Tunisia: MEPI Beneficiary Leaves Medicine to Become an Entrepreneur

After working for 18 years in the medical field, Bouchra Laouani Mansour started thinking about launching her own business. Ambitious, independent and dynamic, she began marketing a brand of organic cosmetics, working from home and relying on her personal network. This experience made
her want to go further and become her own boss. Drawing on her professional contacts in the medical field, she identified a network of organic cosmetics suppliers, and decided to embark on the adventure of entrepreneurship. “I have always loved organic and natural products,” Bouchra explains. “I think about bio products and ecology all the time. I understood that I needed to grow my business and that I could not
continue working in the shadows.

Since joining WES‐Up, I have gained a lot of self‐confidence. The opportunity to articulate my vision has been a real revelation for me; I have learned so much. I have learned to negotiate with suppliers, and to delegate certain tasks; I have reorganized my whole way of working. The WES program has coached and assisted me in every step of my business. The coaching boosted me and gave me the energy to go further, and the establishment of an action plan helped me to see more clearly.”

Bouchra recently opened a new shop, next to a luxury restaurant where many of the tourist buses stop for lunch in Kairouan. She has started to market her products in new ways, and adopted new management practices related to the supply chain. She bought a new oil extraction machine and is
working on creating her own brand of cosmetics. Ms. Mansour recruited a sales associate to help her and started offering new services in her shop by bringing someone in to offer beauty treatments. “I finally managed to have my own brand thanks to the WES program,” Ms. Mansour explains, “the
next step is to set up a bottling workshop for its products.” Bouchra has big plans ahead as she continues to grow her business.

Funded by MEPI, WES-Up is Tunisia’s first business accelerator dedicated to women in nine governorates.