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Rawdha turned hardship into opportunities with the launch of her textile company in March 2020

December 2, 2020

Right in the middle of a pandemic, Rawdha Toumi was deep into the launch of her new export-oriented clothing company in the industrial zone of Menzel Bouzaiane, an underdeveloped town in Sidi Bouzid. A young entrepreneur from the region, Rawdha is also a woman with a strong personality who braved five years of various administrative blockages and banking refusals before launching her business Rawdhatex.

“How would I take advantages of 5 years of training in industrial quality in the textile sector? The answer was obvious to me”, says Rawdha, “Becoming an entrepreneur, launching my own project and contributing to the development of the industrial sector in the region.”

Rawdha’s entrepreneurial adventure started back in 2016, through the HP LIFE e-Learning training program of Mashrou3i. Rawdha joined other aspiring entrepreneurs at the Business Incubator of Sidi Bouzid. There, she started to learn about business management techniques and finalized her business model and business plan.

“My biggest challenge was to convince the members of the Sidi Bouzid Governorate council to rent me premises in the industrial zone of Menzel Bouzayane to set up my factory”, tells Rawdha.

But while barely settling into her new factory, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Tunisia hard in March 2020. Rawdha decided to set aside her initially planned objectives of jeans manufacturing and started producing masks and protective clothing for healthcare workers.

“During this unusual period for a start-up, I was strongly supported and advised by the project Mashrou3i. I was assisted by an expert who supported me for 6 months in all my administrative, customs and commercial procedures. I even received training to access the Tunisian platform of public procurement and be able to sell part of my production on the local market.”

“During the lockdown, social networks also helped me a lot. Well supported by Mashrou3i, it was thanks to my skills and good technical presentation of my products that I was able to reach technical managers and subcontractors to sell my products and my business’ know-how.”

Currently, Rawdhatex is providing 40 permanent jobs. The company produces medical clothing to a German client and supplies also other clients. Strongly supported by Mashrou3i, Rawdha is currently setting up a quality management system for her company which will lead in 2021 towards the certification of her products and the access of other potential markets abroad.