The Journey of a New Startup in Morocco

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New Startup in Morocco

Founding a New Startup in Morocco has become one of the major factors in the area of investment and economic development in Morocco.

In fact, the startup investment in Morocco is still in its development phase but it’s making outstanding comeback and it’s going to become a fast-growing field particularly in Morocco and in North Africa in general.

Let’s go in depth to know more about Morocco’s startup ecosystem, about main hurdles that  young entrepreneurs face in Morocco and what they need to enter the world of entrepreneurship.

Startup History

To begin with, interests in startups first started in history in history in the 1920s in New York city, USA in telecoms, more precisely in wireless transmission technology (TSF) projects after  Marconi’s discovery of the TSF in the early 1900s.

When we say startup, we mean an innovative company that starts up in a field with high growth potential but may have high rates of failure.

It is founded by an entrepreneur who works with passion, tenacity and leadership skills in order to develop, and validate a scalable economic model and consequently generate more revenue for the country.

Indeed, creating a startup implies some principles such as market validation which is necessary to validate the market need before providing a customer-centric product or service to avoid business ideas with weak demand.

There is also lean startup to create and design startups under limited resources and tremendous uncertainty and design thinking which is used to understand the customers’ need in an engaged manner thinking.

Beside it’s important not to dive into business models too early before there is sufficient learning on market validation. This way, individuals can  play a crucial role in the promotion and development of Moroccan startup ecosystem.

Moroccan Startup Ecosystem

The Journey of a New Startup in Morocco
LaStartupFactory, Casablanca Morocco

Actually, the Moroccan startup ecosystem is getting more developed and organized  thanks to the efforts of individuals and organizations, who worked very hard to build it from scratch.

Today, Morocco has various well-established incubators, mentorship programs and institutional supporters responsible for helping to ensure the development of startups in the field of coaching, domiciliation and various common means.

Those key players who are at at the forefront of the startup movement in the country may be generalists such as  Startup Maroc, StartupYourLife and New Work Lab among many others .

There are other key players like Moroccan CISE, Impact Lab (Ex EirĂ©nĂ©4Impact), Espace Bidaya and Enactus Morocco who focus solely on social entrepreneurship and also Other organisations providing acceleration or incubation to early-stage startup like CDG, la Factory, la Factory scalerator, CEED Morocco and Hub Africa.

Outside of these major organizations,  there are also some other companies that contribute to growth of the Moroccan startup ecosystem, including the OCP Group, which supports entrepreneurs through its OCP Entrepreneurship Network and MASEN, which funds clean technology startups through its Cluster Solaire program. 

Through their programs, the above organizations played a key role in helping a lot of startups get off the ground and raising awareness about entrepreneurship among Moroccan youth.

Besides, they  offer training sessions and bootcamps for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, host local and international events, organize startup competitions, connect experienced mentors with startups and contribute to the establishment of a network of like-minded people to foster collaboration and collective learning in the Moroccan startup ecosystem.

Startup Challenges

Unfortunately, Entrepreneurs in Morocco today face many challenges in the domain. The main challenge that young entrepreneurs face in Morocco is both culture and education. In fact,  our educational system neglects to teach young people the values and skills that are needed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Consequently, instead of starting their own business, many young Moroccan graduates still prefer to join a big corporation especially when they have to cope with endless pressure from their society and families who consider entrepreneurship to be a huge risk that’s not worth taking.

They also have problems with finding a suitable office place. In fact, they need affordable places to work but since they are expensive and hard to find, the only option is to work from home. Moreover, entrepreneurs need investment but investors in Morocco like many others in the Middle East try to avoid ventures with an uncertain return on investment (ROI).

Then, most of  young entrepreneurs  turn to institutional funding such as Maroc Numeric Fund, a venture capital fund that focuses on early stage startups, and the Centre Marocain de l’Innovation that finances innovative projects at both the startup and growth phases.

Tips and Recommendations

The Journey of a New Startup in Morocco

Now it can be seen that every  young Moroccan who wants to enter the world of entrepreneurship should keep in mind some tips and recommendations. Focus is key to succeed in launching a startup.

When an entrepreneur is focused and can get the right kind of people on his team, then he is already off to a good start. Also, teamwork is absolutely needed for a successful startup. So, you should choose wisely because sometimes , finding the right team members can be a difficult mission.

In addition, you should understand the overall working environment and acquaint yourself with the key players in the Moroccan startup ecosystem.

And funding, it really play a pivotal role in the survival of your startup. Obviously, if you have the ambition to enter the framework of high growth startups, you will necessarily need capital to grow quickly .

So, if you can secure a support   in the beginning of your journey, make sure you don’t burn it all before your company starts generating income.

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