From farm to fork – journalist turns a passion into a blooming business

December 19, 2019

USAID Mashrou3i supports aspiring entrepreneurs in the main stages of their business creation and development, helping them to turn their idea into a reality and make it viable. Sonia Ibidhi, a journalist turned agripreneur in the surrounding highlands of Tabarka, is one example.

“When I was a little girl, my dream was to become a farmer. Put on green boots, sink into the ground and be in nature everyday. But unfortunately, my father didn’t see it the same way. So, I chose a more common path,” recounts Sonia.

After a career in journalism spanning more than 15, in April 2018 Sonia launched Tunisia’s first agricultural plantation for edible flowers. Self-taught, she developed her farming skills and knowledge while on the job.

“Working in the field of journalism drives you to do daily research on topics for articles, innovations, new trends. This is how I discovered the use of flowers in gastronomy and its growing popularity among chefs in Europe, especially France,” she explains. “Thanks to Mashrou3i, a coach specialized in agribusiness helped me understand how to get the business off the ground, from getting approvals from local authorities to deciding which kind of plants to grow.”

USAID Mashrou3i also provided Sonia with HP LIFE entrepreneurship training to improve her business management skills. The project also supported in the registration of her trade mark, Sonya Flowers, at the INNORPI and provided advice about gaining organic certification.

Sonia currently owns 5 hectares in Tabarka where she is cultivating diverse aromatic plants and flowers. The business currently provides full-time employment to 5 people. With a growing number of customers, Sonya Flowers will be inspiring recipes for years to come.

Learn more about entrepreneurs, supported by USAID Mashrou3i who changed their career path and launched successful businesses: