49 Avenue 2 Mars, 3ème étage
Bureau No 14
Morocco is located in North Africa with a population of 35 million people. In 2019, the country’s GDP was $119 billion USD and per capita income was $3,204 USD. Overall, economic growth remains sluggish and below potential. Growth is largely dependent on the natural resources sector and impeded by low productivity. Morocco’s economy slowed down from 4.1% in 2017 to about 3% in 2018 and declined further to 2.3% in 2019. Mining activities contributed the most to GDP in 2018, aside from agriculture. The decline in GDP growth is mainly attributed to the decline in primary sector value-added. Along with the sluggish growth, unemployment remains an issue, the total unemployment rate was 9% in 2019, but higher for women, at 10.7%, and significantly higher for youths, both male and female, with rates above 22%.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Morocco is still very young. The global economy trend in the past few years coupled with high unemployment rates in Morocco has meant that many young Moroccans have taken up self-employment in the informal sector. In addition to social pressures to ‘find a real job’ – this is because, entrepreneurship and self-employment in the informal sector are socially regarded as second best to salaried employment in the formal sector – many young entrepreneurs also struggle with a lack of mentors, capital, investments, and a lack of office space in rural and urban areas. Despite this, several national and international organizations have taken an interest in investing in the promising entrepreneur landscape in Morocco.
CEED Morocco has partnered with USAID to provide the learnings and support needed for entrepreneurship to continue to develop in Morocco. This has included partnering with major stakeholders in the private sector and running pitch competitions and job fairs to connect them with young entrepreneurs and start-ups. The center has also put a significant focus on women entrepreneurs with the WeInspire program, funded by the US Departement of State and several private foundations, which leads focused programming and training for women. The center had 34 active members in 2019 another 315 enterprises and entrepreneurs who engaged in center programming throughout the year.