INVESTMED success highlighted at COP27 in ENICBC event - Propelling SMEs and businesses into a green future


At the 27th United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in November 2022, Sharm El Sheik, the success and progress of the INVESTMED project was presented. On the 14th of November 2022, ENI CBC Med organised the side-event "Propelling SMEs and businesses into a green future" in the Mediterrarean Pavilion to discuss solutions and projects that promote the adoption of environmental practices, green business models, and circular economy principles to foster an economic growth that does not jeopardize our ecosystems and natural resources. The event brought together actors in the green economy around the Mediterranean region including 3 partners of the INVESTMED project. You can catch up on the event here:  

The event was moderated by Mr. Vincent Ernoux, coordinator of the Branch Office for the Western Mediterranean, at the ENI CBC MED programme. He highlighted the importance of finding the balance between competitiveness between SMEs and creating an enabling environment for them to thrive. The distinguished panel shared the experiences of various ENICBC projects on making these project aims a reality and accelerating the green transition in business by supporting entrepreneurs.

The welcome address was delivered by Ms. Sherihan Bekhiet, Assistant Minister at the Ministry of International Cooperation in the Arab Republic of Egypt where she emphasised the importance of collaboration across the Mediterranean to support sustainable development.

Ms. Jihen Boutiba, Secretary General of the Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises (BUSINESSMED) and Dr. Cynthia Echave, Senior Researcher at Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) discussed the importance and relevance of the INVESTMED project and how it contributes to a sustainable Mediterranean region whilst supporting young people and women. 

Ms. Jihen Boutiba (BUSINESSMED) explained how INVESTMED is aiming to foster regional cooperation between businesses across the region and create an enabling environment for young people and women. In this way, such projects foster an ecosystem in which sustainable business can thrive. She explained how INVESTMED has worked across various pillars including IPR training, trainings on sustainable development where they have conducted 21 training cycles involving more than 300 entrepreneurs from Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia. She also underlined the innovative approach of INVESTMED which has direct contact and support with entrepreneurs and Business Support Organisations. 

Dr Cynthia Echave (EMEA) highlighted the capitalisation activities of the project to ensure the INVESTMED project has lasting impact. The first aspect is discover which are the effective policies generated from the project that can be shared among business schools and other organisations to allow the success to be replicated and to maintain the enabling environment. A second aspect is the INVESTMED community building platform which provides a way for the INVESTMED community to interact, network, and discuss topics pertaining to their green, blue, and CCI businesses. She also explained the IPR training to ensure young entrepreneurs have the tools and resources to implement their ideas.

Dr. Alaa Ezz, Secretary General at the Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (CEEBA) and partner of the INVESTMED programme, gave an overview of how SMEs are working towards sustainability in the Mediterranean and shed light on some lessons learnt from ENI CBC MED projects.

Mr. Alessandro Miraglia, Team Leader, Networking & Communication Facility - MedWaves, the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for SCP, presented work on several ENICBC projects, GIMED, STAND Up! and RESET, focussing on the transition to green and circular business models.

Prof. Gianluigi Bacchetta, Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Cagliari – Italy, presented the work of the BESTMEDGRAPE project talking about the connection between nature, research, innovation, and business creation.

Finally, Ms. Oumaya Marzouk, Director of Circular Economy Projects at the Centre for Studies and Expertise on Risks, Environment, Mobility and Planning, Mediterranean Territorial Directorate (CEREMA) in France, discussed the circular economy for a sustainable construction in the Mediterranean: the experience of RE-MED project.

The ENICBC side event provided an excellent platform from which to present the INVESTMED aims and impacts and generated a fruitful and interesting discussion among the panellists.

The INVESTMED project is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme 2014-2020. INVESTMED will have an impact on MSMEs, start-ups and recently established enterprises where staff will be trained and coached to become more sustainable and competitive and financially supported via an open competition. INVESTMED has a duration of 30 months, with a total budget of 3.8 million euro, of which 3.4 Million euro are funded by the European Union (90%). It involves 9 partners from Tunisia, Spain, Lebanon, Greece, Egypt, and Italy:

·        Union of Mediterranean Confederations of Enterprises, BUSINESSMED (TU)

·        Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association, EMEA (ES)

·        European Institute of the Mediterranean, IEMed (ES)

·        Beyond Group / Irada Group S.A.L, BRD (LE)

·        Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, IED (GR)

·        Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta, LUMSA (IT)

·        Rumundu Social Promotion Association, RUMUNDU (IT)

·        Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations, CEEBA (EG)

·        Spanish Chamber of Commerce, CCE (ES)