This spring, the State Department, OPIC and the Middle East Investment Initiative teamed with IFA to support the growth of franchising in Tunisia. This effort has born fruit with Tutor Doctor, the tutoring franchise that provides individualized home-based instruction to all ages, announcing the scheduled opening of its first North African location in October.
The signed agreement is a result of a Tutor Doctor’s visit to Tunisia in March 2013 for the Tunis MedFranchise Expo 2013, supported by the International Franchise Association and the Middle East Investment Initiative.
The Arab Spring began in Tunisia. To support the growth of democracy, the US Department of State established a “partnership” with Tunisia to raise the level of economic development there. When the State Department asked the Tunisians what they needed, they responded “Franchising”. “As a market that is rapidly creating new opportunities for entrepreneurship, Tunisia is a great growth market for our brand,” said Rogelio Martinez, Vice President of International Franchise Development for Tutor Doctor. “This is the place of birth of the Arab Spring Revolution; this is a country where people want change. One of the best ways to create change is to give people opportunities to have better education to help them aspire more in life. This is what Tutor Doctor is all about.”
The Tunisian initiative is just one example of how IFA helps its members access international opportunities. IFA offers a variety of resources including international educational programming at IFA’s Convention and the International Franchise Expo as well as trade missions stops in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and China in 2013 alone. In October, IFA will host its members on a study tour of Australia in collaboration with the Franchise Council of Australia.
Leading the expansion in North Africa are franchise owners, and brother and sister, Asma Belgaied Hassine and Tahar Belgaied Hassine. Prior to investing in a Tutor Doctor franchise, Asma worked as a team manager for Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of Société Générale, the second largest French bank. She studied in Tunisia until the age of 18 and then moved to France where she received a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, both from Ecole Centrale Paris. Her brother, Tahar, is a field force manager for a pharmaceutical company in Tunis. He received his MD from the MD school of medicine of Tunis and he is expecting to receive his MBA in 2014 from the Université de Quebec à Montréal. “We are eager to begin launching operations come October with the opening of Asma and Tahar’s Tutor Doctor location in Tunisia,” said Frank Milner, President of Tutor Doctor. “Tunisia is an untapped franchise market and now, with the help of the Middle East Investment Initiative, more qualified candidates will be able to pursue their dreams of becoming a business owner.”
Tutor Doctor will devote still more attention to growth in emerging African markets, exploring Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as part of the upcoming Franchise Trade Mission co-sponsored by the IFA. Tutor Doctor plans to open at least two more offices in Africa within the next three months.
“Tunisia, the Pearl of North Africa, has always been in the cross-roads of different civilizations and is the birth-land of science and literature,” said Asma Belgaied Hassine. “Nowadays, in this emerging country, knowledge continues to be the key to the future. We strongly believe that giving the best tutoring support for the best value is what we need in Tunisia and Tutor Doctor is giving us this opportunity. When we first met Rogelio from Tutor Doctor, we were charmed by the idea of opening our own Tutor Doctor franchise and we knew that it was exactly what we were looking for.”
Tutor Doctor’s presence will contribute to the economic growth and educational opportunity essential to the success of Tunisia’s political transition.