In September 2020, the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC), in partnership with the Chambers of Commerce (CoC) of Beja, Gabes and Gafsa, selected 30 businesses to benefit from a U.S. Embassy funded small grants program. The program helps businesses to improve sales and recover from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In December 2020, FSVC and the Beja CoC reported that two businesses in El Kef were able to double their sales in a short time period.
Le Petit Pilote
Marwa Saadi, the owner and manager of Le Petit Pilote nursery school, used the grant to develop a customer relationship management tool to better track interactions with existing and potential customers. In addition, she implemented a new marketing strategy that highlights their pedagogy and learning competencies on social media.
These improvements caused enrollment to double from 25 to 50 in a period of two months. Le Petit Pilote had to urgently increase its operating capacity by recruiting four additional employees from the region to address this increased demand.
“I am very satisfied by the support provided by the Beja Chamber of Commerce. This is a great service that should be expanded throughout the region”. Marwa Saadi, Manager at Le Petit Pilote.
United Food Company
United Food Company (UFC), a firm specialized in wholesale pastry, used the grant to improve its capacities and change the ingredients of its products to extend their expiration dates by an additional month. UFC also used the grant to enhance the staff’s sales and marketing capacities and skills.
Consequently, UFC doubled its sales volume from 7,200 to 14,400 units per week, reduced its production cost by 5%, and successfully expanded its distribution network to other regions including Grand-Tunis and the Governorate of Bizerte.
“I could not thank you enough for this initiative that is particularly opportune in crisis time”, Mr. Fadhel Abidi, UFC Manager.