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GreenWorks partners coming together

The GreenWorks Alliance touches base together

September 14, 2022

Our GreenWorks program is a pioneering initiative in North Africa funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and run by Hivos and over 15 GreenWorks Alliance partners. It contributes to a Just Green Transition by supporting local climate change solutions that create new or improve existing green jobs for 9000 young women and men in North Africa.

This meeting was a long time coming

The GreenWorks program officially started in 2020. After the pandemic hit, even though the program continued operating, its partners couldn’t physically gather in the same place. Thanks to an Egyptian GreenWorks partner, Elre7la, we finally all met in person for the first time in June 2022.

This wasn’t only important for the partners to meet and learn from each other. They also looked at their mid-term performance, highlighted best practices and analyzed what they could do better.

Where personal and professional connect

The in-person gathering took the form of a three-day retreat in Hammamet on Tunisia’s eastern Mediterranean coast. People from such diverse cultural and professional backgrounds directly sharing their knowledge and networks was an invaluable experience for everyone – partners and stakeholders.

The retreat used various methodologies. One was having the participants listen to and empathize with each other’s background stories. This helps understand the value of the empathy phase in the ideation process for supporting SGB entrepreneurs. Chourouk Amouri, project officer at the Tunisian Center for Social Enterprises (TCSE), said, “The retreat was great because it let me see what other partners are doing and learn from their practices.”

The GreenWorks approach is based on the joint strategies of its Alliance partners in Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia. Together we work on:

  • Supporting social enterprises in the green sector
  • Enabling local small and growing businesses (SGBs) to thrive in the green and digital sectors
  • Creating new decent jobs and nurturing existing ones. For example, by enabling Business Development Support Organizations and Employability Hubs to create jobs and train youth in various soft skills. And by formalizing existing work, improving working conditions, and expanding SGBs through direct hiring.
  • Supporting women entrepreneurs with SGBs both technically and financially.
  • Encouraging local investors to invest in green SGBs and see the green sector as profitable

 

Hands-on problem solving

We came to a common understanding of the current challenges facing the program. Then we held a workshop to find potential solutions to these challenges and develop toolkits to reach better results. One of the main topics addressed was how to improve the Monitoring & Evaluation mechanisms for better data harvesting and more relevant annual reporting deliverables.

A particularly fruitful panel discussion asked participants to reflect on the “correct” definition of a green job, which factors might influence the future of the program, and the position global investors take on funding green initiatives. The resulting wealth of arguments, facts, studies, articles and all types of resources will be of great use to the entire program moving forward.

One-to-one meetings gave people the chance to discuss potential new partnerships and better understand how to work well together and support each other.

More than just a meeting

In the end, the experience was about more than achievements, strategies, green-themed topics, and areas of improvement. It was also the beginning of new friendships and future collaborations that will further strengthen the alliance network and help us achieve our goals more effectively.