The launch of Morocco’s plan for supporting entrepreneurship is expected to reshape Morocco’s business sector.
Rabat – The Integrated Program for Enterprise Support and Financing, launched on January 27, will reshape Morocco’s economy, opening up new and unique entrepreneurship opportunities, said the Chairman of Credit Agricole du Maroc bank, Tariq Sijilmassi.
Thanks to the program, the small businesses of today have the potential to turn into medium-sized businesses in the coming years, and then into large businesses, said Sijilmassi.
“In Morocco, there are not many large companies dating back hundreds of years,” the businessman noted. “All major Moroccan companies, or medium-sized ones, were born 20 to 50 years ago.”
Sijilmassi hopes “the projects and initiatives that we are going to finance today would constitute, in the future, the biggest companies in Morocco.”
The Integrated Program for Enterprise Support and Financing is a Moroccan initiative aiming to help entrepreneurs by reducing the interest rates of bank loans.
Moroccan banks contributed to the project with MAD 6 billion (€566 million), while the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development granted MAD 2 billion (€189 million) to the initiative.
The Hassan II fund’s contribution constitutes a lever that “will allow [banks] to grant higher amounts as loans for rural entrepreneurship,” added Sijilmassi.
The program will target three demographics, noted the banker. The first type is young project leaders in rural areas who offer non-agricultural services to the rural population.
The second category is new farmers who either bought land recently or benefit from a collective land.
The third demographic includes older farmers, with more than five years of activity, who will enroll in the program as a way to introduce new concepts into their agricultural projects, such as soil conversion, the modernization of cultivation techniques, or the use of alternative energies.
The first phase of the program is an awareness and communication campaign. The campaign will double as a training period for the staff of Moroccan banks, notably their account managers and field agents, explained Credit Agricole’s chairman.
Another step of the program is the “Intelaka” (Start) Program, launched on February 3. The initiative will implement several mechanisms to be implemented by banks in order to encourage entrepreneurship.