The Morocco Youth Association in Ouarzazate hopes to build networks for the country’s future entrepreneurs by connecting them with business experts and professionals.
Ouarzazate – With the goal of connecting creative young minds with business experts, the Morocco Youth Association will be hosting the sixth Moroccan Entrepreneurship Forum April 10-13.
The forum will be held in its annual location of Ouarzazate. Roughly 200 kilometers southeast of Marrakech, the city is also known as “Africa’s Hollywood” because of its popularity as a filming location among Western directors.
Because of capacity constraints, the forum can only host a limited number of participants—in order to attend, individuals must have applied and been accepted. This year, the association received more than 1,000 applications from nearly a dozen cities across Morocco. Only 180 gained admittance.
“We want to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship in the youth today because this could lead to the growth of all other industries in Morocco,” Marieme Thomson, a communications coordinator at the association who has helped plan the last four forums, told Morocco World News. “Entrepreneurship is at the heart of many Moroccan cities. If we can cultivate this, all of Morocco will grow.”
At the forum, participants will have the opportunity to meet employers and business experts one-on-one. During these meetings, participants are expected to pitch new ideas and develop relationships with potential employers.
All of the opportunities the forum provides are available to both Moroccans and migrants.
“Through entrepreneurship, everyone can be a benefit to society,” Thomson said. “We hope to give all people the same foundation in order for them to create the best businesses.”
Twelve of this year’s participants are originally from sub-Saharan African countries. While this is only roughly 7% of the participants, Thomson hopes the number will grow as the event does.
While the Morocco Youth Association’s focus is on growing in Ourazazate and spreading to other cities, the association has already received several invitations to host entrepreneurship forums in other African countries.
According to Thomson, this potential international partnership is still in the earliest stages of development.
“Our dream is that the forum will be held every month in every major city in Morocco and than eventually across all of Africa,” Thomson said. “We know this is a big dream, but we remind ourselves that everything the forum is right now, was also once just a big dream.”