With determination and support from the Mashrou3i project, Sondess Amara successfully launched a professional skills training center in Kairouan, Tunisia.
It’s a busy day at ABC Formation, a private training center founded by Sondess Amara. Located above a well-known clothing store in the city center of Kairouan, there are classes taking place in the center’s three rooms, one of which is fully equipped for IT courses.
With a degree in medical biology and five years’ work experience in a medical laboratory, Sondess initially set out to establish a training center in her field of specialization.
“I was determined to improve my working conditions and establishing a biotechnology training center seemed like a natural next step,” says Sondess. “To prepare for the launch of my business, I started to participate in entrepreneurship courses offered in the region.”
As Sondess began developing her entrepreneurial skills, she soon discovered the HP LIFE program, part of the Mashrou3i project organized by UNIDO and funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation, and HP Foundation.
” HP LIFE training has been crucial for me,” she says, earnestly. “I was facing a lot of administrative red tape. The Mashrou3i trainer, Mr. Jalel Amri, sat down with me to help adapt my original business idea and refocus my project to be a multidisciplinary professional training center, which has a lot more market demand. Through the HP LIFE program, I was also given mentoring to complete my business plan, learned how to advertise my business and even how to do my accounts from one year to the next.”
With the support provided by the Mashrou3i project, Sondess overcame the challenges she was facing and officially opened her training center in May 2018. “ABC Formation offers a broad range of courses, including IT skills training, languages (French, English and Italian), and even baking,” Sondess says, as she guides us through the bright training rooms.
By drawing on her network of expert trainers, Sondess guarantees specialized and intensive teaching programs. She has also recently launched a new innovative program: “Art Act”, which teaches people how to build educational toys following the Montessori method.
Thanks to an investment of 30,000 Tunisian Dinars including a Tunisian Solidarity Bank credit of 18,600 Tunisian Dinars, ABC Formation is in a prime location in the city of Kairouan. The training center already hires two full-time staff to handle administration and ten freelance trainers for teaching courses.
“The future belongs to those who fulfil their dreams. I’m still realizing my vision and hope to open two new training centers in Monastir and Tunis in the future,” she says, with conviction. “I also plan to obtain accreditation from certified centers in England so I can specialize in certified e-learning courses.”