Morocco World News
Casablanca, January 31, 2012
The Maghreb Diaspora in the US joined forces with the US State Department in coordination with the PNB Napeo Aspen Institute and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco to create a fund that benefits primarily young entrepreneurs in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia according to the Moroccan daily “Aujourd’hui le Maroc. The Maghreb Growth Foundation aims to match Morocco’s emerging entrepreneurs with the Moroccan diaspora in the United States who will help them succeed in their business ventures and to build economic prosperity across the region.
The US Department of State and its special agencies like US Aid and other partners will provide guidance and effective mentoring, including on tools, resources and materials. The whole idea revolves around a Mentor Match program spearheaded by the Moroccan diaspora who will create profiles describing their expertise and area of interest. This database will be made available to young Moroccan proteges who can present their projects.
Driss Temsamani, President of The Moroccan-American Coalition and Vice President of Citi Group in charge of planning and marketing for Latin American countries initiated the project. The creation of the Maghreb Growth Fund, dedicated mainly to information sciences, is the culmination of Moroccan diaspora efforts. The project, announced during the last US-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference provides local young managers with the Moroccan and American expertise in the domain of entrepreneurship. A budget of $25,000 will be granted to each promising and innovative project in the fields of technology, energy and health.
The Maghreb Growth Foundation project tour will be inaugurated in Morocco and carried out equally in Tunisia and Algeria. Mr. Temsamani explains, “We have put forward a strategy in partnership with investors from the Maghreb and Arab Diaspora in order to sponsor innovative entrepreneurs who strive for financing.” The Maghreb Growth Fund will be activated in the Maghreb countries in accordance with national legislation, infrastructure and contextual differences. Project managers are expected to return 18% of their profits built during the five years of execution. During the take off stage that is expected to last one year, the project files will be submitted to American consulting agencies to start their realization. Once launched, the projects will be closely monitored by the PNB Napeo, formed mainly by Moroccan companies.
This ambitious initiative is likely to provide potential entrepreneurs with a new management model that would enable them to penetrate national and international markets. In an interview with Medi Sat TV Mr. Temsamani points out, “The Moroccan diaspora is determined to be a piece and parcel in the development of Moroccan entrepreneurship. We want to provide support for Moroccan companies and generate job opportunities.” He conjectures that the project will set out the terms of cooperation between Moroccan emigrants in the US and young mangers in Morocco. He adds, “Start up companies often toil to find financing for their take-off. Therefore the project aims at sponsoring innovative and promising entrepreneurs in their ventures, while forging a sustainable partnership with Moroccan investors.”
The MGF mentorship project is expected to inject new blood in the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement that has been dawdling, since its signature in 2004. Mr. Temsamani points out that Morocco has an economic potential in agriculture and in human resources that could be valued. The real challenge is to set an adequate strategy to penetrate the American market. The Moroccan disapora in the US is estimated at 150,000 emigrants. The Project leaders envision expanding cooperation opportunities between Morocco and the US. The project forerunners aim also at boosting their political and economic participation as US citizens who can affect political life in the United States.
© Morocco World News