SwitchMed Initiative


The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Economy Division, the United Nations Environment Programme Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP) and its Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC). The initiative is carried out in close coordination with the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement (DG NEAR). The current phase of the program runs from 2019-2022 and is confinance by the EU (EUR 16.08 million), the Government of Italy (EUR 500,000) and the Catalan Government (EUR 1.43 million). It builds on the previous phase of the program, which ran from 2013-2018 with EUR 22.8 million financing from the EU and an addition EUR 1.25 million in co-financig.

The initiative was launched in 2013 to speed up the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns in the Southern Mediterranean, notably through the promotion of circular economy approaches. The programme aims at achieving productive, circular and sharing economies in the Mediterranean by changing the way goods and services are consumed and produced so that human development is decoupled from environmental degradation.

Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social and eco innovations The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.

Key Resources

Key Resources Description

The compelling outcomes and impact achieved by the SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship Programme indicate the growing demand for business support in the Southern Mediterranean countries for the creation of Circular Economy business models and clearly demonstrate the potential bene-fits of these business models. As the full potential equates to the creation of millions of jobs, effective strategies should be explored for scaling up the impact achieved. In this respect, this document presents:
1. An analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the business development and support services offered by the SwitchMed Green Entrepreneurship Programme (so called Phase I);
2. An analysis of trends and lessons learnt from similar entrepreneurship support programmes;
3. A revised theory of change linked to a result-oriented monitoring scheme in order to give clarity to the Programme’s logic of intervention;
4. A regional strategy for the Programme based on the analyses carried out and systems thinking approach; and
5. National level scaling up roadmaps with country specific actions suggested at operational, management, political and mindset levels of intervention developed in consultation with national stakeholders within the green entrepreneurship ecosystem. All in all, the aim is to provide an effective strategy at region-al and national level for the next phase of the Programme to support the creation and development of Circular Economy business models in Southern Mediterranean countries.

Additional Resources


  • Authors: Burcu Tuncer, Giorgio Mosangini, Alessandro Miraglia, Anna Ibanez de Arolas, Claudia Pani, Daniel Hires, Hichem Salem
  • Year: 2020


  • Language(s): English
  • Number Of Pages: 69
  • Type Of Document: report



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