Role of alternative finance
Most of the projects are hosted by foreign crowdfunding platforms, and there is a strong expansion of the market: whilst in 2014, the overall size of the market was approximately of €90,000, in 2015 it went up to €200,000.
There is a strong demand for crowdfunding in Tunisia which has not yet been satisfied (less than 5% of funding needs were met in 2014).
There are two active crowdfunding platforms at the moment: CoFundy and Zoomaal.
|Reward and donation-based crowdfunding||
There is no exact data on the size of rewards and donation-based crowdfunding in Tunisia, but these are certainly the most common crowdfunding models in the country.
|Is there a specific national regulation in place applying to crowdfunding?||
Currently, matching funds, state aid or tax benefits for alternative finance are not available in Tunisia.
|Matching funds initiatives|
|Crowdfunding guidelines for entrepreneurs / investors|
|Guidelines for researchers on crowdfunding for R&I|
DESCRIPTION: crowdfunding platform with the aim of bringing innovation into the Arab world. Zoomaal targets both startups, hardware designers and the film and so called art sector, and is based on donations. After only one month after its launch, Zoomaal reached $66,000 with two successful projects and started another 10 projects. Its strategy consists in targeting start-up projects that have a well defined scope, instead of those looking for general funding.
LINK: http://zoomaal.com source: http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/2013/08/17/zoomaal-the-first-cro...
PROJECT NAME: First People’s Drones
PLATFORM: People's Project
DESCRIPTION: The reconnaissance/spotter drone is intended for aerial reconnaissance of enemy groups and the operational determination of the exact coordinates of targets for destruction and for the adjustment of firepower. This UAV is designed to be used in combat between military forces. The success factor is the fact that military forces need this technology and it would help saving soldier's lives.
AMOUNT RAISED: 41,633 USD
Money is a problem
Besides Education, the second major challenge of crowdfunding in North Africa is processing payments. “Legal frameworks in Tunisia and Morocco are still misaligned with the requirements of the crowdfunding world,” Fares Belghith of CoFundy explained.
Credit cards in these countries cannot be used on global websites such as Zoomaal, CoFundy, Smala & Co, and Jumpstart Africa, Absi added. PayPal does not work in Tunisia and was only recently allowed in Morocco. Furthermore, people are not used to making payments online.
To solve this problem, Zoomaal has developed the ability to process offline payments through in-country wire transfer for people living in the same country as the project holder, or to check or echange cash, therefore making it easier for people in North Africa to back projects. Smala & Co also offers similar services.
As a result, CoFundy is targeting diaspora communities as a source of funding, a strategy that Zoomaal and Jumpstart Africa also use. “Forty-five percent of funding on Zoomaal comes from Arab expats, mostly residing in the US, UK and France,” Absi said. "as for Jumpstart Africa, it is looking to tap into organisations and university networks in North America and Europe that focus on Africa as potential sources of funding.
A need for education
They all admitted that it has been challenging to launch the crowdfunding concept in North Africa... 94% of projects submitted...do not go live due to incomplete content, poor video quality, unrealistic goals and vague project descriptions.
To address the challenge, North African platforms like Zoomaal, CoFundy, Smala & Co and JumpStart Africa are focusing on capacity building activities and providing support to promising projects to build effective campaigns. “Our role is to deliver project owners the best practices and workshop methods as key factors of successful campaigns,” Pinier of Smala & Co said.