By Christopher L Lormeus
Source: morocco world news
Rabat – Countless Westerners are moving to Morocco to start and maintain businesses. With this developmental jump start in the nation, Morocco is encouraging investment in new opportunities.
A 2017 exhibition that took place in Casablanca shed light on various young entrepreneurs in the nation. Some of their presentations included an instructive Lego center for children and delivery service of healthy on-demand uncooked dinners. No matter how different each presentation and business proposal was, these promising CEO’s shared one dream: Having a burning desire to be financially independent and create value in their societies.
Turning these dreams into reality and being able to sustain them is very difficult, and often against the will of their parents.
Nonetheless, parents sometimes decide to help them financially for the first few years. “My parents were in shock when I told them I wanted to start a business,” says Ahlam Lamrani, one of these youthful entrepreneurs. “They wanted me to get a degree and work in a big corporation… Two years on, they still ask me to get a ‘real’ job!”
Given the absence of a completely steady framework, one marvels at what drives these visionaries to begin their businesses, and sustain them given the odds and uncertainty that they face.
“The global economy pushed Moroccans to reconsider their lifestyle and life goals, and find new ways of taking control of their lives, especially that the bureaucratic mindset of most Moroccan companies is off-putting,” says Kenza Bennis, a 30-year-old entrepreneur who launched an Argan-based makeup line in 2012.
In the 2015 Africa Competitiveness Report, Morocco was put on the 72nd position in the World Economic Forum’s 2014-2015 Global Competitiveness Report, making it the fourth most competitive nation in Africa.
As indicated by a similar report, farming and manufacturing play a significant role in adding value to the continent. Yet, their decline and stagnation over the course of four decades have been counterbalanced by the increasing importance of the service sector.
In an effort to re-energize Morocco’s dynamic populous, the government has set a goal to guaranteeing work opportunities for 67.2% of the populace by attempting numerous projects to support enterprise among the nation’s youth.
Furthermore, this will loosen up the authoritative strategies in hiring, taxes, and social charges amid the new companies’ initial operation. Sadly, these endeavors are regularly met with skepticism and stigma before they even get off the ground, due to the numerous unsuccessful trials.
Funding and financing
Financing is one of the top issues of young entrepreneurs, who, regardless of their appealing business ideas, can’t dive into the market because of the lack of resources.
“The entrepreneurial ecosystem is still young,” says Otmane El Hassani, Entrepreneurship Network Director, a program of the Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP), the biggest worldwide maker of phosphate and constrained by the Moroccan state.
“Lack of support, experts and mentors that could support entrepreneurs, differentiated geographical coverage in terms of resources and the availability of capital but only beyond the seed stage, are all barriers to the creation and sustainability of a company at the national level.”
In any case, numerous associations exist to help young professionals build their businesses. They think of it as a lifelong decision to keep them motivated in what can be a forlorn path.
“I recently attended an event organized by StartUp Maroc,” says Said Bourhim, a 39-year-old business entrepreneur. “Spending the whole day at the conference taught me a lot of things.
Many serial entrepreneurs were present and have shared their experiences. I also often attend CEED labs. They help entrepreneurs get to know each other and potentially work together.”
INJAZ Al Maghreb, ENACTUS, Start Up Your Life and MCISE are different associations that positively impact individuals’ lives by helping them begin a business and by providing long term support. However, these associations, unfortunately, are not available in rural areas in Morocco.
El Hassani notes that OCP Network reaches out in such manner, saying that it “aims at partnering with all types of local, national and international actors in order to boost these ecosystems through the promotion of accompanying programs dedicated to entrepreneurs regardless of the stage of development of their project.” Much of the support is focused on the promotion of entrepreneurship and the foundations of starting a business.
Intentional organizations in Morocco
Global associations are likewise making their essence felt in the Moroccan scene, helping foster the entrepreneurial spirit by setting up competitions and awarding the winners. The British Council, the World Bank, the U.S Embassy, and so forth give regularly train and prepare new business visionaries and bolster their endeavors to improve their conditions.
These competitions, which are typically centered around subjects, such as social enterprise, innovation, education, and environmental entrepreneurship, tend to have a tremendous impact on society. However, these programs are not usually widely promoted, and Moroccan entrepreneurs may not be aware of their existence.
Most innovative enterprises are replicating effective business models demonstrated abroad, particularly those from France.
Our next steps into realizing this would be to locate organizations to offer mentorships, training, and above all fund our projects.
Be that as it may, despite the complexity of the markets and the scarcity of the resources available, young Moroccan entrepreneurs hustle to create their own jobs, remain in the market, bring esteem, and take an interest in the advancement of their nation’s economy.