In recent years, entrepreneurship has been embraced by Tunisian public policy in response to the rising unemployment rates among Tunisian youth. However, curriculums of universities and higher education institutions in Tunisia have some catching up to do.

While there are numerous facilities in universities that provide students with information on entrepreneurship, institutes often lack an in-depth, well-rounded curriculum that teachers from any faculty can access and implement in their classes. Our Teacher Training Course that was commenced over the summer aimed to fill this gap by equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and skills to inform students about entrepreneurship.

In late August, SPARK began the pilot training course on Entrepreneurship Curriculum with 14 teachers from a variety of universities in the North Western region of Tunisia, including the University of Jendouba and University of Kef.  The four day training coursehad been carefully developed over the past year by a consultant, Aniss Allagui, who specialises in curriculum development. Aniss created three unique entrepreneurship modules; each module designed according to specific needs and requirements.

The university teachers, who were all lecturers in different subjects, were taken through the modules by three trainers. Workshops were designed to provide knowledge of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Tunisia, what qualities and skills make for a great entrepreneur, the business model canvas and tools to engage their students in innovation, such as critical thinking. The workshops were at times filled with the sound of ideas, personal experiences and lessons learned being shared.

To ensure continuity, the teachers vowed to implement the lessons and techniques learned in the training throughout the coming academic year (2017-18). To get a rough estimate of the reach the Entrepreneurship Curriculum training course could have, the teachers were asked to estimate how many students they each could teach the curriculum to. Astonishingly, most teachers believed they could reach approximately 80 students within the year, with one  ambitious teacher stating he could reach 160!

The success of the training  was put down to the enthusiasm and high level of engagement from the teachers themselves. Their positive and stimulating feedback has enforced SPARK’s belief that students of all academic backgrounds, ranging from biology to English literature, should have the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship and how to set up their own company in the future.