At 30 years old, Motii Jlassi is an ambitious young entrepreneur and the founder of Friga, a company that specializes in the production of livestock feed. Launched in 2017 in the region of Siliana, the business already provides employment to 14 people.
With a degree in Banking and Finance obtained in 2011 and a Masters in Islamic Finance in 2013, Motii Jlassi was not ready to leave his native village of Bargou, in order to find a job directly related to his university studies.
“I didn’t want to be unemployed,” said Motii. “When I became aware of the needs of farmers in the region, I got the idea of going into the livestock feed business. As my research progressed I discovered that the region offers many opportunities in this sector. Supported financially by my family, in 2013 I started exploring the feasibility of my project with growing confidence.”
Things are going well for Motii. His strong commitment to customer service has enabled him to develop a loyal clientele. He also quickly gained the approval for the sale of livestock feed thanks to state subsidies. All this encouraged him to develop his business and move from trade to production.
“Finding a location for the business in Bargou has not been easy, but I found a suitable warehouse and managed to get a loan of 174,000 Tunisian Dinars to buy it, which I am paying back in monthly instalments. Thanks also to a supplier credit, I recently purchased a livestock feed unit,” he said.
In 2017, Motii met the regional expert of the Mashrou3i project organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation.
“In October, I finally launched my business thanks to the assistance of a regional expert from Mashrou3i, who helped facilitate several administrative procedures,” Motii said. “The Mashrou3i regional expert also helped me to complete my feasibility study, which enabled me to get a grant from the government. I’ve also taken part in environment and waste management training by a UNIDO environmental expert. This made me aware that my business has two categories of waste; barley and oats, which are biodegradable, and plastic bags that I can also resell as recycled material. I’m also currently benefiting from the support of Mashrou3i’s expert in communication to access new markets.”
Encouraged by the support, Motii made an investment of 420,000 Tunisian Dinars for the development of his business with 16,000 Tunsian Dinars of capital.
“It’s true that I took a big risk, given my fixed costs of almost 11,000 Dinars a month, but this risk has been well calculated,” said Motii. “The business has 14 employees: 4 engineers, 1 veterinarian and 9 technicians which help generate significant turnover and profit.”
“My technicians control the production, follow up with the farmers and I focus more on business strategy, explained Motii. “I am already thinking of strengthening my business with an inventory management software and automating the production chain. With the support of Mashrou3i, I am confident about the future.”