Financial Inclusion and Hurdles to Funding Tunisian Female Entrepreneurs

14 February 2023 | Paper | English


slideshow image Photo by Sebastian Sikora/Flickr

Within the framework of “Euromesco: Connecting the Dots“, a project co-funded by the European Union and the IEMed.


This paper addresses gender self-selection amongst Tunisian women entrepreneurs in the context of financial inclusion of Tunisian women in the economy. Women entrepreneurs do not apply for loans despite the need for them, and some of them are denied loans despite the fact that their male counterparts do receive them. Availability and equality of opportunities to access financial services is essential for both an inclusive society and a healthy economy, and current financial inclusion policies in Tunisia do not preclude gender-based self-selection, which is an impediment to the socioeconomic empowerment and business development of Tunisian women.

Imène Berguiga and Philippe Adair used an inventory of Tunisian data sources, with respect to coverage and gender, tackling the supply side of financial institutions as well as the demand side from both enterprises and households. A sequential model (decision tree) includes descriptive statistics prior to and during the COVID-19 shock. The paper addresses the need to a key vector for supporting financial inclusion in a sustainable way, by both spreading the use of financial technologies (fintech) and promoting the role of Tunisian microfinance institutions (MFIs).

Visit the EuroMesCo website to download the report.