" When I was younger, I worked at a textile company. I saw the huge amount of waste that the sector generates and thought there must be an eco-friendly solution, a way to recycle the material and make money. Due to the economic crisis in Tunisia, I later found myself jobless, but I grew more determined than ever to create my own recycling business. I took the jump in 2018, working with my seven brothers and sisters to set up the company. The project was no longer a dream, but a family affair. Today, we collect, sort, and compact textile waste. The recycled material is sold in France and Spain, where it is transformed into yarn and fabric. Initially, we wanted to invest in a recycling machine to give more added value to our material, but due to financial issues, we abandoned the idea. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly hurt our business. While demand for our product increased, we were unable to deliver many orders due to new maritime transport restrictions. This took a major toll on our finances, forcing us to downsize from 30 employees to four. During this time, I came across a web article announcing the launch of the US government’s COVID-19 Recovery Grant Fund, under the USAID Tunisia JOBS project. I applied, planning to use the funds to purchase a forklift and create a new position, which would help the company increase productivity. JOBS’ grant has been a breath of fresh air for me. Now, we are waiting for the new machine, which will improve our productivity and efficiency. "
Ibtissem Said - Biz Green Text