Success story: Dhouha’s communication agency is a ray of hope in Zarzis
In Zarzis, on the southeastern coast of Tunisia, the role of women has changed over the last few years. Faced with the country’s economic situation and the migration of many young men looking for a better future in other regions of the country or even in Europe, has highlighted the responsible and strong character of the women of Zarzis. Dhouha Ben Aissa is the perfect example. At only 27-years-old, she has launched the very first communication agency in Zarzis.
Following the example of her mother and her grandmother, Dhouha nurtured an optimistic personality that guides her professional success today. Her career began a few years ago, when she obtained a degree in Marketing, and a Master’s degree in Distribution and Trade Negotiation at the School of Commerce of Tunis (ESC).
“When I was studying, I already had the dream of launching my own communication agency”, she informs us. “Step by step, and with my first professional experience at Mouja FM, the regional radio of Zarzis, this dream became a reality.”
In April 2018, Dhouha decided to devote herself full-time to her career as an entrepreneur. That is when she discovered the project Mashrou3i, a public-private partnership between the Tunisian government, USAID, UNIDO, the Italian Cooperation and HP Foundation.
“I first completed the HP LIFE e-learning training online and then during a 5-day face to face workshop, the HP LIFE trainers from Mashrou3i helped me to build my business plan.”
Dhouha recounts how the 28 courses of the HP LIFE e-learning platform were vital in preparing her for her entrepreneurial journey. “The ‘setting prices’ course helped me, for example, to set my costs and expenses in order to optimize my accounting,” she explains. “While the ‘target audience’ course helped me understand how to identify my customers.”
A few weeks later, Dhouha received the support of a regional expert from Mashrou3i who identified her needs in the business creation phase and helped her overcome administrative hurdles through a technical training.
MD COM opened its doors at the Cyberpark of Zarzis in May 2018. “Our agency handles the communication strategy of a company from A to Z, from the visual identity to the production of communication tools such as flyers, business cards, posters…”, she says. “We also create websites and do everything related to community management of a brand.”
MD COM clients are mainly based in Zarzis and Djerba, but the agency has also gained customers from France, especially in terms of web development. “We are currently working in the sectors of health, catering, cars and furniture. And we just signed a contract with a fitness center in Zarzis.”
In December 2018, Mashrou3i offered Dhouha the opportunity to promote her agency through an exclusive radio interview on Ulysse FM. “Following this interview, I was contacted by many potential customers, but also people who congratulated me for my work and my role in promoting Zarzis and the city’s wealth. It made me feel extremely proud!”
Looking into the company’s future and success, Dhouha plans to recruit new people in her team and to add new services that will enable her to retain a competitive if other agencies set up in Zarzis. Plans that bring hope and new job opportunities to the region.