Rabat - The Association of Moroccan Professionals (AMPA) is organizing its flagship Moroccan American Bridges 2015 conference on December 4 in Washington, DC.
Rabat – The Association of Moroccan Professionals (AMPA) is organizing its flagship Moroccan American Bridges 2015 conference on December 4 in Washington, DC.
Morocco World News asked Loubna Kadiri, founder of LKH Consulting, a group catering to Arabic and French speaking companies in the United States, to tell us more about this conference and how it will serve both Moroccan and American business development.
“Educating Business for the 21st Century” is the theme for this year’s conference. How can AMPA serve the business environment in both countries, taking into consideration the challenges the MENA region is facing? Is entrepreneurship the best way to deal with the lack of opportunity in Morocco? And what can AMPA do to promote this new concept?
Loubna Kadiri: The answer to that goes back to AMPA’s inherent mission as a nonprofit organization to promote the business interests of its members — experienced, successful, and dynamic Moroccan American professionals in both the United States and Morocco — and contribute to the success of US-Morocco economic relations. The MAB is a confirmation of the long and strong ties that have linked Morocco and the US ever since Morocco became the first country to recognize American independence. AMPA has worked for a long time through its ever-growing membership to foster those relationships and continues to bridge the gap between both countries socially, economically and educationally.
AMPA serves as a comprehensive platform for members to communicate, collaborate and find community, sharing their knowledge and expanding their networks to advance social and professional development. AMPA has vowed through many initiatives, particularly through its main 2015 MAB event, to shed more light on bigger issues as they relate to education and entrepreneurship, helping new entrepreneurs and instilling the spirit of new business opportunities in both regions.
The organization does this by:
1. Bringing together professionals and subject matter experts and mentors from both regions to promote bilateral commercial exchanges and business relationships and transactions between the US and Morocco.
2. Allowing for a platform that will lead to developing strategic alliances between Morocco and the US and exploring ways of solidifying existing relations and building new business ones.
3. Creating spin-off organizations like the AMPA Women Entrepreneur Network (AWEN), promoting women’s empowerment, encouraging Moroccan American women to build businesses and empowering them to help promote community service and various initiatives such as new business and education in Morocco.
I’ve heard through my contacts in the US that a new women’s initiative is being launched by AMPA. Can you tell us about this initiative?
Loubna Kadiri: I think I had partially answered your question above, but indeed, AMPA Women Entrepreneur Network (AWEN) is a new nonprofit venture that was launched, but not officially announced outside of AMPA, in February of 2015. It is a spin-off of AMPA and co-chaired by myself and Yasmine El Beggari. Stay tuned for more to come on that in an official announcement at the MAB dinner reception honoring Minister of Equipment and Transport Minister Aziz Rabbah.
What is it and what does it hope to accomplish, both short term and long term?
Loubna Kadiri: You have brought up a subject dear to my heart, as a woman entrepreneur and a founder of LKH Consulting Group, a media consultancy specializing in Arabic and French speaking businesses in the US. AWEN is a women’s entrepreneurship network whose mission is to empower Moroccan American women to develop successful business models in both Morocco and the US, based on factors that motivate them to start their own businesses. AWEN intends to provide mentorship programs and other tools that motivate them to carry their mission through social empowerment and continuing education.
How is it related to AMPA’s mission?
Loubna Kadiri: As indicated, it is a spin-off of AMPA and hosts the brainpower of Moroccan American women in both the US and Morocco. I can tell you that AWEN has been a crucial driving force of AMPA throughout the years. It has decided to have its own voice within AMPA in order to empower women and encourage them to develop the new women leaders of the future.
Who’s involved in it now? And how do people get involved in it if they want to?
Loubna Kadiri: On Friday night an official announcement will be made about AWEN , and we will encourage women to find us on Facebook and on our LinkedIn page/ Network. AWEN will use the power of social media to expand its membership and network both in the US and Morocco and grow in force. AWEN has an open door policy to join our network and contribute to women empowerment.
Any programs of this initiative coming up that our readers should know about?
Loubna Kadiri: Indeed, we are currently working on three immediate initiatives that will take place within the first two to three months of the year. Our first initiative is a virtual Meetup Event on January 14th, inviting Moroccan American women to share their wishes, desires and challenges around starting a new business. Additional initiatives should be finalized soon.