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Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition

12 February 2014



In partnership with:


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The Deauville Partnership

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The Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition was established at the G8 summit in Deauville in 2011. The purpose of the partnership is to assist the governments of the six Deauville Partnership focus countries to improve the business environment in order to foster economic development and job creation in the private sector. The Arab Countries in Transition are Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen.



The Partnership’s vision is to promote Open Economies and Inclusive Growth. Economic and political reforms promote open inclusive economies, further encouraging economic growth and job creation for all in society. The partnership promotes an increased role for the private sector which is key to long lasting growth and provides greater opportunities for marginalised groups such as youth and women. The partnership is focused on 8 priority areas which will help build open economies and inclusive growth:

  • Trade
  • Women’s Economic Participation
  • Investment
  • Capital Market Access
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s)
  • Asset Recovery
  • European Bank of reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Expansion
  • Transition Fund




One of the initiatives launched through the Deauville Partnership is Forsa a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) mentoring scheme. The Forsa team is a consortium comprising of Upper Quartile, Adam Smith International and Mowgli Foundation.


The mentoring initiative was set up in response to the increasing number of young people in Arab states, who were fed up of unemployment and looking to start their own business. Within the Transition Countries there is a changing attitude toward self-employment as it is increasingly seen as an opportunity to assert independence and develop creative business ideas, opposed to a forced choice due to lack of alternatives. Although enthusiastic, young entrepreneurs lack guidance, connections and experience to grow which Forsa aims to provide.


Forsa links over 250 young entrepreneurs in the six Arab region countries with experienced mentors, who teach, guide and inspire enthusiastic new business owners. Upper Quartile and ASI have partnered with the not-for-profit mentoring organisation Mowgli Foundation, who provide a ‘relational mentoring’ methodology. This approach to mentoring encourages a trusting, one to one relationship between mentor and the entrepreneur, allowing greater business opportunities to be explored.  


Forsa demonstrates how mentoring canmake a positive impact, using a model pioneered successfully by the Mowgli Foundation in Jordan, Lebanon and Algeria. Forsa will work with Deauville Partnership governments, international institutions, and development organisations to help ensure that entrepreneurs receive the practical support they need to grow and succeed.


The Forsa mentoring initiative provides an opportunity to learn lessons on what works for SME mentoring programmes given the innovative nature and the context the programme is being delivered. Upper Quartile, led by Chris Boyd, has led the monitoring and evaluation of the programme and will attempt to suggest improvements for future SME mentoring programmes. Additionally Upper Quartile is providing country specific specialist advisers, who have extensive expertise and knowledge of the key Arab countries in transition.


The Mentoring

The mentoring support comprises of an intensive 3-day work shop, where the entrepreneur and mentor can learn, build relationships and share experiences before being matched in a partnership for a 12 month long programme of mutual growth and development.  The time required from mentors and entrepreneurs during this period is only 3-4 hours a month, and is held at any mutually convenient time and place. Experience shows that this minimal commitment over 12 months is enough to support new entrepreneurs through accelerated growth.


Learn more about the Forsa Mentoring Programme:


In addition to the mentoring programme Forsa provides advice to national governments, regional and bilateral organizations, international financial institutions and other organizations involved in small and medium-sized enterprise development, on how mentoring programmes integrated into their domestic programmes. Forsa are working with other national organisations in each of the Deauville Partnership’s transition countries, including the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship (Jordan), Education for Employment (Egypt), Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d’Entreprises (Morocco), Institut Arabe des Chefs d’Entreprises (Tunisia) and SMEPS (Yemen). 



Forsa has:

  • Supported and mentored over 250 entrepreneurs: 
    • of which 50% are women and 50% aged between 16-35 years of age  
    • 50% of  entrepreneurs have seen sales increase by 23% adding $52 million to the businesses supported through the programme 
  • Development of a mentoring toolkit tailored for each transition country government 
  • Acknowledgement by six country ministries or relevant state bodies that mentoring has moved up the SME development policy agenda. 
  • Created over 2,800 jobs private sector jobs 

Forsa introduction flyer.pdf