What experience did you have in the fashion industry before you started your own company?
I completed a one-year training course as a seamstress. Not satisfied with that, I went on to work in a clothing factory to gain experience. But my dream was to have my own workshop.
How did you come to start your own company?
I took part in the ‘Startup Tunisia’ competition and came second. The prize enabled me to buy a high-quality embroidery machine and obtain professional advice.
What was GIZ’s role in all of this?
It supported the competition and appointed an expert to help me. This allowed me to structure my ideas. For example, I decided to convert my home instead of renting an expensive workshop. I now have two employees, and three more work for me from home. The expert also gave me tips on marketing. I now advertise my collection on my Facebook page and, thanks to my new machine, can accept orders from other sewing factories.
Aicha Touijer, fashion designer in Medenine, Tunisia. She took the first step towards self-employment in 2015 thanks to a competition organised by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
published in akzente 2/17