Mounir El Bassri is a motivated entrepreneur who established his own start-up of natural cosmetics, thanks to the support of EU-funded association ES Maroc. Always curious to learn more, the young Moroccan is constantly in search of innovation and new ideas to improve the quality of his products, which are 100% natural.
Since he was a little boy, Mounir El Bassri has always dreamt about being an entrepreneur. “I was reading books, watching videos and always trying to learn more about this field. I was fascinated by the drive behind entrepreneurs and their ideas,” recalls the 30-year-old Moroccan from Sidi yahya El Gharb (north of Rabat).
Last year, he finally achieved his dream, as he officially launched Cosm-y-chica, a company specialised in the production of 100% natural oils and creams. “This is an idea I have carried with me for the past seven years, since 2014!,” Mounir exclaims, explaining how he started getting interested in the cosmetic field during his Master’s.
A decade-long working process
As part of his studies in biotechnology – food and health, the young man had to produce a market-based project, which he focused on a sought-after yet seldom available product: natural oils.
After developing a market study, he noticed that, while customers’ demand for 100% natural cosmetics, these products were increasingly more difficult to find in stores and street markets. “This was the click for me. I knew I had found the idea.”
But it still took Mounir seven years to turn his idea into reality. First, he partnered with his friend Marouane El Alouani, a doctor in chemistry, with whom he started developing scientific formulas and testing solutions. The pair also collaborated with the town’s Science Faculty, where science students analysed and tested their products.
“This was a win-win partnership as we offered them internships and they helped us make our product more credible and scientifically certified. For me, the quality of products needed to be bulletproof so we could gain 100% of customers’ trust,” the young man recounts.
Incubation, training and more training: a never-ending learning curve
In 2019, Mounir got the push he needed to kickstart his project. After he lost his job due to COVID-19, he focused all of his efforts on the start-up, looking for any funding and opportunity he could find. This is when he came across Hub.ES.Maroc, an EU-funded incubator co-managed by Entreprise Sociale au Maroc (ES.Maroc) and Soleterre.
Launched in 2018 in Rabat and in 2021 in Tangiers, Hub.ES.Maroc provides tailor-made technical and financial support to up to 3000 youth (Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants) per year. It supports their integration into the labour market, through incubation of start-ups, training courses and experience sharing between members.
“Since 2018, we have financed more than 60 start-ups like Mounir’s , and accompanied over 450 auto-entrepreneurs. Support for start-ups lasts three years, so we can be by their side at every step of the way,” explains Rachid Moumen, project coordinator at Soleterre.
For Mounir, this was the opportunity that changed everything. “I have always been very curious and interested in entrepreneurship-related courses and events. So, with es Maroc it was really perfect as I had access to so many support tools,” he remembers. “The networking and exchanges with people from all over Morocco and Europe was also crucial for us. It really opened our minds.”
Even now, after the launch of his company, the association still follows up on him, coming on field visits, while providing constant advice and follow up training to him and his team.
Personalities make the entrepreneur
For Mounir, Cosm-y-chica is not just a way to make money; it is a real lifestyle. “Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and it does not come quickly. I am the perfect example of that! So I encourage people not to stay still, or to be what I call ‘a verbal entrepreneur’. They have to work on themselves, constantly, like I did,” he asserts.
In conclusion, “It is the personality that makes the entrepreneur, not the other way around,” according to him.
Today, Mounir works in his shop near Kinetra, with three associates and one employee. His start-up also has a strong presence online, using all available social media to promote its products. He says it is a constant adaptation process as there is always room for novelty and innovation, especially in his field.
“But I know we have something more than others: we have the utmost quality. We genuinely care about our products and we put the time and effort needed for it. For instance, we use a process of three-time filtration, which does not exist in other companies anymore because it is so time-consuming. But it ensures the best quality.”
For the future, Mounir has big dreams for Cosm-y-chica: he foresees a team of more than 15-20 people by next year, and dreams of exporting his products all over the world in a few years. Living by his motto, Mounir El Bassri “dreams big and works for it”.
Find Cosm-y-chica on
Hub.ES.Maroc is an EU-funded incubator co-managed by Entreprise Sociale au Maroc (ES.Maroc) and Soleterre. Launched in 2018 in Rabat and in 2021 in Tangiers, Hub.ES.Maroc provides tailor-made technical and financial support to up to 3000 youth (Moroccan and sub-Saharan migrants) per year.
The two hubs offer a series of services dedicated to the socio-professional integration of young people and social entrepreneurship through several counters, active every day and run by permanent consultants from the business world.
The hubs provide technical support for work integration in its most concrete stages, by setting up and financing start-ups (mainly collective limited companies, but also individual companies run by self-employed entrepreneurs) and pre-selecting profiles for recruitment (paid internships, fixed-term contracts or other regular formulas) within larger companies and recruiting organisations.
“Avec des jeunes pour les jeunes”
Financed by the European Union in Morocco and supported by the ES.Maroc Hub and its partners, “With the Youth, For the Youth” is a project that aims to promote and support the integration of young people in Moroccan society through economic and professional integration.
The general objective of the project is to contribute to the national strategy of increasing the participation of young people in the labour force, through economic integration and the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit. Its specific objective is to promote the socio-professional integration and participation of young people through the activation of a virtuous cycle promoted by civil society organisations in synergy with public institutions and private actors in the Rabat/Sale and Tangiers/Tetouan region.