As the youngest of six and a child of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands, Mimouna Toutouh had always dreamed of starting her own business.
She joined a few entrepreneurship courses and worked at various organizations in customer support roles, but she didn’t feel fulfilled. In 2019, Mimouna fell ill and struggled to leave the house. That’s when she started working on her business and exploring ways to build her entrepreneurship skills. “I felt like I should keep myself busy and do something positive,” she says.
I figured out that I really like creating products. It’s something I enjoy doing, so I’m thinking about working more in that area.
Finding your passion
When Mimouna found Delitelabs on LinkedIn, she was immediately intrigued. “I really love the idea of a startup school because a lot of people have ideas and need help starting something,” she says.
Mimouna had a lot of business ideas, but she wasn’t sure which one to work on. After joining the ICE Academy program at Delitelabs, she decided to hone in on her passion for natural skincare. She tells us, “I was creating my own skincare at home and I loved working on it, so that’s the reason why I chose that idea. I needed to start somewhere.”
Once she decided on her business idea, it was time to get her hands dirty. Among other practical skills, Mimouna learned how to deliver an elevator pitch, how to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, and how to solve problems. “I think I already had those skills, but working on the business plan was really helpful,” she comments. “I learned that it’s really important to learn how to add value to your own idea or to your own company.”
Surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs and business experts, Mimouna became inspired through hearing other people’s experiences and helping her classmates with their ideas. “The presentation of everyone’s ideas was really nice to hear and to help each other. Delitelabs explained very clearly the whole story of entrepreneurship, like what it takes to be an entrepreneur and the process to become an entrepreneur,” Mimouna says. “What I also really liked was the presentations from people who already have a start-up. I had a coach from Unilever and she was really nice and helpful – so that had a lot of value.”
Introducing Mazhar Mouna: A natural skincare brand
By learning critical practical skills at Delitelabs, Mimouna successfully set up her new business: Mazhar Mouna, a clean beauty, natural skincare brand.
“I’ve always been passionate about pure, organic products because there are no added chemicals,” she explains. “All of my products are imported from Morocco.” Mazhar Mouna offers a variety of products, including natural scrubs and 100% natural nourishing oils – check out Mazhar Mouna’s webshop here!
You can already find Mazhar Mouna in a few gift shops in the Netherlands, and Mimouna is currently working on a business plan she can present to banks and investors in order to grow the business.
She also continues to work with and gain inspiration from the Delitelabs community. Through Delitelabs, Mimouna was chosen for the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Challenge. She tells us, “I figured out that I really like creating products. It’s something I enjoy doing, so I’m thinking about working more in that area. I’m always thinking about new ideas, not only Mazhar Mouna.”
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur like Mimouna? Join the Delitelabs Ice Academy program to get the skills, knowledge, and expertise you need to create your path to building a sustainable livelihood.
Writen by Sophie Poulsen