At 37 years old, Ines Mohdhi launched her own business in 2017, a service unit dedicated to the cleaning and environmental management of Kairouan, which eventually will contribute to the creation of 8 permanent jobs.
After graduating from high school, Ines got married and started a family. Alongside raising her children, she continued her studies in Kairouan and obtained a Master’s Degree in French Language and Literature in in 2007. She then began her professional career as a teacher in French at the Organization for Education and Family and later became an administrative agent with the Youth and Cultural Center for 5 years.
In 2012, Ines lost her job but she remained ambitious and full of energy. Her strength of character led her to engage in Kairouan civil society. “My involvement with civil associations after the revolution was a second school for me. I became very active in the struggle for the cleaning of my neighborhood and began to understand the municipal processes and procedures.”
Ines quickly became an active member of the project monitoring committee in the governorate of Kairouan, enabling her to launch the “Association for Culture and Development of Kairouan” of which she is now the Secretary General.
“Being unemployed a few years already, I decided it didn’t make sense to study again to get a degree to become a teacher in the public sector. The idea for the project was born from the need: the environmental problem that the municipality was struggling to handle with a lack of equipment and human resources. Thanks to a poly services unit in Kairouan, I am now able to carry out waste collection, manual sweeping, weeding, gardening, and housework.”
Awarded through the “Bader” program with a credit of 52,000 TND and an honor loan of 18,000 TND, Ines was required to submit a business plan to the BTS (Tunisian Bank of Solidarity). It was at this time and through the support of the Business Center that she discovered the Mashrou3i program organized by UNIDO and financed by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation.
“Thanks to the support of the Mashrou3i trainers I was able to develop a viable business plan. I completed the 27 interactive modules on the HP LIFE e-Learning platform, which enabled me to do a feasibility study for my project. I learned how to conduct a financial study, analyze the market and find my place in it. I also gained a new understanding of different marketing techniques, and found out how to create lasting relationships with customers, suppliers and partners, as well as managing the threats inherent to the market.”
Through the support and assistance of Mashrou3i and its entrepreneurial training, Ines has already won a first call for tender from the new municipality of Regada for the sweeping, weeding and cleaning of sidewalks. She is now running for a second one.
“Mashrou3i supports you in the early stages of your project launch process to see the entrepreneurial journey more clearly. If I had to give advice to other young people who are launching their projects... the change comes from you; just make the decision to do it and go for it. There is no lasting failure, only perseverance leads to the success of your project.”