The princess aims to support home-grown initiatives that improve the lives of rural Moroccan women and people living in poverty.
Rabat – The National Union of Women of Morocco (UNFM) opened on Tuesday applications for the Princess Lalla Meryem Prize for Innovation and Excellence.
Moroccan women aged 20 to 40 years old, from rural and peri-urban areas, may apply for the award until September 15.
Named for the older sister of King Mohammed VI and eldest child of the late King Hassan II, applications for the prize opened on the eve of Princess Lalla Meryem’s birthday.
UNFM, whose president is the princess herself, established the innovation and excellence award during International Women’s Day celebrations this year on March 8.
Unveiling the details of the prize, Princess Lalla Meryem said she wants to promote a culture of innovation among Moroccan women and entrepreneurship among young people.
The prize rewards those who have developed creative projects to better their communities. In particular, the princess aims to support initiatives that contribute to societal development and improve the everyday lives of rural Moroccan women and people living in poverty.
Prizewinners will receive support in implementing their projects and special training on soft skills, such as communication skills and work ethic.
As part of the UNFM’s five-year action plan, the prize aims to provide young Moroccan women with the academic, technical, and financial tools needed to bring their innovative ideas to life.
UNFM launched the Princess Lalla Meryem Prize in partnership with Al Barid Bank, the Ministry of Education, and the Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences (ESSEC).
Morocco’s Ministry of Solidarity, Al Barid Bank, and Credit Agricole Group will fund the winning projects.
Known for using her title and position within the monarchy to advocate for Morocco’s most vulnerable, the excellence and innovation prize is not the first to be named after Princess Lalla Meryem.
On International Women’s Day this year, the princess awarded Lalla Meryem Scholarships to girls in secondary school and to high school graduates from underprivileged areas, especially outside of cities. Another initiative of the UNFM, the scholarships aim to keep girls in school and prevent drop-outs.