objective was to establish an SSE dynamic in the heart of the Medina of Tunis through public-private partnerships focusing on empowering women with the SSE Sector..

Co-producing public and social policies is a way of working together. This entails that citizens, governments, and sometimes businesses or community groups collaborate to co-create, implement, and evaluate the rules and services that everyone needs. The idea is to consider different opinions, make policies and services more effective, and ensure they better meet the needs of the people. It is an approach where everyone equally participates in making decisions that concern the community.

The active presence of the Municipality of Tunis, through its various departments, reflects its interest in collaborating with civil society and SSE actors for the digitalization and improvement of services at Dar Ben Achour, the iconic library of the Medina of Tunis. The Municipality of Tunis played a crucial role in the emergence of this Cluster by facilitating its integration and laying the necessary solid foundations for the initiation of partnerships between actors in the Medina of Tunis. At the same time, in harmony with its mission to create an environment conducive to social entrepreneurship, TCSE intervenes at a macro level by facilitating co-production units, including the one established with the Municipality of Tunis. This initiative aims to support public actors in the effective integration of citizens’ perspectives and actions as well as those of SSE actors throughout the process of designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating public and social services and policies. The facilitation of the Cluster was the result of a successful collaboration between TCSE and Blue Fish, a social enterprise rooted in the Medina of Tunis and working for many years on the local development of this iconic neighborhood.

Roles of Different Actors in the SSE Cluster:

Expressing its willingness to listen and collaborate for the co-production of public and social services and policies, the Municipality of Tunis mobilized resources within various departments and committees, ensuring optimal intervention. This initiative, supported by the former Elected Council and approved by the new Secretary General of the Municipality, involved the mobilization of several departments and committees to determine the necessary intervention in the space of Dar Ben Achour, which houses the city library of Tunis. Among these departments are the Directorate of Cultural Affairs with the participation of the SSE committee, the committee for culture, women, and social and solidarity economy, in addition to the Directorate of International Cooperation.

Following the launch of a call for expressions of interest to SSE actors located in the Medina of Tunis, TCSE selected the economic interest group “Mdinti” and the collective of cultural actors focused on creative activities, “Collectif Créatif,” to join the SSE Cluster. They will play a key role in implementing the activities of the Cluster.

In order to successfully carry out these activities, the stakeholders in the Cluster plan to develop a governance charter and a roadmap to ensure the sustainability of this initiative. The actors intend to continue their collaboration as a Cluster of actors for social and solidarity economy, while remaining open to expanding the circle of collaboration to other SSE actors located in the Medina of Tunis.



Inauguration and Activities of the SSE Cluster:

Friday, November 24, 2023, marked the inauguration of the “SSE Cluster,” the Cluster of actors for social and solidarity economy, followed by the launch of its various activities for the benefit of participants in the MedTOWN projects, funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Med program, and “Dignifying the Working Conditions of the Domestic Sector – Phase II,” funded by Generalitat Valenciana. These activities, planned for the next 6 months, will unfold in two main hubs: the Digital Lab at Dar Ben Achour and the Female Force Studio at Collectif Créatif and Mdinti, offering a variety of training, including:

  • Training focused on digitalization and personal marketing for youth and women, organized within the  the Digital Lab at Dar Ben Achour,
  • Tips on creating prototypes and guidance in designing sustainable products for female social entrepreneurs, within  the Female Force Studio, organized by Collectif Créatif,
  • A LinkedIn photoshoot session along with training in photography and videography for female social entrepreneurs,  within  the Female Force Studio, organized by Mdinti.

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs:

The services offered by the actors in the SSE Cluster highlight women entrepreneurs, including some facing fragile socio-economic conditions, recognizing their vital role as citizens, entrepreneurs, and family breadwinners. This orientation results from in-depth studies and analyses, such as those conducted by the Municipality of Tunis as part of the Femmedina project, focusing on facilitating women’s access to public spaces. In addition, it is based on the specific needs assessment of women entrepreneurs identified through TCSE coaching provided within the MedTOWN and “Dignifying the Working Conditions of the Domestic Sector – Phase II” projects.