Exciting new buildings are being designed at One Line Architecture Studio in Jendouba. The architecture office, founded by Yathreb Fardhi, is currently working on a broad range of projects for the Tunisian government and a local property developer.
Before confidently launching her own business, Yathreb did a two-year apprenticeship in an architecture office in Tunis where she worked on several projects, from sketching and building design, to the execution and monitoring of construction sites. Prior to that she studied architecture for six years, graduating in 2015. Thanks to this experience she felt ready to start her own business.
"I did a project study to evaluate the opportunities in the North West regions,” Yathreb says. “Although I am originally from Kef, I decided to launch my business in the governorate of Jendouba. My research revealed there is a lot of investment going into the region, especially new real estate projects.”
Determined, Yathreb started strengthening her entrepreneurial skills and carried out a training in business creation at the business incubator of Jendouba. At the same time, she developed her feasibility study, supported by the help of the region’s Business Center.
In April 2017, Yadhreb officially launched her business. Drawing on her savings 8,000 Tunisian Dinars she was able to self-finance the startup and establish her architecture studio in an office space made available to her by the business incubator at a subsidized price. This is when she learned about the Mashrou3i project organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and the HP Foundation.
Yathreb took part in a Mashrou3i face-to-face training where she learned to apply the innovative business and IT tools of HP LIFE to fine-tune her business model. Through the training she was also able network with other young entrepreneurs in the region and even met a real estate developer who became one her partners.
Yathreb proudly tells us about her first projects. “I am currently working on the building design for the administrative premises for the Ministry of Equipment and the Ministry of Interior,” she says, revealing the plans laid out on the table. “And this is a plan for a building which will become the home to a school and classrooms for the Ministry of Education.”
Recently she started collaborating with a local real estate entrepreneur and will oversee the design and execution of a property development project to build several new villas in the region. By networking and effectively promoting her business, Yathreb has been successful in gaining new clients.
"Last April, I took part in a training on presentation and oral communication techniques led by Mashrou3i experts,” she says. “I also got the opportunity to promote my business to potential clients in the region in an interview on the regional radio, Sabra FM.”
The young architect is already proving that the city in north-western Tunisia can offer aspiring entrepreneurs new opportunities beyond agriculture, the region’s principle economic activity.