Before being a mechanical engineer, I had always been an entrepreneur at heart.
At the start of my career, I performed machine maintenance for several companies throughout Tunisia. Then, due to family issues, I had to return to my hometown, Monastir, where I launched a series of farming projects.
In 2017, it was time for a new challenge, so I took over a struggling local textile factory, MH Confection. Over the next few years, I worked hard and helped build the company’s sales back up, including with strong export sales. It was rewarding to see the work bear fruit and create jobs for the community.
However, in the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 struck. The impact was devastating for the company -- we lost many orders and struggled to source our raw materials, putting the business at risk.
A grant from the COVID-19 Business Recovery Grant Fund established by the US government through the USAID Tunisia JOBS program was crucial to our recovery. The funds allowed us to sustain the jobs of six of our employees and continue maintaining our machines during the difficult financial time.
Today, I can proudly say that business has come back strong – we now have so many orders that we are struggling to fill them all – we are even considering moving to a larger facility so we can bring on more staff.
Mohamed Hlel – CEO Of MH Confection