New businesses in Tunisia

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#1
We have had a few queries recently about setting up a business and wondered if anyone has taken the plunge.

Would anyone like to share their experiences, good or bad! Even if initial enquiries led to nothing I am sure other members would be interested. Anyone who has succeeded in opening something new could offer some help to others, and maybe gain some new customers on here!

Has anyone got any ideas for things that would work in Tunisia, or things you would like to see?

Maybe someone is looking for a partner or investor.

All comments welcome.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I have tried a few things but had to put them on hold over the revolution. At the moment i am waiting to see how things turn out this summer.

rents and nice locations are still expensive considering local incomes so the best businesses in Tunisia usually take advantage of the tax incentives of export.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#3
I agree Kris the revolution and the aftermath has made me cautious too, personally I am waiting for the next election and a new constitution to see how the land lies.

My hopes are for a regime that still wants a modern tolerant future and welcomes foreign investment, but rumours are rife as to the possible new direction Tunisia will take. I am optimistic, but as I said cautious.

I do see various opportunities around, but am hedging my bets, flitting back and forth between Tunisia and the uk, with interests in both. I was really wondering what those who live full time in Tunisia are doing, or those considering a permanent move.
 
C

Cas

Guest
#4
There is a company in Notts that make huge multi faceted inflatable "Illuminarium" or ae if you are a stickler lol they are composed of many segments, tunnels, alcoves,colours and have wonderful music piped in. You buy a ticket for entry and guess what the last one created was designed on Islamic design patterns, it is really something, so I think it would go very well at special occasions for locals and tourists alike. The furthest one has been so far is to Turkey. The actual lease fee is only £2000 but there is shipping and set up. What do people think?
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#5
There is a company in Notts that make huge multi faceted inflatable "Illuminarium" or ae if you are a stickler lol they are composed of many segments, tunnels, alcoves,colours and have wonderful music piped in. You buy a ticket for entry and guess what the last one created was designed on Islamic design patterns, it is really something, so I think it would go very well at special occasions for locals and tourists alike. The furthest one has been so far is to Turkey. The actual lease fee is only £2000 but there is shipping and set up. What do people think?
Sounds great, any pics or web link?
 

ROULLA

Registered User
#6
We have had a few queries recently about setting up a business and wondered if anyone has taken the plunge.

Would anyone like to share their experiences, good or bad! Even if initial enquiries led to nothing I am sure other members would be interested. Anyone who has succeeded in opening something new could offer some help to others, and maybe gain some new customers on here!

Has anyone got any ideas for things that would work in Tunisia, or things you would like to see?

Maybe someone is looking for a partner or investor.

All comments welcome.
Hi Scottochott hope that you are in good health! By looking at what does and what does not work in Tunisia on a daily basis I would probably say that food shops restaurants and cafes do quite well, what is your opinion ? I would love to open a Greek and Tunisian restaurant in Tunisia and call it MY BIG GREEK FAT KITCHEN:D Funny thing is on the aeroplane they served what looked like Vine leaves but by just smelling them you could see that they did not boil the vine leaves before cooking them which would give you a belly ache;) and also have a salty taste as the leaves are bought in brime so I gave them a miss but my husband said that they were nothing like the ones that I make:)unless he was being nice:p
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#7
I'll be there in the queue for "my big Greek fat kitchen", where and when? Seriously though I agree good cafes and restaurants will always work if you remember location, location, location.

Good to see you back posting Roulla
 

ROULLA

Registered User
#8
I'll be there in the queue for "my big Greek fat kitchen", where and when? Seriously though I agree good cafes and restaurants will always work if you remember location, location, location.

Good to see you back posting Roulla
Where and when depends on when and if I win the lottery :D Yes the location does talk, a great location with good clean food,clean toilets;) sorry but I had to slip that one in :p and great service with a smile is a must:) Thank you for the welcome its great to be back on the forum .
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#9
I'll be there in the queue for "my big Greek fat kitchen", where and when? Seriously though I agree good cafes and restaurants will always work if you remember location, location, location.

Good to see you back posting Roulla
This is what Aymen and I have talked about should be go back to live in Tunisia in a few years time, as i am not ready to go yet until i see how the new regime works and whether it would work for me as a Non Muslim European woman for a future life....and coffee shop is definitely the way we want to go at this stage...We have even seen the Coffee shop that we want in Bizerte that we would want to renovate and restore.....And somewhere like Bizerte it would NOT be a 'mens only' coffee shop...where they sit and nurse a coffee for about 3 hours....;)
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#12
Looks amazing, would love to see it
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#13
This is what Aymen and I have talked about should be go back to live in Tunisia in a few years time, as i am not ready to go yet until i see how the new regime works and whether it would work for me as a Non Muslim European woman for a future life....and coffee shop is definitely the way we want to go at this stage...We have even seen the Coffee shop that we want in Bizerte that we would want to renovate and restore.....And somewhere like Bizerte it would NOT be a 'mens only' coffee shop...where they sit and nurse a coffee for about 3 hours....;)
I wanted to buy one on the front corner and he wanted 1,500,000 dinars! or fc 500,000 +6,000 a month crazy as it made no money and is but busy now as drinks too expensive.

Might be cheaper to get on in the new marina once they do it but same problem in Bizerte as in UK rent/price higher than the underlying business opportunity unless you get mates rates or you dad had the land/building already.
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#14
I wanted to buy one on the front corner and he wanted 1,500,000 dinars! or fc 500,000 +6,000 a month crazy as it made no money and is but busy now as drinks too expensive.

Might be cheaper to get on in the new marina once they do it but same problem in Bizerte as in UK rent/price higher than the underlying business opportunity unless you get mates rates or you dad had the land/building already.
Hopefully once the new Marina is finally finished it will bring with it new opportunities...but yes i agree the prices in Bizerte seem incredibly inflated...am happy to sit on the sidelines right now and wait and see what happens in the next couple of years before we consider parting with any money....wouldnt imagine for one second though that Aymen would consider anything WITHOUT it being mates rates though.....lol...however i know that whatever business we do end up with in Tunisia it will definitely be based in Bizerte.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#15
Problem with Bizerte is that its almost totally closed/full and the prices are based on expats rather than locals. The rents for good shops are the same as many parts of Tunis now with FC payments to match.

The marina will be good but then again you can go buy a flat in a mature marina in spain now for the same price....

I always wanted to buy something but it always works out more expensive than the business will make ergo the reason why its so difficult for young people in Tunisia even when they start a business its almost always doomed by high rents.

I think your right to wait I was looking at buying a FC in Tunis for a branch of the wifes travel agency 2000 dinars a month + 60,000 FC but it worked out having to sell 30,000 dinars of service just to pay the rent/base level staff.......and that was only a small office in better areas the rents are x times this.

There is loads of money in Tunisia it just goes in rent not jobs and salaries and is all stored up in houses that should be worth 100,000 dinars but are 700,000
 

daffodil

Well-Known Member
#16
I found the samething that you describe Kris.....the rent just does not match the business earning potential.

The figures quoted for rental on a small space are often much higher than what you would expect to pay in Europe, and with far less earnings.....
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#17
Its logical once you think about it people cannot take their dinars out of Tunisia so they build up. A lot of it is buckshoe so better to buy anything that might get a return.

Now the dinar is falling there is a rush to buy almost anything and if it gets worse we might even see a "crack up" where everyone buys anything that might hold its value.

The only silver lining for me is that each week things priced in dinars are going down and the inflated prices for houses/shops are getting more reasonable to people not inside Tunisia.

At the time of typing this the dinar is 2.43 to the £ and its gone down so fast I think the Tunisian government are doing the same thing as the UK keeping the prices the same inside (low rates, new buy schemes, bank bailouts) and lowering the £ to make things cheaper for outsiders (house prices in uk have fallen by more then 30% since 2008 for folks with dollars.

So really in this trend 2.6 is a recent low against the £ if this gets taken out it maybe time to invest in something that brings in £/€. However everyone is saying to me to wait now as prices are coming down after a post revolution mini boom (more about building without permission than sound economics).

However like others you need stability and security for that especially in Tourist/foreign investor related businesses.
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#18
Problem with Bizerte is that its almost totally closed/full and the prices are based on expats rather than locals. The rents for good shops are the same as many parts of Tunis now with FC payments to match.

The marina will be good but then again you can go buy a flat in a mature marina in spain now for the same price....

I always wanted to buy something but it always works out more expensive than the business will make ergo the reason why its so difficult for young people in Tunisia even when they start a business its almost always doomed by high rents.

I think your right to wait I was looking at buying a FC in Tunis for a branch of the wifes travel agency 2000 dinars a month + 60,000 FC but it worked out having to sell 30,000 dinars of service just to pay the rent/base level staff.......and that was only a small office in better areas the rents are x times this.

There is loads of money in Tunisia it just goes in rent not jobs and salaries and is all stored up in houses that should be worth 100,000 dinars but are 700,000
And this is a bone of contention i have with my husband...because what you are saying is common sense and true and practical...he would far rather we invested in a coffee shop in Menzel where the outgoings are far far fewer...rent is just minimal compared to Bizerte and yet the coffee shops there are constantly packed to the rafters...he also has many many connections in Menzel...(family firm is builders!), with land....my issue is that i could never ever live in Menzel...just nothing there for me...so it would mean having to commute every day as i would have to live in Bizerte....regardless of the cost...but as he says, it is just literally 10 mins in the car......many things to weigh up and think about...but yes, i need to sit tight for a little while first and see how it all develops and progresses right now...
 

gem15

Well-Known Member
#19
Why not look for places where there is no FC? When we rented our coffee shop it was just a shell with no previous buisness so no FC to pay. The rent we pay is very very good for the area and it seems now that other small buildings to rent have gone up in price due to the coffee shop being present.
 

Kris

Administrator
Staff member
#20
In newer areas thats an option but even holes in the walls in the older places like Bizerte have a fc.

The other issue is the 2 years needed to get FC so your protected from a crazy landlord.

The FC system is good in the way you cannot get kicked out. A cafe is a large(ish) investment one which needs security passed 2 years which no doubt you have considered.
 
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