Startup Ecosystem Report: Sfax

Sfax scores 43,97 in the MENA region SFI, ranking at position 5 of 8 measured cities. Within Tunisia, Sfax outperforms Kairouan in terms of startup friendliness, but trails Sousse and Tunis. The ecosystem is imbalanced overall, with strong scores on Human Capital, Infrastructure, and Macro conditions, but challenging scores on the domains of Finance, Market, and particularly Startup Scene.

The strongest domain in the city is Macro, where Sfax is supported by a strong legal framework and relatively low crime. Infrastructure is another strength for the city, particularly in terms of access to utilities at a low cost, and broadly available ICT services. Sfax scores well in the Human Capital domain, supported by a high number of university students and skilled workers relative to its low population. Access to Finance is a challenge for the city, placing Sfax nearly at the bottom of the global SFI in this domain due to few options for VCs and Business Angels. In the Market domain, Tunisian as a whole scores well on the indicator of GDP PPP per capita, but shows relatively low Capacity Utilisation, representing a struggle to reach full potential.

Startup Scene, Sfax’s lowest scoring domain, ranks at position 12 of 19 global SFI cities, below that of Sousse and Tunis and above Kairouan. This is due to few options for support resources such as Accelerators and Incubators and a low total number of registered startups in the city.

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