Tunisia: Next adventure – starting a business
A couple of entrepreneurs offer an alternative taste of Tunisia – combining profession with passion.
For Achraf Aouadi and Rim Bourguiba, their business idea has a special appeal: ‘We see WildyNess as an opportunity to combine our professional skills with our passion for travel,’ says Aouadi. WildyNess.com is the internet platform the couple launched in 2021. Their idea was to provide travellers with authentic holiday experiences away from the mass tourism in their home country, Tunisia.
The IT expert and software engineer have been living in Germany since 2013. Now they have invested their technical know-how in their own company WildyNess, which they hope will raise the profile of smaller tourism providers in rural Tunisia. Many of these have no internet presence of their own. ‘We mediate between our partners and our clients to ensure we provide a unique experience,’ says Bourguiba. With around 30 activities on offer on the platform, the company organises everything from eco accommodation to individual tours, such as a visit to a traditional cheese producer or a bicycle tour on the edge of the desert in southern Tunisia. For the couple, this is also a way to support local providers. ‘The time has come for us to give something back to Tunisia,’ Bourguiba explains.
Success through targeted support
To implement their idea, they received start-up support from the Migration and Diaspora Programme of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ developed the programme to provide support to people with a migration background, for example in starting up an innovative enterprise in their country of origin. The programme operates in over 20 countries and has helped with more than 170 successful start-ups – including Wildyness: ‘We learned a lot from the trainers. They gave us tips on marketing and how to start a business in Tunisia,’ says Aouadi.
Achraf Aouadi and Rim Bourguiba took a sabbatical from their employers in Germany to set up the company. Today, they employ a team of four in Tunis. The two have big plans for the future: ‘Our vision is that in five years WildyNess will be an international marketplace for unique experiences not only in Tunisia but across the whole of North Africa,’ says Bourguiba.