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Ibticem Boujezza/HP
PartnerFinance & Innovation

This Woman Launched Her Own Hairdressing and Beauty Salon in Tunisia

This article was developed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and published here with the approval of UNIDO.

Despite not having had the chance to finish high school, Ibticem Boujezza is a very ambitious 32-year-old woman who has been active in civil society for many years. Through her involvement in women’s rights associations, she learned to assert herself and developed skills in handicraft, marketing, hairdressing, and beauty.

Today, Boujezza is proud to have launched her own hairdressing and beauty salon in the city of Kairouan, Tunisia with the help of her sister and the support of her family, who kindly offered her a location on the ground floor of the family house.

“My hairdressing training dates back to 2000,” said Boujezza. “I worked in many hairdressing salons and took part in several professional competitions. By the end of 2016, I had almost everything I needed to launch my own hairdressing and beauty salon. I was just missing the managerial skills to develop my project and manage it efficiently.”

In her first steps to entrepreneurship Boujezza found the necessary support to formalize her project at the Business Center of Kairouan through the Mashrou3i program.

The Mashrou3i program — organized by UNIDO in partnership with USAID, the Italian Cooperation, and the HP Foundation — is designed to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and offer tools that support fledgling business owners. Its mission is to create some 6,000 jobs and reach more than 25,000 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in Tunisia over the next five years. In addition to mentoring and technical skills training, participants have access to HP LIFE, the HP Foundation's free, onling program, which features 27 interactive modules covering business and IT skills training in seven languages.

Through the Mashrou3i program, Boujezza discovered and benefited from the HP LIFE courses. She quickly and successfully prepared a viable business plan for the Tunisian Bank of Solidarity in order to get the funds needed to launch her business.

“I attended the regional coaching group workshop in February 2017,” said Boujezza. “Thanks to the support and coaching of the Mashrou3i trainer, Jalel Amri, I was able to complete all 27 HP LIFE e-Learning courses and finalize my business plan by myself. This experience has been enriching and decisive for the launch and the viability of my project. I’ve learned how to plan and succeed in my company, how to evaluate costs, how to determine the profitability of it, and most of all how to avoid mistakes in the operation of my business.”

With the assistance and expertise received by the Mashrou3i team and the HP LIFE training, Boujezza is empowered to take advantage of the new skills she has learned and is now enhancing her relationships with her clients, trying to build loyalty by offering a high-quality services while managing the costs she incurs.

“Apart from hairdressing and beauty treatments, I also advise customers on beauty care products that meet their specific needs and explain their application, benefits, and features,” she said.

Boujezza is now managing her project and successfully confronting the entrepreneurial challenges thanks to her ambitions and strength of character. “In my opinion, we must always go forward despite all the difficulties,” she said. “My message to others might be that with or without a diploma, success is possible. You just need to believe in your idea and work for it.”