The Belgian Development Agency, Enabel and the Higher Institute of Engineering and Business (ISGA) have joined forces to co-organize a day dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship in Morocco and promote their activities.
Worldwide, one in three businesses is owned by a woman. In Morocco, nearly 20% of self-employed workers are women. Encouraging and supporting women’s entrepreneurship means acting in favor of the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by fighting poverty (SDG 1), taking a step towards greater gender equality (SDG 5 ), as well as by promoting the creation of and access to decent jobs and contributing to economic growth (SDG 8).
However, the obstacles to which a woman is confronted in the development of her entrepreneurial project and in the management of it prove to be more hindering than for men. For this, Enabel and ISGA organized a day devoted to female entrepreneurship in Morocco.
On this occasion, several activities made it possible to address the many questions that revolve around this theme, thus multiplying the formats and expertise invited around the table.
The day began with a reflection workshop on the main obstacles encountered by female entrepreneurs in Morocco. Specialists and practitioners were able to discuss six specific pre-identified themes, namely access to financing, access to training, access to information, how to create innovative impacts through entrepreneurship, positive masculinity and the place of networking in women’s entrepreneurship. By comparing the opinions of professionals, experts, project leaders and established entrepreneurs, men and women, concrete solutions have been devised.
For example, parental or marital control can be particularly hampering for an entrepreneur. Awareness of the principle of positive masculinity and, consequently, a fairer distribution of tasks within the household could change the situation by allowing women to free up time to manage their business.
The importance of networking was also highlighted. It is particularly difficult to start a business when you start without contacts, especially when you are one of more or less 15% of female entrepreneurs in Morocco. However, the constitution of a network passes by the exchange, often informal. This is why mutual aid and recommendations between entrepreneurs are essential.
Furthermore, access to information is often hampered by a series of factors: research culture, language barrier, use of digital tools or discouragement in the face of the complexity of accessing correct and relevant information. For several years now, the law has guaranteed every citizen access to information, and platforms provide information on the administrative procedures that punctuate the career of an entrepreneur.
In the afternoon, the exchanges continued within the framework of a participative round table, in which participated Kaoutar Bendoumou, founder of Lean & Excellence, Kenza Barrada, founder of WAOW project, Sonia Beghdadi, founder of E -Secretariat and Rim Machhour, co-founder of Dealkhir.ma and winner of the 2022 Awa Prize. In order to allow the exchanges to take place in the concrete, the public was regularly invited to express themselves and to exchange with the participants.
The afternoon ended with the moving testimony of the Moroccan athlete Khadija Mardi, reigning world champion in women’s boxing.