Hanen is a young woman from the region of Gabes in Tunisia, who has nurtured a passion for beekeeping since her childhood. Today, she is the founder of Beesoulmate, a brand of honey and bee products based in the region of Gabes.
Coming from a family of farmers, she naturally turned to the beekeeping sector during her studies by joining a school specialized in beekeeping in Gabes. After marrying a beekeeper, Hanen started her entrepreneurial career at 36-year-old.
"At the beginning, me and my husband were only producing honey. But overtime, I discovered the potential and virtues of hive products. So, I decided to expand into other products."
In 2019, she began a cycle of several trainings to strengthen her knowledge in products and by-products of the hive. After 3 years, she participated in the WIDU project implemented by GIZ in Tunisia. With the support of her sister living in Germany, she gradually developed her activities while being supported by the WIDU professional coach.
In April 2022, Hanen received a grant of 2,750 EUR which allowed her to acquire the equipment needed for honey extraction, and to develop her own laboratory for the analysis of royal jelly, as no specific laboratory was existing in Gabes.
"I am very satisfied with my experience with WIDU. The equipment that I was able to acquire thanks to the grant is professional and of high quality. It was a change maker in terms of the quality of my products."
Prior to her participation in the WIDU project, Hanen was in the early stages of launching her small business and had only her husband to help her. A year later, Beesoulmate is now a full-fledged company that has hired three full-time people and created 10 seasonal jobs, all held by women.
"When I started my project, I was extracting honey by myself and manually. Today, with the support I received from my sister in Germany and WIDU, I have acquired machines and employed new people to help me develop my activities. This is a huge time saver."
Recently, Hanen exhibited her products at the Riedya entrepreneurship fair in Tunis thanks to WIDU’s support. Her stand displaying her beehive products was a huge success. "What an experience! When I returned to Gabes, I felt I was a woman leader entrepreneur." No doubt Beesoulmate has many more years of success ahead!