The Regional Meetings of Le Matin Group made a stopover in the Marrakech-Safi region on Wednesday evening. The event put the spotlight on the employability and entrepreneurship initiatives of the region and its partner, the Emerging Business Foundation. A collaboration model that has made it possible to find excellent startups and support them in their entrepreneurial adventures.
Enthusiasm, pride, hope and a mix of emotions. The participants of the Marrakech-Safi stopover of the Le Matin Group Regional Meetings Roadshow, organized last Wednesday around the theme “Regional initiatives for the employability of young people: case of the Emerging Business Foundation”, had their time. It is that behind the microphone, to animate this meeting, was a Taoufik Aboudia, vice president CGEM Marrakech-Safi region and CEO of the Emerging Business Factory incubator, expressing his passion and his satisfaction with the work that has been done as part of the 50Entrepreneurs Program. “We have come together to celebrate with modesty the work of an association, in collaboration with actors, institutions and beneficiaries,” Aboudia immediately announced.
This program, supported by the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), the Ministry of Interior, in the person of the wali, Karim Kassi Lahlou, the Emerging Business Factory incubation room and the Emerging Business Foundation Association (EBF), is part of the program for the economic integration of young people. “This program aims to support 5,000 young people in the pre-business start-up phase and 1,500 young project leaders over 4 years through technical and financial support. So far, 897 youth have benefited from post-creation support. Because despite the pandemic, we have not stopped working and our partners have been able to adapt,” reveals Anouar Dbira Tlemçani, head of the Social Action Department of the Ministry of the Interior for the Marrakech-Safi region. “There are indeed opportunities despite the crisis. And dozens of youth-led startups have sprung up. This meeting aims to introduce them and help them access their first orders,” said Mohammed Haïtami, CEO of Le Matin Group during the opening speech of the event.
An opportunity for all profiles
If the association supervises project leaders for a maximum period of two years, the opportunity has recently been given to a different type of candidate. These are the graduates of the vocational training of the regional branch of the Mohammed VI National Center for the Disabled (CNMH) in Marrakech. According to Hamza El Baroudi, president of the Emerging Business Foundation and general vice president of the CGEM in the Marrakech-Safi region, the idea is that companies, especially those in the industrial district of Sidi Ghanem, rely on subcontractors from this center . In this context, El Baroudi promises from next Monday that a collaboration with this center will be integrated into the project of requalification of the industrial district of Sidi Ghanem, so that all passageways and sidewalks allow a smooth circulation of people with reduced mobility in this stretch.
GreenTech and TravelTech in the spotlight
Basically, the Emerging Business Factory incubator is supported by the EBF association. And the supported candidates are part of a program run by the INDH and the Ministry of the Interior, with the participation of several partners, including the Regional Investment Center (CRI) in the region, banks and CGEM Marrakech-Safi. This model is perfectly exportable to other regions. Especially because the announced figures are encouraging. In fact, the incubator has supported 358 beneficiaries in the pre-creation phase and 105 in the post-creation phase. In the period 2020-2021, a total of 70 companies were established. The beneficiaries are 27% women. The current objective is to turn the region into a technology hub that serves the economic ecosystem of the region and the country. Two sectors are priorities. “We particularly encourage startups that are active in GreenTech, including water management and agriculture. But there is also the area of TravelTech in the Hospitality and Travel segment that we want to give a boost. Because the region and more specifically the city of Marrakech is a tourist destination par excellence. Nevertheless, the technological solutions of the sector are often purchased elsewhere. We want to change that,” Aboudia hopes. It was therefore decided to organize this Friday in Rabat the first edition of the TravelTech event, dedicated to travel and tourism technologies, in collaboration with the Moroccan National Tourist Board (ONMT) and the National Confederation of Tourism. “This first edition was strategically planned in Rabat,” says Aboudia.
DNES – Abdelhafid Marzak
Taoufik Aboudia, Secretary General of the Emerging Business Foundation
“We have enabled the creation of 70 companies with 3 to 5 jobs each”
“We were invited by the Le Matin Group to join him on his regional tour. Tonight in Marrakech was an extraordinary station where we discussed the emergence of the region through the lens of youth entrepreneurship. For example, we discussed the program and the figures, but we also made promises to each other that will soon become promising projects. Over the past two years, we have supported 105 project leaders. We have a team that receives new candidates every day. For example, we have enabled the creation of 70 companies, with a job creation ratio of 3 to 5 per company. Various sectors are addressed by these companies, including GreenTech, creative and cultural industries. And it is these young entrepreneurs who had the best role this evening, exposing themselves thanks to this event and this emerging partnership with the Le Matin Group. In addition, at EBF we wanted to integrate people with disabilities into our programs. A few months ago we signed an agreement with the Mohammed VI National Center for the Disabled (CNMH). We found an extraordinary pool of talent there. One of these two talents spoke equally to every other entrepreneur. We want to make it a new model of regional and national inclusion. We want the INDH program and others to engage this population at all levels. We aim to help them set up their business or integrate it into companies.”
Hamza El Baroudi, President of the Emerging Business Foundation
“EBF’s support for project leaders can last up to 2 years”
“The EBF association was founded in 2017 after COP 22, with the aim of stimulating entrepreneurship in the Marrakech-Safi region. The Emerging Business Factory coworking space already existed before. EBF was created to bring an associative dimension where the city’s established entrepreneurs can contribute and help young people carry out their projects. In the beginning we surrounded ourselves with a few enterprising friends who now form the office of the foundation. For a few years now, we have had the honor of following the INDH program in the Marrakech-Safi region. This program is primarily intended for young project leaders. It gives them access to 100,000 DH, in the case of a single partner or 200,000 DH, if there are two, in the form of a direct grant from the INDH. The program was developed by the Wilaya of Marrakech with the cooperation of the World Bank. It is a boost for any young project leader. At the foundation, we receive these young people, qualify their projects, organize training courses for them and help them set up their business plan. We then refer them to the INDH to present and pitch their projects and to obtain funding. All your types of sectors are supported, the most important being the project’s added value and job creation. The duration of the support by the association can be up to two years”.
Aymen Cherqi, founder and CEO of the production agency Youtiful Prod
«Entrepreneurship is not a marathon at EBF, but a “100 meters”»
“Youthiful Prod is only 6 months old. However, during this period we have used many Growth Hacking techniques thanks to EBF. With their support, we don’t think entrepreneurship is a marathon, but a “100 meters”. With EBF, there is always an event that accelerates everything. For example, we have learned that nothing is achieved without hard work and that we must always be creative while looking for solutions to the problems of the company or its customers. As far as I’m concerned, I had to focus on a smaller number of customers, but they are qualitative on the other hand. Moreover, every time I take an action – shooting, filming… – I think in advance of marketing actions that can support this work. Adopting a “Marketing” reflection from the start of every project has become a reflex at EBF. My advice to young people is to go for it. As far as I’m concerned, the pitch for my business project, which I had to do at the wilaya, was already prepared the day before. And I got the mark 97%, the highest awarded by the jury in the region. What I mean is that we should not dwell in idealism and take action, nor be content with passion, but acquire expertise in a specific field to succeed.