Mohamed Makki Maalej is an idealist. His journey as an entrepreneur began when he realized the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) was losing a lot of money. The reason: payment arrears among large businesses using energy-hungry machinery. By launching his start-up, M2M, this software engineer specializing in energy aimed to offer a financially and environmentally beneficial solution to this issue. The young man decided to create sensors, which would provide energy usage data when fitted to machines. This allowed manufacturers to gain a clear picture of how to reduce their energy consumption, increasing their environmental awareness while helping them make substantial savings.

This device, which gives almost 200 readings per second, provides data that manufacturers can use to aid decision-making. With an efficiency ratio calculated for each machine, manufacturers can see which machines consume the most energy and whether or not this consumption is efficient in terms of company productivity. Better yet, having understood that the older a machine and the worse its condition, the more energy it uses, Makki Maalej has created an alert system, making it possible to view machine status in real time. This daring gamble by Mekki Maalej is experiencing growing success. Now, in addition to manufacturers, M2M is starting to reach out to local groups that also want to improve their energy efficiency.


The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. 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 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.

The Switchers

The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.

#EyesOnGreen (2021)

To celebrate the World Environment Day in 2021, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the EU Neighbours South regional communication programme, and the SwitchMed initiative teamed up for the launch of the regional competition EYES ON GREEN. The competition covered 7 countries of the Southern Neighbourhood region: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia. The online ...

Employment & Entrepreneurship