S.According to an observation by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), women represent only 12.8% of entrepreneurs in Morocco. A rate that, according to the same source, has dropped significantly in recent years.
On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, the Association of Business Leaders in Morocco (AFEM) organized a meeting on Tuesday 8 March 2022 in Casablanca with the theme: “Looking towards the future”.
This event, which spread throughout the day, was an opportunity to take stock of progress in women’s rights, particularly in terms of entrepreneurship and investments.
Speaking on this occasion, Leïla Doukali, national president of AFEM, underlined the repercussions of the economic crisis linked to the pandemic, on female entrepreneurship. “Female entrepreneurs have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Some data relating to the Covid-19 crisis on women’s activity are worrying. These reflect a real deterioration in the socio-economic situation of women, in particular those who carry out the most affected activities, in particular services, trade and crafts. More women than men have ceased their activity, the main cause is financial fragility and a difficult reconciliation between private and professional life “.
Doukali also highlighted the role of AFEM in encouraging and supporting female entrepreneurs. “Despite the progress made in Morocco in terms of financial and economic inclusion, these remain limited and women are the first to suffer. Our action within AFEM is to implement projects and programs with the mission of promoting female entrepreneurship.
These projects aim to strengthen the managerial skills of our members and offer them specific support to understand a new digital and green-tech oriented economy.
In essence, the AFEM challenge is to develop the skills of leadership culture in women business leaders and the search for sustainable growth in an ecosystem that is not very favorable, indeed unequal and discriminatory towards women “.
For his part, Younès Sekkouri, Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Businesses, Employment and Skills, took the opportunity to return to the goal set by the new development model, relating to the increase in the participation rate of women.
“Our benchmark, renewed through the important work carried out within the Special Commission on the new development model, would like to increase the level of activity of women from 22% to 45% by 2035. It is true that the current government has wanted to celebrate the occasion by setting the goal of 30% in this legislature, but the question that arises is how. We are faced with two main tracks: that of employee work and that of entrepreneurship “.
And to continue: “Female entrepreneurship will have to constitute in the near future a real choice of society that is not made by default, but by vocation. In other words, women can set up their structures without fear, being protected on a social level, encouraged on an economic level, bringing their touch which is very important, both qualitatively and quantitatively “.
To this end, Abdellatif Mazouz, president of the Casablanca-Settat region, stated that the Regional Council is ready to contribute to an investment fund dedicated to female entrepreneurs.
To celebrate female entrepreneurs, AFEM has organized a series of conferences focusing in particular on access to finance, diversification of the sectors invested by female entrepreneurs, female leadership, innovation and green technology.
We recall that AFEM is an association founded in 2000, which represents women entrepreneurs in various economic institutions. AFEM acts as a liaison body between public authorities and other institutions.