2nd Round of WES Business Award Winners Announced!

WES Business Award Poster - 3 2 2015

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.

Moudifa RHOUMA
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 KHELIFI
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 KOURAYCHI
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 HAMDI
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.

Sarra OBAYA
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 MEZIOU
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.

Lauréates de la 2nde Série du Business Award WES Annoncées !

WES Business Award Poster - 3 2 2015Le Programme WES a le plaisir d’annoncer les 21 femmes entrepreneurs Tunisiennes qui recevront la deuxième série de Business Awards WES. Les lauréates sont des femmes entrepreneurs émergentes et établies qui ont bénéficié d’une formation dans huit centres WES à travers la Tunisie. Elles recevront de petites subventions pour les aider à lancer ou développer leurs entreprises. Les lauréates sont comprises d’entrepreneurs qui ont été formees aux Centres WES à Gafsa, Kairouan, Sfax, Sousse, Tunis, et Zarzis. Ne ratez pas les photos des lauréates sur Facebook.

Les profils des lauréates du Business Award WES sont répertoriés par centre WES:

Association de Continuité des Générations (ACG), Sfax

Dalel DERBEL – Lab Complement
Dalel est un ingénieur en Génie Biologique. Sa créativité et son désir d’utiliser son savoir pour le bien de la société, l’ont motivé à devenir une entrepreneure. Elle a créé sa propre société du nom de Lab Complement qui est spécialisée dans la vente de molécules à haute valeur ajoutée pour usage pharmaceutique, alimentaire et cosmétique. Les fonds du prix WES l’aideront à créer un site internet et à promouvoir son premier produit « Tunioleuropein », une molécule thérapeutique obtenue suite à une extraction liquide à partir de feuilles d’olivier.

Nihel REJEB – Aromessence
Suite à ses études et avec l’encouragement de sa famille, Nihel a décidé de travailler à son compte et devenir une entrepreneure. Nihel utilise sa passion pour la nature à travers son entreprise qui produit des huiles essentielles, eaux florales et huiles de massage. Ses produits, 100% naturels, ont un usage cosmétique et pharmaceutique. Avec les fonds du prix WES, elle compte acheter des matières premières en gros. Les produits créés sont destinés à l’exportation.

Noura DJEBBI – Noor Design
Noura avait une vision pour un projet et voulait avoir sa propre agence de conseil en communication et publicité donc elle établit une entreprise à domicile, un concept qui n’est pas vraiment développé et reconnu en Tunisie. Noura souhaite élargir son marché et va intégrer une option pour un design personnalisé avec les fonds du prix WES.

Association pour le Développement Durable et la Coopération Internationale (ADDCI), Zarzis

Auiti RAJA – Centre de Beauté
Avec à son extensive expérience dans le domaine esthétique, Auiti a décidé qu’il était temps de se mettre à son compte et devenir une entrepreneure indépendante. Avec les fonds WES, elle souhaite élargir son entreprise qui se concentre sur le bien-être à travers divers services esthétiques. De plus, elle désire aider sa région économiquement en employant des chômeurs.

Nadia SAHBANI – Espace Lina pour Robes de Mariage
Nadia a 15 ans d’expérience dans le domaine de création de robes de mariées, soirées et vêtements pour enfants. En 2006, elle a organisé un défilé de mode qui a été télévisé. Avec les fonds WES, elle va accroitre son stock en matière première afin de répondre à la demande pour tenues d’été.

Moudifa RHOUMA
Avec un diplôme de technicienne en électricité et une expérience dans le domaine des nouvelles technologies, Moufida a décidé de conquérir le domaine des affaires et lancer son projet de services informatiques et bureautiques. Pour consolider son projet elle a besoin de se procurer deux ordinateurs, deux bureaux et un scanner. Les fonds WES lui serviront pour financer une partie de ses achats.

Association de Développement Gafsa Sud (ADGS), Gafsa

Torkia SAIDI – Société Solidarité
Torkia a lancé son entreprise il y a plus de 10 ans maintenant et souhaite s’établir à l’échelle nationale et internationale. Elle se spécialise dans le tissage de pièces murales décoratives. Avec le prix WES, elle pourra élargir son entreprise et offrir un plus grand nombre de sélection pour ses murales.

Nedia AOUNE – Societe Hayet Design
Nedia a appris le métier de tissage de Margoum, un tapis traditionnel de Gafsa, à un très jeune âge. Avec 22 ans d’expérience dans ce domaine, elle compte élargir son commerce et utiliser le prix WES afin d’acheter plus d’équipements et de matière première.

Dahbia KHELIFI
Dahbia a plus de 20 ans d’expérience dans la création de Margoum, un tapis traditionnel. En plus des Margoums, elle a aussi commencé à fabriquer des meubles et créer des rideaux. Le prix WES lui permettra d’acheter ses matières premières en gros.

Association NOOR pour le Développement Humain, Sousse

Basma KOURAYCHI
En plus d’un diplôme professionnel en textile, Basma à 10 ans d’expérience dans le domaine de la confection. Il y a 2 mois une organisation de charité lui a offert une machine à coudre pour démarrer son projet à domicile. Le prix WES sera une opportunité pour acheter une autre machine et de la matière première.

Toffaha HAMDI
Toffaha va utiliser ses 17 ans d’expérience dans le domaine de tatouages pour lancer son propre projet de production d’articles de tatouage. Le prix WES va lui servir pour acheter de la matière première et ajouter des nouvelles techniques afin d’atteindre un plus grand public.

Sarra OBAYA
Depuis 5 ans Sarra produit à domicile des pâtisseries traditionnelles comme la “Bessisa Tunisienne”. Grâce à une demande croissante, Sarra a besoin d’acheter plus de matière première. Le prix WES, lui permettra d’acheter cela en large quantité ce qui réduira le coût par unité.

Association Optima Syphax, Sfax

Hela MEZIOU
Hela est diplômée en commerce et possède sa propre entreprise qui e spécialise dans la décoration. Après une période de travail dans le secteur informel, Hela cherche à restructurer son projet. Son objectif est d’améliorer sa production et diversifier les produits pour toucher un plus grand public. Le prix WES lui aidera pour lancer une campagne publicitaire, élargir sa gamme de produits.

Amel KHEMAKHEM – Céramista
Après un parcours universitaire, Amel a obtenu son master en beaux-arts. Il y a un an, elle démarrait l’aventure Céramista dans la région de Sfax. Son rêve : de faire du coffret cadeau en céramique une véritable création. Amel cherche à promouvoir son produit à travers les réseaux sociaux et en participants aux foires à l’échelle locale. Les fonds WES lui permettront de développer son activité à travers l’achat de matière première pour pouvoir satisfaire une demande croissante.

Hana CHAARI – Paradise School
Avec une longue expérience dans le domaine de la formation en langue anglaise, Hana veut lancer un centre de formation dans la région de Sfax. Elle a déjà décroché un crédit de la Banque Tunisienne de Solidarité (BTS) afin d’acheter l’équipement nécessaire pour commencer son entreprise. Les fonds WES lui serviront à se faire connaitre au public à travers une campagne publicitaire.

Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS), Tunis

Afef ABDELWAHED – Paramed Plus
A travers son entreprise, Afef souhaite exploiter ses connaissances en biologie et biotechnologie tout en aidant ses clients grâce à son service médical à domicile. Les fonds WES l’aideront à lancer son entreprise et à étendre sa clientèle.

Saoussan REBAII – Mazélet El Barka
Saoussan veut utiliser ses compétences professionnelles et de leardership pour créer un centre pour personnes âgées. Ce centre a pour but de promouvoir l’intégration des personnes âgées dans la communauté et avoir une vie active. Le centre, ouvert la journée, fournira des services santé, sociaux et de divertissement. Avec les fonds du prix WES, elle pourra lancer son centre et acheter l’équipement nécessaire à son ouverture.

Latifa CHANNOUFI – Palais de la Mariée
Avec plus de 6 ans d’expérience dans la confection de robe de mariées et une bonne base clientèle, Latifa est confidente que son entreprise sera prospère. Son seul obstacle est financier mais grâce aux fonds du prix WES, elle sera capable d’acheter le matériel nécessaire pour continuer sa passion.

Union National des Femmes Tunisiennes (UNFTK), Kairouan

Chadleya IDRISS – Toy Story
Animée par sa passion pour la nature, Chadleya a pu surmonter les difficultés qu’elle a rencontrées depuis son enfance. Elle a commencé à fabriquer les premiers jouets pour ses enfants en utilisant les déchets du bois ; une activité à travers laquelle elle a trouvé le plaisir de préserver la nature tout en appliquant le proverbe “rien ne se perd, tout se transforme”. Afin de concrétiser son rêve de lancer son propre projet de fabrication de jouets en bois, Chadleya a fait trois ans de recherche et de travail. Pendant ce temps, elle a pu développer ses compétences et inventer des jouets utiles qui impliquent l’enfant dans son environnement. Tout jouet qu’elle produit raconte une histoire d’où le nom de son projet Toy Story. Les fonds WES l’aideront à financer une partie de sa compagne marketing et à créer un emballage personnalisé portant le logo et informations sur sa société.

Awatef SELMI – Toufa Haute Couture
Awatef a commencé sa carrière par la fabrication de tapis traditionnels avec sa famille. Pendant ce temps, elle a pu développer ses compétences dans le domaine du textile. Sa dernière expérience était dans une boutique de prêt à porter où elle a appris les techniques de négociation, d’achat et de vente. Awatef a une formation en modélisme et confection et veut lancer un projet en haute couture. Les fonds WES lui seront utiles pour diversifier ses circuits de distributions et participer à des foires et des salons d’expositions.

Chedlya BRIKI – Espace Chadou pour les Petites Filles
Chadliya a récemment suivi une formation en modélisme pour réaliser son rêve de devenir une femme d’affaire dans le domaine de la couture. Son projet “chadou pour les petites filles” sera unique de son genre à Kairouan. Elle veut créer des modèles de vêtements originaux pour filles qui prennent en considération le pouvoir d’achat des familles. Le prix WES va servir à lancer ses nouveaux produits.

Impact of the WES Business Awards

We are excited to share a new Voice video that highlights the impact of the WES Business Awards, a competitive award given to 24 WES graduates in February 2014 to provide seed funding and raise their visibility. The awards were funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative of the U.S. Department of State with support from Craig Newmark, founder of craigconnects and craigslist.

Watch the stories of several of the award winners and hear about their development since winning the award here!

 

Meet the WES Entrepreneurs Series: Mounira Ben Boubakker

Video

Mounira Ben Boubakker, WES graduate from the NOOR Association for Human Development (ANDH) WES Center in Sousse, believes that participating in WES trainings increased her confidence and productivity, and was the catalyst for her successful business endeavors.

Watch the video to learn more about Mounira and the impact of the WES program.

WES Sustainability & Networking Conference

WES entrepreneurs showcase their products and share business ideas with WES staff and partners at an entrepreneurs marketplace.

Last month, the Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) program brought together representatives from each of the eight WES partner organizations and 24 women entrepreneurs for a two-day conference in Hammamet, Tunisia. The goal of the conference was to exchange best practices and lessons learned; showcase and celebrate WES achievements; and plan for the sustainability of WES centers and entrepreneurs’ network. We were very honored to be joined by distinguished guests from the U.S. Embassy, the U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and Microsoft, as well as a panel of experts on entrepreneurship in Tunisia.

In opening remarks by U.S. Chargé Kathleen Hanson, she highlighted that WES is a model of U.S. and Tunisian partnership for expanding economic opportunities.

WES Country Director Chéma Gargouri shared program accomplishments after two years of programming including that, as a result of WES, 150 women have started or expanded businesses, while over 600 Tunisian women have developed business plans and are well positioned to launch new businesses once a new microfinance law is passed.

An excellent panel discussion on supporting women entrepreneurs in Tunisia was led by Leila Belkhiria Jaber, Vice-President, National Women Chamber of Commerce (CNFCE); Fares Mabrouk, Tunisia Country Director, Yunus Social Business; Dr. Soukaina Bouraoui, Executive Director, Center on Arab Women Research (CAWTAR); and Tahar Ben Lakhdar, Chairman of the Board and CEO Esprit -Ecole Supérieur Privée d’Ingénierie et de Technologie.

During a highly interactive World Café activity, participants on how to better support women entrepreneurs including to establish a WES Boutique to display and sell entrepreneurs’ products, expand partnerships with the private sector, encourage mentorship opportunities and develop nation-wide WES brand awareness.

A highlight of the conference was the entrepreneurs marketplace where WES Business Award winners displayed (and sold) their products and services and presented their business ideas to WES staff and partners. For example, Mouna Bouchaala presented her idea to develop green housing for college students in Sfax and Mouna Werchefani, an electromechanical engineer, shared her business ideas on rehabilitative robotics (she is creating a robotic finger that you can use on a keyboard using a sensor activated by head movement).

Participants left energized and even more committed to the work we are doing through WES to support women entrepreneurs in Tunisia.

WES Graduate Selected for Cherie Blair Foundation – Mentoring Women in Business Programme

WES is excited to announce selection of the first WES graduate for the Cherie Blair Foundation Mentoring Women in Business Programme! Rana Ben Tiba from Sousse has been matched with Ilaria Russo, a Commercial Strategy Manager at BT.com. Ilaria is based in London and will mentor Rana for the next 12 months in creating her business/marketing strategy.

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides women with the skills, technology, networks and access to capital that they need to become successful small and growing business owners, so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. The Cherie Blair Foundation helps fill the gap in the economy known as the ‘missing middle’ – small and growing businesses. The women they work with have the potential to take the next step towards becoming successful entrepreneurs or are running small businesses that have already had some success but are struggling to sustain their position or expand

In 2013, IIE partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to bring online mentorship opportunities to WES graduates through the Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme. The program links women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging countries with mentors around the world.  Using an online platform, selected mentees spend 12 months working one-on-one to achieve key business goals.  Participants build their business skills and digital literacy through trainings, and become part of a global community of committed, ambitious entrepreneurs.

Profile:  Rana Ben Tiba, WES Souse graduate

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Rana ben Tiba

I have always dreamed of being a business owner. Since my childhood, I was seen as an artist not only through my creations, but also through my artistic ideas and original thoughts.  Art is not only to paint or design or create, art is a passion that is within you.  Eibert Hubbard says: “Art is not a thing, it is a way.”  I believe art will be my way to fulfill my ambitions. 

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A sample of Rana’s products

I am a scarf-designer, a painter and designer on different materials (silk, glass, satin, organza, chiffon, wood, pottery and ceramics). I am also a pastry-cook (I make Tunisian sweets and savoury) and since I always look for the best, I am now studying in a private Fashion Design School in order to become a stylist. I have been working in the field of painting and design since 2010 and in the field of pastry since 2011; and thanks to Social networks and E-commerce I succeeded in selling many products.

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A sample of Rana’s products

My dream does not stop here. My dream is to launch a center which offers products and services.

 

It will be divided into 2 parts: the first part will be a showroom in which my hand-made products will be sold.

 

The second one and the most important consists of teaching:

1– Techniques of painting on different materials

2– Pastry

3Sewing

 

I am sure that my WES and mentorship experiences will be great elements of my success.

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A sample of Rana’s products

I began my WES training in March 2012, and I am really pleased to be a part of this organization that helps women realising their dreams and gives them hope for a better life. In October 2013, I was selected as a mentee with the Cherie Blair Mentoring Programme and I am really excited to have this opportunity. (Many thanks to Ahmed Hamza, WES Program Coordinator, who encouraged me to submit the application.)

 

I am longing to begin this Journey with my mentor «Ilaria Russo» who will help me gain valuable advice, develop my knowledge and skills, improve my communication skills, learn new perspectives, build my network and advance my career.

 

We wish Rana the very best in her new adventure. We’ll follow Rana’s journey and share more updates as she develops new skills and connects with other women entrepreneurs.

WES trains 100 women working in local fisheries in Sfax

Women in Graiba farming clams in local fisheries.

Women in Graiba farming clams in local fisheries.Biodiversity, clams, fisheries, women

WES partner, The Association of Continuity of Generations (ACG), is committed to raising awareness of environmental issues in Tunisia. Currently, ACG is involved in a project focused on protecting the biodiversity of the Kneiss nature preserve in the Graiba delegation of Tunisia. Through this project, ACG works closely with a large group of women who are farming clams in local fisheries.

These women wake up at 4 a.m. to leave at dawn for Kneiss Island. Typically, they work through the winter months in cold water for more than 12 hours at a time. When the women return to the mainland to sell the clams they have collected they are met by buyers who set their own price which is not up for negotiation.

After meeting these women, ACG became committed to helping them improve their businesses practices, revenue, and negotiating power through WES. In May and June of 2013 WES trainers from ACG traveled to Graiba to train 100 women in leadership, entrepreneurship and home-based business. During the trainings, the women expressed an interest in working as a group to enhance their bargaining potential. ACG worked with them to create an Association for Women of the Clam Fishery and Development.

In this post below, Sana Taktak discusses the challenges faced by these women and ACG’s involvement in addressing their concerns. Dr. Taktak Keskes is a doctor by profession and President of The Association of Continuity of Generations.

La femme pêcheurs de palourdes 

La femme Tunisienne est militante, elle participe activement au développement du pays, elle a bien accomplie son rôle dans la société depuis l’indépendance 1956, et elle continue à batailler pour conserver ses droits acquis et à jouer son rôle comme femme indépendante ,égale à l’homme et capable de donner au mieux à son pays en particulier après la révolution.

La femme rurale Tunisienne travaille dans les champs comme agriculteur, dans la mer comme pêcheur, elle surmonte toutes les difficultés du travail, en plus de son rôle d’épouse et de mère. ACG a eu la chance de vivre une belle expérience avec les femmes rurales pêcheuses des palourdes de la délégation de Graiba à Sfax.

ACG a travaillé sur un projet financé par le SGP FEM concernant La protection de l’environnement et en particulier de la biodiversité dans la région de la réserve naturelle Kneiss, délégation de Graiba ,au cours des séances de sensibilisation données au profil de la communauté locale, sur la protection de la réserve naturelle Kneiss, on a découvert une activité féminine de pêches des palourdes assez importante (environ 300 femmes /5000 femmes en Tunisie). Continue reading

Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability: Supporting Innovators and Leaders

“I have big ambitions. I want to start a factory that specializes in making traditional Tunisian clothes for children.” Amira Maiza, WES graduate, Sousse, Tunisia.

May has been an inspiring month for the WES team as we’ve been gathering stories from our partner organizations and the women entrepreneurs they support. In just 6 months, WES graduates are taking on new challenges to launch or expand businesses. Watch several of them share their personal journeys in our first WES movie.