Success story: Bochra launches packaging business to supply Sidi Bouzid’s olive oil producers

February 1, 2019

It’s early in the morning and Bochra Nciri is busy operating the machines in her workshop. She carefully adjusts the settings on the machines, making sure the plastic bottles fulfil the customers’ needs.

In March 2018, after analyzing the local business environment, Bochra decided to launch a plastic manufacturing company in her hometown of Sidi Bouzid. Full of ambition and courage, the 37-year-old mother tells us how she saw a new business opportunity in her region.

“Sidi Bouzid is Tunisia’s second largest producer of olive oil.” says Bochra. “I decided to launch a business targeting both farmers and olive oil extraction businesses in the region, to meet their needs in plastic containers.”

Bochra remembers the beginning of her entrepreneurial dream and talks passionately about the journey so far. “In 2010, I graduated in petrochemical packaging technology, I got married and started a family. But that did not stop me from working on my deep desire to launch my start-up and be my own boss.”

Despite not having professional experience in the sector, Bochra was determined to continue her path in entrepreneurship.

“I made up for this lack of professional experience by attending all the trainings offered in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Sidi Bouzid, with the ANETI, the Business Center… In 2016, people told me about the project Mashrou3i, and I discovered the HP LIFE e-learning program for young entrepreneurs.”

By mastering the business concepts in IT and soft skills during a Mashrou3i HP LIFE workshop, Bochra discovered new ways to improve and develop her project.

“The HP LIFE program helps you to build a project that matches your skills and abilities, and you grow confidence in your project and its success.”

Bochra also received support from a regional expert of Mashrou3i, a program organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation and HP Foundation. The regional expert provided her with technical training in marketing, logistics, and also advised and guided her to help overcome administrative challenges.

Also, thanks to the Mashrou3i expert’s support, Bochra raised funds of 160,000 Tunisian Dinars, including a credit of 107,000 DT from the Tunisian Bank of Solidarity (BTS) and a 50,000 DT donation from Souk Attanmia. She invested her funds in the purchase of equipment that guaranteed a production capacity of nearly 3,000 units per day. These funds also enabled her to acquire a means of transport, to ensure a working capital for her company, and to develop a close relationship with her clients through the diversification of her products.

Last December, Mashrou3i offered Bochra a training in oral communication techniques and the opportunity to present her project on Karama FM, the local radio. Now aware of her advertising needs, she wants to invest more in the future in social media to raise awareness of her business in the region and to ensure its ongoing success.