WES Business Award Winners
Round 4 Business Award Winners
WES is pleased to announce the 34 winners of the 4th Round of the WES Business Award. The winners are emerging and established women entrepreneurs from diverse business sectors who benefited from training and coaching at 13 WES Centers for Women’s Business Development across Tunisia. Each winner received seed funds to help her launch or expand her business.
WES Business Award winners are listed by WES Center:
Youth and Skills Bizerte
- Ghofrane Kéchuindi
Ghofrane Kéchuindi dreamed of experiencing the freedom of owning her own business. After she participated in the WES trainings, WES staff helped Ghofrane develop a business plan that supports the local fishing-based economy in the region. Ghofrane will launch a business manufacturing and selling fishing nets and use the WES Business Award funds to register her business.
- Radhia Ben Houla
Radia Ben Houla is passionate about preserving traditional Tunisian art forms for future generations. After completing the WES Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings, WES staff supported Radia to develop a business plan for an enterprise specializing in creating and selling artisanal furniture and textiles. Radia will use the WES Business Award funds to help launch her business.
- Hanene Ben Miled
Hanene Ben Miled is well known for her pastry-making skills and owns her own bakery, called Ada & Zmen. After Hanene attended the Entrepreneurship training offered at the WES Center in Bizerte, WES staff worked with her to update her marketing strategy with a goal of expanding the bakery. Hanene will implement this marketing strategy using the WES Business Award funds.
- Ghada Lakhdher
Ghada Lakhdher participated in the WES Entrepreneurship training and, soon after, launched an online platform called Pixie. This platform advises women on topics regarding their daily lives through YouTube videos and a blog. With the funds from the WES Business Award, Ghada will invest in a new marketing tool to broaden her audience.
- Sonia Chaabouni
Sonia Chaabouni always dreamed of owning her own catering business and with WES support has written a business plan to open a dinner-cruise restaurant called Panorama. Sonia is committed to ensuring it is a women-run operation and will hire a woman captain and boat mechanic. Sonia will use the WES Business Award funds to pay for maritime navigation training and register her business.
- Boutheina Bouraoui
Boutheina Bouraoui is a trained jewelry designer who creates pieces using silver, semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and amber. Boutheina envisions diversifying her products and moving towards an increasingly international market. Boutheina will use the WES Business Award funds to purchase raw materials and attend international exhibitions and fairs.
- Sana Jebali
Sana Jbali and her business partner Rania Ghozi are passionate about sharing the medicinal benefits of essential oils with others. Having both studied plant biotechnology in university, they are aware of the medicinal components of the native herbs and other plants from the biodiverse region of Béja. The AJD WES Center supported Sana and Rania to develop a business plan for an essential oil extraction business that they plan to launch soon. Sana applied for and won a WES Business Award, and the partners plan to use the funds to purchase herbs and hire one employee.
- Neyra Maghraoui
Neyra Maghraoui believes that her interior items business, Hobbi Hobbi Maloula, is helping to preserve the artisanal heritage of Béja by introducing younger generations to household items that have been crafted in the traditional style with a modern touch. The WES Center staffed worked with Neyra to develop her business plan and transition from the informal to formal sector. Neyra plans to use the award funds to purchase raw materials and hire one employee.
- Sonia Hourabi
Sonia Hourabi owns a beekeeping business called Let’s Fly. After participating in the WES Entrepreneurship, Financial Education and Leadership trainings, Sonia worked with WES Center staff to develop a business plan to expand her business. With the WES Business Award funds, Sonia will buy more bees and install electrical wiring in her garden to enable her to use advanced equipment that requires electricity.
- Souad Bouraoui
Souad Bouraoui is an embroiderer who is known by friends and family as having “natural talent.” She attended WES trainings to learn financial management and budgeting, with the goal of eventually launching her own textiles business. After attending WES trainings, the WES Center staff encouraged Souad to participate in various exhibitions to build her client base. Souad will use the WES Business Award funds to purchase the latest embroidery machine.
- Yamina Ferchichi
Yamina Ferchichi is passionate about sharing artisanal products with others and owns a textiles business that makes items for the home. To expand her business and build upon her entrepreneurial skills, Yamina attended WES Entrepreneurship, Financial Education and Leadership trainings. Yamina will use the award funds to hire additional employees and update her sales strategy.
- Jamila Boughalmi
Jamila Boughalmi owns a textiles business that specializes in artistically designed bed spreads and curtains. Jamila participated in the WES Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Financial Education trainings and worked with WES staff to increase her client base and strengthen her marketing strategy. Jamila will use the WES Business Award funds to buy a new sewing machine and hire one seamstress.
- Houda Cherni
Houda Cherni recently participated in the WES Center Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Financial Education trainings and worked closely with the WES Center staff to develop a business plan. Houda since launched an afterschool and daycare center for children from single and working-parent households between the ages of 5 and 12. She plans to use the award funds to decorate the center with child-friendly, local items and toys.
- Hayfa Ben Fraj
Hayfa Ben Fraj is passionate about preserving the traditional art forms of Kairouan through the use of technology. She owns an e-commerce platform, called GoMarket, that sells Tunisian products to a wide audience of customers. With the WES Business Award funds, Hayfa will develop a new marketing strategy to raise the platform’s visibility and expand her customer base.
- Rihab Selmi
Rihab Selmi recently completed a professional degree in orthodontics and is motivated to support individuals’ positive self-image and oral health by creating dental prosthesis. Rihab joined the UNFTK WES Center to develop a business plan and launch her business. Rihab will invest the funds from the WES Business Award to help open a dental prosthesis laboratory.
- Samia Hamdi
Samia Hamdi has a passion for positively impacting the youth within her community. After attending the Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings at the Sebikha WES Center, the WES staff supported Samia to develop a business plan and launch a day care and after-school center.
- Sondés Mastouri
Sondés Mastouri is a seamstress and embroiderer from Sebikha who owns a ready-to-wear clothing shop. Following the WES trainings in Entrepreneurship and Financial Education, WES Center Staff supported Sondés to write a business plan focused on further developing her brand. Sondés will use the WES award funds to purchase a sewing machine and fabric to increase product output.
- Wafa Ben Ayed
Wafa Ben Ayed is an engineer who recently launched a business that mitigates the adverse effects of electromagnetic frequencies emitted from communications devices by selling protective accessories for cell phones, laptops and other devices. Wafa will use the award funds to participate in the International Health Fair of Tunisia, expand her website and purchase raw materials.
- Salma Cherif
Salma Cherif believes that the risk and sacrifice of launching an enterprise is minimal when considering how it reinforces the positive image of women in Tunisia. Salma’s business, Coccinelle Creations, creates and sells traditional Tunisian interior items and fashion accessories with a modern touch. Salma will use the award funds to purchase a sewing machine and a computer for proper record keeping.
- Siwar Feki
Siwar Feki is a university graduate who enjoys the independence of running her own business, called Chaînes & Trames. Siwar creates woven decorative and clothing items that combine traditional weaving with modern techniques, with the goal of introducing artisanal items to younger generations. With the WES Business Award funds, Siwar will purchase raw materials.
- Lilia Gargouri
Lilia Gargouri is trained in biology, passionate about patient care and founder of a medical laboratory that offers consultations on disease prevention. To gain more business acumen, Lilia participated in WES Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Financial Education trainings. Lilia will use the WES Business Award funds to further equip her medical laboratory.
- Hajer Fourati
Hajer Fourati has a passion for product design. She recently participated in the WES trainings and plans to launch a printing business that will specialize in creating personalized products. The WES Business Award funds will allow Hajer to purchase printing materials and register her business in the formal sector.
- Rania Boucetta
Rania Boucetta is interested in sharing traditional Tunisian design with the world. She participated in the WES trainings and plans to launch her interior design business, called Rannouchette Deco Design shortly. Rania will use the WES Business Award funds to purchase the materials needed to begin creating products.
- Rim Belgayed
Rim Belgayed recently launched Ecopalme, an eco-friendly packaging business. Ecopalme’s innovative model is the first of its kind in southern Tunisia and uses dried palm leaves, an abundant and otherwise wasted resource in the region, to create shipment packaging. Rim will use the WES Business Award funds to purchase a machine that will more efficiently press shredded palm leaves.
- Khaoula Ahmadi
Khaoula Ahmadi has a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing, and is the proud co-owner of a business raising and selling quail meat and eggs, called Quails of the Oasis. Khaoula attended WES trainings to build her business skills, develop a business plan and grow her network. She will use the WES Business Award funds to increase the number of livestock and install a cooling system in the quail pen.
- Nawal Bouyahya
Nawel Bouyahy is a chemical engineer and business owner who attended WES trainings to further expand her engineering firm, 2E.Solutions. Her business specializes in energy optimization and works with corporations to provide solutions and assistance to protect the environment. Nawel will use the WES Business Award funds to purchase a machine that analyzes exhaust emissions.
La Ruche Tozeur
- Selma Selma
Selma Selma dreamed of owning her own business. After participating in the WES Entrepreneurship and Financial Education trainings, Selma worked with WES Center staff to develop a business plan to launch a grocery store that sells foods items and home goods. With the WES Business Award funds, Selma will register her business with the government.
- Awatef Saad
Awatef Saad owns a sewing and embroidery business that specializes in couture fashion. After participating in the WES Entrepreneurship, Financial Education and Social Media trainings, WES staff supported Awatef to write a business plan to expand her business by increasing her client base. Awatef will use the WES Business Award funds to increase her marketing efforts.
- Fathiya Lemssama
Fathiya Lemssama participated in the WES Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Social Media trainings. Fathiya has since collaborated with several other entrepreneurs from the WES network and together they have launched a business creating and selling products made from reed plants. Working together, the women are better able to market their products to a larger clientele base.
- Moufida Fattouch
Moufida Fattouch owns a kitchen remodeling and design company in which she sells marble and mosaics for both functional and decorative purposes. Moufida recently participated in the WES Entrepreneurship and Social Media trainings and will use the award funds to expand the range of mosaics and bathroom accessories she is able to offer in order to target new clients.
- Sana Bouaicha
Sana Bouaicha is the founder and owner of La Coquette, a spa that offers massage and facial, hair and make-up services. Sana’s participation in WES trainings helped her to focus on expanding her business. Sana will use the award funds to broaden her client base by creating a small boutique within her store in which she will offer wedding dress rental services to her clients.
- Samia Bengaied
Samia Bengaied is a passionate conservationist who recently participated in WES Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Financial Education trainings. WES Center staff supported Samia to develop a business plan that will provide landscaping services to maximize local green space while mitigating the negative effects of pollution. With the award funds, Samia will implement her marketing strategy.
- Asma Belhaj
Asma Belhaj has a passion for clothing design and dreams of sharing the beauty of traditional Tunisian clothing with the greater Tataouine region. After participating in the WES Entrepreneurship training, WES staff supported Asma to create a business plan for a couture women’s clothing business she plans to launch shortly. Asma will use the WES Business Award funds to implement a marketing plan.
- Raja Chemlali
Raja Chemlali has a passion for sharing traditional Tunisian products with younger generations, and creates and sells leather items typical in southern Tunisian fashion. After completing the WES Entrepreneurship training, WES Center staff supported Raja to develop a business plan to expand her business. Raja will use the award funds to further develop her brand identity.
Round 3 Business Award Winners
WES is pleased to announce the 36 winners of the 3rd Round of the WES Business Award. The winners are emerging and established women entrepreneurs who benefited from training and coaching at 12 WES Centers for Women’s Business Development across Tunisia. Each winner received seed funds to help her launch or expand her business.
Profiles of the WES Business Award winners are listed by WES Center:
- Najoua Trabelsi
Najoua Trabelsi’s dream is to run a French restaurant in downtown Kef since the culture of Tunisia is heavily rooted in French traditions. She is an active, motivated and patient woman. The WES center supported Najoua by providing her with training in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Financial Education. The WES award will help her to open her new restaurant.
- Amira Abidi
Amira Abid is 32 years old and a graduate in documentation management and archives from the Institute of Science. Amiradecided to launch her own business to gain financial independence. Her business, Café Abidi, provides a space where customers can relax and read newspapers and magazines. The space offers a delightful environment where visitors can meet, chat and relax while enjoying fine food and delicious drinks. Amira participated in the entrepreneurship training organized by Horizons Kef WES Center where she developed her business plan. Amira will use the WES Business Award funds to decorate the space and create a new website.
- Wafa Messaoudi
Wafa Messaoudi launched her business in order to become more active in her community. With the support of WES, Wafa prepared her business plan for a Garderie (nursery) during the entrepreneurship training at the Horizons WES Center. She developed this business plan after realizing the increasing demand for childcare in her native region of Kef since many parents need to work. Her business now enables her to interact with people on a regular basis. Garderie les abeilles will offer quality services that seek to deepen children’s understanding of Tunisian cultural traditions. This nursery business will target families who have one parent who is currently employed while the other parent is busy seeking employment.
- Torkia Ben Mehrez
Torkia Ben Mehrez is 33 years old and holds a PhD in Biology. Torkia is launching a business for agricultural products that will focus on transforming butternut squash to jam and juice, and pumpkin seeds to oil. Torkia’s objective in the few next years is to generate 1750TND per day. Fathia will use the WES award to buy raw materials for the next season.
- Houda Rhibi
Houda Rhibi’s business started with a childhood dream. After growing up with an interest in fashion, Houda studied fashion and design for three years as an adult. Subsequently, she did a training that focused on creating patterns using software. Houda also participated in the entrepreneurship program at the TAMSS WES Center. She launched a new business making and renting women’s dresses. Since launching her business, she moved to a new space, which has greatly increased the number of clients.
- Mouna Klai
Several years ago, Mouna Klai started a small home-based business making dresses. She received a small loan from a microfinance NGO in Tunis to expand her business. To enhance her knowledge of business, Mouna contacted the TAMSS WES Center where she received entrepreneurship training from professional coaches. Following the training, she prepared her business plan and changed her marketing and communication strategies. These changes led to impressive results as she was able to increase her revenue and the number of clients. The WES business award will help her to buy new equipment in order to satisfy the increased demands.
- Hanen Safi
Hanen’s objective is to launch an educational center for students between the ages of 6 and 18 years old that offers private lessons for students to improve their skills. The center will offer extra services like theater, music and swimming lessons. The award will be used to support the launch of her business.
- Asma Hnid
“[This is] the fate of which I dreamed” said Asma Hnid. Her childhood passion guided her to pastry training that lasted one year. During that time, she improved what she was previously taught. Support from her mother also allowed her to realize her dream. She started working in her mom’s workshop producing different kinds of pastry. What makes Asma’s product different is the high quality of raw materials she uses and the after sale services, which include Asma calling her clients to check if they are satisfied with the purchases. Asma will use the award to buy raw materials for her business.
- Mahjouba Bourguiba
Mahjouba Bourguiba received training in entrepreneurship, leadership and financial education from the ADDCI WES Center. As a widow from Zarzis, she needed a way to support herself. She launched her business creating and selling traditional clothes for women. Mahjouba wants to use the WES award to expand her business and reach a higher number of clients. She will rent a new space in the tourist area in order to attract new customers.
- Nabila Khadi
Nabila Khadi holds a university degree in law. Her father is a farmer. She decided to switch her activities and launch a business producing coffee from dates. Nabila’s idea is innovative as she wants to produce raw materials for the coffee industry. The award will help her to buy packaging.
- Fatma Ghrissi
Fatma Ghrissi is a 26-year-old entrepreneur who launched a business to produce fodder from palm trees. Her business will address the problem of a lack of fodder in the region. The business will also help to improve the waste of palm components. Fatma will use the award to gather raw materials.
- Amel Ben Said
Amel started breeding geese with her mother since she is from a rural area. Amel received training in entrepreneurship at the UNFT Kairouan WES Center. She wants to launch her business breeding and commercializing geese in Tunisia. She will use the award to buy geese in the appropriate season to produce eggs.
- Raida Bouaicha
Raida Bouaicha launched her enterprise with limited resources in March 2015. For her business, she prepares butter from dried fruit that will be distributed to small suppliers and supermarkets. She explains that the butter is healthier than regular butter and intended for babies, the elderly and adults. Raida will use the award to procure a product-measuring device and a mixer.
- Monia Mechim
Monia Mechim is a young university graduate. She is developing a business for organic compost production through the enhancement of agricultural waste. The enterprise will have a positive environmental impact since it will repurpose waste that could be a source of pollution.
- Fedia Cherif
Fedia, an ACG WES Center graduate, is launching her new company for home services that will include household cleaning, gardening, security and home assistance. The value added of the activity is the use of new technologies including steam cleaning equipment. The company also offers other services such as the organization of private events. The WES award will be used to procure office equipment and launch a website.
- Haifa Ben Nasra
Haifa Ben Nasra is a graduate of entrepreneurship and leadership from the ADGS WES Center. She is launching her company to extract gas from palm tree waste. Haifa’s client will be the STEG (Tunisian Company for Gas and Electricity). The WES business award will serve to cover the fees of transportation of the palm waste during the activity startup.
- Fathia Oun
Fathia has many years of experience producing artisanal products. Fathia participated in entrepreneurship training at the WES Center in Gafsa in order to learn more about becoming a successful entrepreneur. The WES award will enable her to expand her activities and procure raw materials.
- Saloua Kacem
Saloua has many years of experience producing handicrafts. Saloua participated in entrepreneurship training at a WES Center in Gafsa in order to learn more about becoming a successful entrepreneur. The WES award will help herbuy materials to expand her products.
- Wassila Balti
Wassila Balti is a graduate from the AJD Beja WES Center in entrepreneurship. Wassila has a diploma in IT but she could not find a job. She started her own business several years ago designing different kinds of jewelry for women. The award will assist her to expand her production.
- Saoussan Jemai
Saoussan has a lot of experience producing pastries in Beja. Her products are unique. She wants to launch a training center for pastry making. She will use the award to rent a space for the center and launch a communications campaign.
- Faten Haddad
Faten is a mother of two. She runs a business making dresses for her community. She explains that her neighbors like her products a lot. She wants to expand her business and the award will help her to buy a new machine so she can satisfy the increasing demands.
Youth and Skills Bizerte
- Soukayna Yomni
Soukayna’s idea is to create a network of women workers and others who are at home. This network will offer jobs for the unemployed women. This is a need for the women in her community and will serve as a good opportunity for exchanging ideas. Soukayna will develop a database of women and jobs and offer services for them. The WES award will enable her to begin implementing her idea.
- Awatef Wenzerfi
Awatef is a home-based entrepreneur who makes delicious pastries to sell to her community. Recently she participated in training on entrepreneurship organized by the Bizerte WES Center. During the training, Awatef developed her business plan and now has a clear idea about how to better approach her business. Awatef’s goal is to earn 5,000 TND this year and 7,000 TND the following year. To reach this goal, she will use the award funds to procure raw materials and equipment.
- Aicha Jelassi
Aicha Jelassi started her business several years ago at home. She is producing artisanal products for decoration. Her objective is to have a bigger space where she can display her products. The award will be used to rent a space and recruit two women to help her during this summer with the large demand she has for her products.
- Mejda Elloumi
Mejda’s passion allowed her to create her enterprise, ETS – Electronic & Technology Solutions in 2013. She is designing and producing electrical components for buildings. Mejda was interested in the Leadership training in Optima WES Center. After the training, Mejda was able to present the proposals during meetings. The award will help her to launch a communications campaign for her company.
- Mouna Abid
Mouna Abid’s is producing decorative household crafts that relate to Tunisian heritage after she learned this trade during her studies. Mouna’s creations are unique and innovative. The WES award will help her to promote her products and print communications.
- Kalthoum Triki
Kalthoum Triki is producing interior decorations. Kalthoum has many problems with the commercialization of her products, so she participated with the Optima WES Center’s entrepreneurship and Social Media trainings. After these trainings, she was able to increase her client base. Kalthoum will use the award to procure raw materials to meet her production demands.
- Fatma Rhouma
Fatma Rhouma is a 40-year-old mother of three who runs a small home-based business making and selling spices. Fatma’s entrepreneurial spirit emerged when she was just 12 years old as she used to help her mother earn money for the family by selling homemade products. Fatma’s dream is to expand her spice business and move to the formal sector, which will allow her to export her products.
- Manel Ghaffari
Manel’s natural artistic abilities have transformed into a growing business. After she decided to take a break from her studies, Manel began taking her hobby of drawing more seriously. She now works as an entrepreneur creating and selling pottery, drawings and paintings. Manel will use the award to expand her business by buying more materials and renovating her workspace.
- Soumaya Rhoumi
Soumaya Rhoumi, an ambitious and talented 23-year-old, already has five years of experience working in the pastry industry. With this experience, she is ready to launch her own brand of Tunisian pastries. The award will give her the resources she needs to grow her business and sell delicious treats to her nearby communities.
La Ruche Tozeur
- Fathia Arfaoui
Fathia Arfaoui is responsible for a family with three kids. She participated in several trainings in entrepreneurship where she developed her business skills. Fathia had the chance to also participate in many expositions in Tozeur, her native region. She launched her own business producing date jam, a product with high demand in Tunisia and abroad. Fathia will use the award to buy an oven and raw materials.
- Henda Tlili
Henda is a 50-year-old woman and a proud graduate from the Tozeur WES center where she received entrepreneurship training. Her dream was to have a quiet life with her family. In 2015, her life changed when she decided to launch her own business. First, she participated in several trainings and then developed her business plan with the support of the WES center. Henda produces different products using the Cyperus Laevigatus plant, a local plant. She will use the award money to procure a big quantity of raw materials since this plant is available only during the summer months.
- Arij Omrane
At the young age of 18, Arij Omrane is already a role model in her community as a businesswoman. She left school at the age of 11 to help her mother make pastries at home. Arij came to the Tozeur WES center where she found herself supported by the trainers. She learned through the different WES modules how to launch her own formal business selling pastries. Arij participated in the WES business award with a lot of self-confidence. The award will help her to move to a new space and procure raw materials.
- Saida Fattouch
Saida Fattouch, a WES Sousse graduate, is preparing to launch her new entertainment business. She plans to market her services to working moms who are not satisfied with the school clubs. Her idea is to create a space for kids with different kinds of clubs and workshops such as jewelry making, bio cosmetics, cooking, floral art, and painting.
- Rim Ghzayel
“Everybody needs a pillow, but we are going to offer a special one,” said Rim Ghzayel, a WES Sousse graduate before launching her new product called Pillow anti mite. The product will be unique in Tunisia since it offers a very nice design, soft or firm options, anti-heat and antiperspirant.
- Amira Cherif
The economic environment in Tunisia is growing. For this reason, Amira Cherif started her new business called “LET’S FLY,” an agency specializing in web design and software development. The business provides online multimedia solutions for businesses and individuals.
Round 2 Business Award Winenrs
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.
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.
Round 1 Business Award Winners
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is pleased to announce the 24 Tunisian women entrepreneurs who will receive the first ever WES Business Award. The winners are aspiring and emerging women entrepreneurs who have benefited from training at eight Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Entrepreneurship Centers across Tunisia. The winners will receive small grants, with a combined total of $20,000 USD, to help them launch or expand businesses.
The winners are listed by WES Center:
Association of Majida Boulila for Modernity (AMBM), Sfax
Mouna Werchefani is an Electromechanical engineer with a specialization in robotics. Mouna participated in the Entrepreneurship WES training and plans to launch a business that will produce robots to help people with disabilities gain increased mobility at a low cost. Mouna will use the WES award to market her business idea and purchase basic production materials.
Nadia Lahiani participated in the Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. Through her business, Creation Nadia, Nadia custom designs paintings on textiles, wood, porcelain and other materials. Nadia will use the WES Award to expand her business by purchasing new materials and increasing her market outreach. Her dream is to be a successful businesswoman.
Salma Maatoug has a Master’s degree in Graphic Design and participated in the Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Leadership, E-Commerce, Home-based Business and Communication WES trainings. Salma’s business, COFFRA, specializes in the custom design and construction of box packaging. The WES award will help Salma improve the quality of her products by investing in a cutting machine. Along with being a successful businesswoman, Salma wants to be a fair leader who respects the well-being of her workers.
Association of Continuity of Generations (ACG), Sfax
Rania El Aoued participated in the Social Media and Entrepreneurship WES trainings. Rania is an engineer with a specialty in animal feed production and intends to launch a business that produces organic cattle feed made from germinated barley. Rania explains that this technique is very useful in draught-prone areas and has many health benefits for animals. She plans to use her WES award to conduct in-depth market research. Rania sees herself as a leader in her field and envisions her company having branches throughout Tunisia and internationally.
Mouna Bouchaala has a degree in Interior Design and participated in the Entrepreneurship and Social Media WES trainings. Mouna plans to launch a “Green Home” business that will provide inexpensive housing to students and other environmentally-conscious clients. She plans to use her WES award to register her business. Mouna’s goal is to design the first green home in Sfax.
Hajer Ayedi recently participated in the Entrepreneurship WES training and is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Accounting. She plans to launch her business, Recycle-Society, which will focus on recycling, manufacturing and selling recycled paper. Hajer will invest her WES award in conducting market research and purchasing production material.
Kairouanians for the Culture of Citizenship (KPCC), Kairouan
Leila Aben participated in the Leadership, Home-based Business, E-Commerce and Social Media WES trainings. Leila’s business, Lella El Beya, specializes in decorative items for the home. Leila plans to use her WES award to promote her business and purchase a new sewing machine.
Monia Mestiri Ep Jrad is a self-made woman whose education includes the “school of life,” as well as the Home-based Business and E-Commerce WES trainings. Monia’s business, Monia Déco-Store, sells custom designed decorative items and will soon expand to include a new collection line made possible by the WES award funds.
Nabiha Zaghouani participated in all five WES trainings. She has also received vocational and technical training in pottery and her products are known for their unconventional patterns. She plans to expand her business, Poterie Kairouan, and launch a marketing campaign using her WES award funds.
National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFTK), Kairouan
Fatma Boukhris participated in the Home-based Business WES training. She plans to launch an embroidery business, Gold Fingers, which will specialize in embroidery, crochet and tricotterie. Fatma will use the WES award to launch a marketing campaign and purchase basic production materials.
Raoudha Taam participated in the Leadership WES training. Her business, Taam Society, creates practical and lightweight bags in different plastic derivatives. Raoudha plans to use her WES award to promote her business.
Zakia Bouafia received training in agriculture and livestock management while growing up on her family’s farm. She recently participated in the Entrepreneurship WES training. She made the decision to turn her training into an entrepreneurial endeavor and launch a dairy cow-milking business. Zakia will use the WES award to complete the purchase of a new cow.
NOOR Association for Human Development (ANDH), Sousse
Lamia Ben Ali has a degree in Project Management and participated in the Home-based Business, Social Media, E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. Lamia plans to expand her bakery business, The Old Bakery, and will use the WES award to launch a new category of pastry products.
Amina Sghaier holds a university degree in Applied Design and participated in the Home-based Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. She intends to launch a business that will provide event management services to civil society organizations. Amina plans to use her WES award to run a communications campaign promoting her services in the area.
Chehnez Jarraya holds a diploma in sewing and embroidery and is the founder of a Kaftan business, called Jarraya Creation. She participated in the Home-based Business, Social Media, E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. She believes that Tunisians take pride in wearing traditional attire and that her skilled embroidery on silk and cashmere will be appreciated by those attending formal events. Chehnez will use the WES award to purchase production materials.
Association of Development of the South of Gafsa (ADGS), Gafsa
Mbarka Mabrouki participated in the Entrepreneurship WES training. Mbarka’s business innovations include new designs and accessories she has added to traditional Gafsa clothing. Mbarka will use the WES award to purchase production materials.
Hayet Nasra participated in the Entrepreneurship and Home-based Business WES trainings and is the founder of a clothing design company. Hayet intends to use the WES award to expand her business by purchasing new production materials.
Zina Ammar participated in the Entrepreneurship, Social Media, E-Commerce, Leadership and Home-based Business WES trainings. She plans to expand her carpet business, Tapisserie Zina Ammar, and will use the WES award to purchase more materials.
Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS), Tunis
Afef Mraidi is a wardrobe stylist by profession. She participated in the Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. Afef believes that Tunisian handicrafts must be preserved. She designs traditional Tunisian dress, such as Jebba and Chachia, and traditional jewelry. Afef intends to expand her Jebba production and use the WES award to create a new line of clothing.
Olfa Barouni participated in the Entrepreneurship, Social Media and Leadership WES trainings. Olfa already has a Master’s degree in Management and plans to use the WES award to start a bakery, called Cerise, where she will sell Tunisian and European pastries.
Rachida Gannouni is a seamstress with a small business making sweaters, skirts and jackets for men and women. She participated in the Entrepreneurship, E-Commerce and Leadership WES trainings. The WES award will allow her to create new products and research potential new markets.
Association of Sustainable Development and International Cooperation in Zarzis (ADDCI), Zarzis
Naima Zouaghi participated in the Home-based Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. Naima is the owner of a business that makes harissa (Tunisian hot pepper sauce) and intends to use her WES award to buy new equipment to improve the production process and expedite her home-delivery service.
Amira Belhiba participated in the Home-based Business, Social Media, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. She will use the WES award to launch a business that will provide nursing services and manufacture first-aid cabinets.
Najet Intit participated in the Home-based Business, Social Media, Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership WES trainings. Najet is planning to launch a pastry business that will provide the raw materials for traditional pastry makers. She will use the WES Award money to purchase basic production materials needed to launch her business.