Primary Donor: U.S. State Department Middle East Partnership Initiative
Background: Young people in Morocco (aged 15-29 years) represent 44 percent of the working age population. Fifty-one percent are out of school and out of work. The Government of Morocco (GOM) places great importance on addressing youth unemployment, but programs largely target youth with higher-levels of education, and only 18 percent of job seekers take advantage of them (Carnegie Endowment for Peace, 2010). Micro and small enterprises play a central role in Morocco’s economy, and account for nearly 94 percent of existing businesses. Existing entrepreneurship programs are largely uncoordinated and have yet to penetrate deeply into communities where youth unemployment is highest or reached youth populations that are most likely to take advantage and benefit from them. The EYEM project will play a coordination role and address this service gap.
Impact: The Empowering Youth through Entrepreneurship Morocco project aims to leverage and bridge existing resources by engaging existing youth associations as drivers of regional economic and enterprise development for youth. NEF works through existing Youth Councils (YCs), which NEF helped introduce in Morocco, to provide training, create support networks, and support young entrepreneurs (50 percent women) to grow profitable and sustainable businesses that are market-oriented and scalable. NEF is working in partnership with well-established Moroccan associations: the Association Marocaine d’Appui à la Promotion de la Petite Entreprise (AMAPPE) and the Réseau Marocain de l'Entreprise Social et Solidaire.