I started Mahmoud Trabelsi Services (MTS) in 2018 after graduating from the National Engineering School of Sfax with a degree in electromechanical engineering. I started by providing machine maintenance for local factories and workshops. After developing a strong relationship with my clients, most of whom are furniture manufacturers, I decided to begin manufacturing myself.
I have some experience in the manufacturing field – growing up, my father was a carpenter and I often helped him with his woodwork. In 2019, I shifted MTS’s business model to focus on manufacturing home furniture, such as living room and dining room sets.
Just as the business started to take off, the COVID-19 crisis hit, causing demand for our products to drop dramatically and introducing supply chain disruptions that made it difficult to get raw material. The crisis put the entire business at risk.
When I found out about the COVID-19 Enterprise Recovery Fund launched by the US government through USAID Tunisia JOBS, I quickly applied and received a grant. The support enabled me to purchase raw materials and equipment for the workshop. Since then, the economic situation has improved a bit and demand has picked up. Thanks to JOBS’ grant, the company was also able to recruit three new employees to ensure we could meet production targets.
Now, I am considering expanding the business even more – I want to begin recycling wood waste and discarded raw material to re-use.
Mahmoud Trabelsi – MTS