Pioneering project with a taste of chocolate
The Smart Desert Project seeks to enable domestic and agricultural entrepreneurs to contribute to the wheel of the national economy by providing support, guidance, management and entrepreneurship training, facilitating partnerships and supporting market networking.
Sondos is a home entrepreneur, the story of her project began when she graduated from university, where she received a box of chocolates as a gift from her relative on the occasion of graduation, but what made this gift different, is that her relative had made the chocolate herself, to shine the idea in Sondos’ head, and she went to the market to buy chocolate-making equipment just days after receiving the gift.
“I chose the chocolate project because it is like a part of my personality, as long as I want to make people happy, and chocolate is the companion of happy moments,” says Sondos, and her choice of the project was not only due to this reason, Sondos chose to work from home instead of traveling when she had the opportunity to do so because she wanted to take care of her elderly parents “Working from home provides me with an opportunity to take care of the health of my mother and father, and I can also spend more time with my family members which is very important to me.”
Sondos made the first box of chocolates, and when everyone praised the taste of the chocolates, she decided to start with another step, so she started to make a page on the Facebook platform, through which she published the varieties of chocolates that she began to sell within the scope of her family and neighbors, and took advantage of the opportunity of her family members living in different provinces to be able to deliver to her customers in those provinces, and over time the demand for chocolate varieties prepared by Sondos increased and she needed equipment for her project, She could no longer use the equipment of the family kitchen, the price of her products did not bring her the profits she was seeking, and she did not have the budget to use proper packaging that added value to her products: “I could not save large quantities of chocolate because there was no space in my family’s refrigerator, and I had to apologize to customers for not being able to use the kitchen when there was a family meeting for a meal in our house.”
The Smart Desert Project provided the necessary support and equipment to Sondos, so its productivity increased and it took less time in the manufacture of chocolate, Sondos says, “I have my own equipment, and I can work whenever I receive a request from a customer, the equipment not only saved me time and effort, but also helped me to apply new ideas and create varieties of chocolate, and I no longer worry about receiving new orders from customers, I store the chocolate until it is delivered in the refrigerator that the project provided me, and I can rest assured that it will reach my customers in perfect conditions through the use of cold storage boxes.”
The Smart DESERT Project, funded by the French Development Agency, provides support to home entrepreneurs in several stages by providing guidance to them, linking their projects with local markets and electronic marketing platforms to showcase their products, open new markets for them and provide them with in-kind support as needed.
The project team also provided guidance to Sondos so that she could market her products in an appropriate way, “The project gave me the opportunity to showcase my products in new places and my products also had an attractive packaging that contributed to the increase in demand for it, and enabled me to adjust their price,” says Sondos.
Sondos dreams of becoming a well-known trainer in the field of chocolate, and aspires to establish her own exhibition that provides raw materials and equipment suitable for chocolate industry entrepreneurs, and she has sent a message to everyone who wants to start his own business to try until he finds what he loves, and concluded by saying, “Love and mastery are two elements that customers feel present, make sure that they are present in your products whatever the product is.”