WES is pleased to announce the 21 Tunisian women entrepreneurs who will receive the second round of WES Business Awards. The winners are emerging and established women entrepreneurs who have benefited from training and coaching at seven WES Centers for Women’s Business Development across Tunisia, including Gafsa, Kairouan, Sfax, Sousse, Tunis and Zarzis. The winners will receive seed funds to help them launch or expand businesses. Stay tuned for photos of the winners in future posts and on Facebook.
Profiles of the WES Business Award winners are listed by WES Center:
Association de Continuité des Générations (ACG), Sfax
Dalel DERBEL – Lab Complement
Dalel is a biological engineer whose creativity and desire to use her life sciences knowledge to help others motivated her to become an entrepreneur. She started a business, called Lab Complement, that specializes in the sale of high-value extracts from organic material for use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food products. The WES Business Award will help her to build a website and market her first product, called “Tunioleuropein,” a therapeutic element extracted from the leaves of olive trees.
Nihel REJEB – Aromessence
After her university studies, and with the encouragement of her family, Nihel started a business producing essential oils, floral waters and massage oils for export. Her products are 100% natural and have both cosmetic and medical benefits. Nihel plans to use the WES Business Award funds to buy raw material in bulk for her products.
Noura DJEBBI – Noor Design
Noura had the forward-thinking idea to launch a communications and marketing consultancy, a nascent yet growing field in Tunisia. Noura plans to use the award funds to expand her business by diversifying the services offered.
Association pour le Développement Durable et la Coopération Internationale (ADDCI), Zarzis
Auiti RAJA – Centre de Beauté
With extensive experience in aesthetics, Auiti decided that it was time to be her own boss and founded a business providing a variety of services that promote personal well-being. With the WES Business Award, she plans to expand her business by offering new services and hiring several employees.
Nadia SAHBANI – Espace Lina pour Robes de Mariage
Nadia has 15 years of experience designing and making wedding dresses, evening gowns and children’s clothing. With the award, Nadia will increase her stock of raw material to satisfy the increased demand for her summer collection.
With a technical diploma in electrical engineering and professional experience in the field of new technologies, Moudifa recently launched an information technology services business. Moudifa will use the award funds to purchase equipment for her new office space.
Association de Développement Gafsa Sud (ADGS), Gafsa
Torkia SAIDI – Société Solidarité
Torkia is a skilled weaver and launched a business making decorative wall pieces over 10 years ago. With the goal of reaching an international audience, Torkia plans to use the WES Business Award to expand her business through export and offer a wider selection of products.
Nedia AOUNE – Société Hayet Design
Nedia learned the art of margoum, a traditional carpet from the region of Gafsa, from family members at a young age. She now has 22 years of experience in this handicraft and owns her own business. Nedia will use the award money to buy new equipment and raw material.
Dahbia owns a business making carpets and drapes and building furniture. The WES Business Award will enable her to buy raw material in bulk.
Association NOOR pour le Développement Humain, Sousse
Basma earned a diploma in textiles and has 10 years of professional experience in the clothing industry. Two months ago, a charity gave her a sewing machine to start a home-based business. The WES Business Award will enable her to buy another sewing machine and raw material to expand her business.
Toffaha plans to use her 17 years of experience in the henna industry to launch her own business. Toffaha will use the award funds to study new henna techniques and buy material necessary to launch her business.
For the past five years, Sarra has been making traditional Tunisian pastries from her home. With a recent increase in demand, her business now requires larger quantities of bulk ingredients. She is thankful that the WES Business Award will allow her to buy these ingredients and reduce her per unit cost.
Association Optima Syphax, Sfax
Hela has a university degree in business and recently launched an interior design company. Hela’s goal is to improve her production, diversify her product line and move her business to the formal sector. She believes that the recognition and funds from the WES Business Award will allow her to launch a marketing campaign and expand her product line as she works towards these larger goals.
Amel KHEMAKHEM – Céramista
Amel studied fine arts in university and launched her ceramics business, Céramista, over a year ago. With the funds from the award, Amel wants to further expand the visibility of her products by developing a new communications strategy and participating in local trade shows.
Hana CHAARI – Paradise School
With extensive experience providing English language training to diverse audiences, Hana wants to launch a training center. Hana has already received a loan from the Tunisian Solidarity Bank to buy the necessary equipment to start her business and plans to use the award funds to launch a marketing campaign.
Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS), Tunis
Afef ABDELWAHED – Paramed Plus
Afef’s dream was to use her university degree in biology and her training in biotechnology to start a business providing in-home medical services. She launched her business in November 2014 and plans to use the award funds to expand her client base.
Saoussan REBAII – Mazélet El Barka
Saoussan wants to use her professional and leadership skills to launch a Senior Center that will offer opportunities for seniors to engage in society and provide services that promote active lifestyles. With the award funds, she will purchase the necessary equipment to launch the center.
Latifa CHANNOUFI – Palais de la Mariée
Latifa has more than six years of experience designing and making wedding dresses, and has a loyal customer base. For many years, Latifa has wanted to launch a business in this field, but lacked the finances to support such an endeavor. Thanks to the WES Business Award, her dream will become a reality.
Union National des Femmes Tunisiennes (UNFTK), Kairouan
Chadleya IDRISS – Toy Story
Chadleya started to make toys for her children when they were young using repurposed wood. This hobby enabled her to both provide fun and safe toys for her children during difficult financial times and protect the environment by using material that would otherwise have gone to waste. She has since dreamed of opening her own toy company and has conducted over three years of market research on the toy industry in Tunisia. Since she collects the material from many different sources, each toy she makes has its own story; hence, the name of her company, Toy Story. The award funds will partly finance a marketing campaign and help her to create personalized packaging.
Awatef SELMI – Toufa Haute Couture
Awatef learned the art of traditional Tunisian carpet-making from her family members when she was young and further developed her competencies in the textile sector under their mentorship. In her most recent job at a retail clothing store, Awatef gained negotiation, sales and acquisition skills. With these varied skills and expertise in sewing and fashion, she is now ready to launch her own haute couture business. The funds from the award will help her to work with a variety of distributers and participate in trade shows.
Chedlya BRIKI – Espace Chadou pour les Petites Filles
Chedlya recently completed a fashion course with the greater goal of opening a clothing business for young girls. Chedlya understands the strong buying power of families in Kairouan and believes this market has yet to be tapped. She plans to use the award to buy raw material and expand her product line.