JOBS’ support for Prestige Haute Couture (PHC), a clothing manufacturer in the small town of Tejerouine in Kef, is helping it improve its production processes and gain new clients throughout Tunisia.
Launched in mid-2018 by Marouene Charni, PHC specializes in producing ready-to-wear apparel for local clients. The company is now looking to expand nationally, but to do so it must improve its production processes, reduce costs, and recruit qualified employees. The region of Kef, where the company is headquartered, has less textile expertise than other regions, such as the Sahel, making it difficult for PHC to develop a well-trained workforce.
To help meet its objective, JOBS worked with PHC to restructure its production process and management practices to reduce costs, as well as organize trainings for employees to improve product quality and increase productivity.
JOBS also awarded the company a grant under the COVID-19 Enterprise Recovery Fund to help it recover from a downturn in business during the pandemic. During the health crisis, many of PHC’s customers cancelled orders, dealing a severe blow to its finances. PHC did what it could to continue production and aid in the national effort to combat the pandemic, producing medical masks and gowns for donation to local police and the national guard. This action drew widespread media coverage for the company, helping it secure some new orders from regional hospitals, clients, and municipalities. However, it continued to struggle financially due to the loss of its traditional buyers.
JOBS’ grant helped the company purchase raw material and cover working capital needs for two months, enabling it to continue production and complete orders during this difficult time. As a result, the company was able to sustain 28 jobs and create 48 new jobs. PHC founder Marouene Charni said JOBS’ support was critical to keeping his business open and is now optimistic about his national expansion plan.
“Without this financial support, I would for sure have shut down my business,” said Charni, “I am glad to count JOBS as one of my most valuable partners. I’m also very grateful to my employees who kept production going and made it possible for the company to survive. They worked tirelessly so that we could fill as many orders as possible during these hard times.”
Now I can make plans for the years to come,” he added. “I intend to open two sales points in two governorates and promote the brand ‘Prestige Haute Couture’ beyond the local market.”