Offering youth new opportunities with Nefta’s first vocational training sector

March 5, 2020

Safa Hachani is a young woman entrepreneur who is inspiring and motivating others in her region. In Nefta, she proves that the potential of southern Tunisia is also found elsewhere than in the promotion of natural products, by opening a vocational training school in Nefta.

Safa’s journey over the past 10 years is strongly marked by her desire for independence through entrepreneurship. Graduated in French, she started her career in 2012 in private schools, applying in the meantime to the public sector. But after 6 years of waiting and a long period of unemployment, Safa was forced to find an alternative.

“I didn’t feel able to lead a business. Yet encouraged by my father and supported by the business center and Mashrou3i, I have developed my skills and improved my self-confidence to see that entrepreneurship is the right path for me.”

By leveraging her language skills, Safa opened a vocational training school in Nefta in 2018. However, the administrative procedures for starting a business were more complicated than she thought. The Business Center then put her in contact with the regional expert of Mashrou3i, a public-private partnership between the Tunisian government, USAID, the Italian Cooperation, HP Foundation and UNIDO. After a clear diagnosis of her needs, Safa started to be supported and the project offered her several trainings to improve her knowledge and skills.

“I had a lot of trouble finding my way through all these administrative procedures. The training as well as the deep dive coaching of the regional expert from Mashrou3i, helped me enormously to facilitate the launch and development of my business. The project also offered me to carry out technical training in the extraction of essential oils, one of the courses that I want to integrate into my center.”

Six months later, Safa already started to make a profit. With the help of 5 permanent employees, as well as contractual trainers, Safa offers a wide variety of language courses such as English, French, Italian but also practical courses such as pastry and sewing.

Her activities make her the exception in her field, but also in her region. Today, the Safa’s center is the first private center in all the south of Tunisia to offer practical training in sewing and pastry making.

“Through my training center, I want to promote an entrepreneurial mindset among youth in my region and to encourage them to also launch their own project.”

“Launching a business has totally changed my life. Becoming an entrepreneur means seeing opportunities every day in your environment. For the future, I know that I will be able to seize a lot of opportunities like offering new training in accounting, IT, and why not one day training on healthcare.”