As the year draws to its close, we’re engaging in good old-fashioned retrospection and reflecting on what the past 12 months have meant for our association. When I reflect on the kind of year 2016 has been for TAYP- the things that we’ve set out to achieve and did and others that will have to wait for next year- I couldn’t be prouder of the upward trajectory we’ve managed to sustain since our founding 5 years ago. We have continued to grow our membership and scope of activities and have managed to establish the association as a forum for the Tunisian diaspora in North America and a firm advocate for the interests of Tunisia with policymakers and key institutions in DC and beyond.
Thanks to the amazing commitment of our members, contributors and partners, we’ve sustained our efforts to promote Tunisian exports to the US market and through our handicrafts project 50 Tunisian artisans got to promote and sell their products in the US. The lessons learned from this project (e.g. access to the US market, retail opportunities, logistics lanes setup, etc.) will go a long way in helping us further assist other artisans reach the historically underserved, yet high-potential, North American market. In the same economic vein, we have also played a lead role in organizing and executing the RISE program which allowed us to tap into our remarkable pool of experts to mentor and guide a promising crop of young Tunisian entrepreneurs.
We have also played an active role in assisting the Tunisian government with a number of initiatives including Smart Tunisia and Tunisia 2020. Our network of professionals helped organize roadshows and connected Tunisian policymakers with members of our diaspora and American executives to further explore investment opportunities.
While our deep talent pool naturally positions us to help on the Economic and Entrepreneurship fronts, we haven’t limited our contributions to those fields, as we continued to promote our other 2 “E’s”, namely Exchange and Education both high school and higher Education projects.
As we look forward to 2017, we are intent on continuing to grow and be impactful in further promoting and developing US-Tunisian economic ties. We believe that the formula to more success remains the same, leveraging our highly talented and passionate diaspora and unleashing its desire and potential to help Tunisia and its entrepreneurs.
Our leadership team is actively finalizing new projects that will serve to further connect the diaspora with young entrepreneurs via a numbers of channels- so stay tuned!