FORTUNE Small Business:

How to fund a startup in Tunisia

FSB steers a North African entrepreneur toward microfinance.

Subscribe to Top Stories
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

bank_vault_closed2.03.jpg
Ask FSB
Get small-business intelligence from the experts. Here's a chance for YOU to ask your pressing small-business questions, and FSB editors will help you get answers from the appropriate experts.
Your name:
* Your e-mail address:
* Your city:
* Your state:
* Your daytime phone #:
* Your questions:

(FORTUNE Small Business) -- Dear FSB: In my country, Tunisia, you can't get a bank loan unless you already own a business based in Tunisia. Where can I find financial help to get started?

- Dhiaeddine Aweidet, Djerba, Tunisia

Dear Dhiaeddine: Banks aren't the only institutions that lend cash in Tunisia. You should consider microfinancing. It's the perfect alternative for you because lenders often don't require collateral of any type.

Microfinance generally denotes small- scale financial services provided to the poor, often through donations from lenders or from investors who rarely chip in more than a few dollars. But with enough of these donations, new businesses in poor countries can receive loans, insurance, pensions and more.

"Because of these varied needs and the fungible nature of money, microfinance services are essentially characterized by their size instead of the formality of a client's enterprise, collateral requirements...or the use of services for production or consumption," says Audrey Linthorst, a sub-Saharan Africa analyst for the Microfinance Information eXchange.

According to Linthorst, microfinance organizations often look for entrepreneurs whom the community deems "reliable." Groups tend to obtain microfinancing more readily than individuals because groups are considered safer credit risks. So you might consider finding one or more partners.

The Microfinance Information eXchange site has information about microfinance opportunities in Tunisia. Or, if you can read French or Arabic, visit Enda Inter-Arabe, an organization that provides grants and loans to businesses in Tunisia.  To top of page

Want your question answered? Write to ushere.
Harnessing solar energy in Senegal
Finding funding when credit dries up
Get loans without a financial history

Talk back: Do you have a business abroad? How have you found financing in other countries?
Photo Galleries
Tools to make your money grow You've started saving and built a financial base. Time for a few new strategies and tools to get your money to grow even more. From real estate to IRAs, here are some tips. More
Ready to start saving? Here's how to do it right When you are just starting out or finally starting to get serious about saving, the basics will get you far. Here are more than a dozen tips that will help you lay the base for building your net worth. More
Meet four kings of Alibaba's online retail empire Alibaba's shopping sites account for 80% of online retail in China. Meet four successful merchants. More
Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.