Forsa, a state program supporting youth entrepreneurship in Morocco, has so far incubated 11,200 project holders in 2023, the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts, and Social and Solidarity Economy announced on Wednesday.
The program has notably enabled 1,200 young entrepreneurs to finance their businesses this year, the ministry’s statement noted, stressing that the program has also funded 21,200 project initiators and facilitated the creation of over 40,000 jobs.
The program has received 300,000 applications since its launch in 2022, indicating a strong interest in entrepreneurship among Moroccan youth, the ministry argued.
The program has funded this year an additional 1,200 projects, far above the initial target.
According to the ministry’s statement, the 2023 edition of the program saw a significant improvement in the participation rate of women entrepreneurs. This year, women represent 45% of youth entrepreneurs benefiting from the program, a 20-point year year-on-year increase.
Meanwhile, the rate of participation from rural areas and small towns rose by 69%, in line with the program’s aim to support economic development in disadvantaged areas.
While the number of funded projects was limited due to budgetary restrictions, the program was able to train 54,000 project holders in two years.
The program notably offers “Forsa Academy,” an e-learning program that focuses on 10 modules and aims to support project holders in developing their ideas and initiating the legal processes to start their businesses.
Launched in April 2022, the program initially aimed to finance and train 10,000 young entrepreneurs across Morocco. The state-backed program is open to Moroccans residing in the country or abroad aged between 18 and 35.
The program targets individuals with business ideas or business makers looking to fund expansion operations. Notably, entrepreneurs under the program can access funding of up to MAD 100,000 ($10,000) at zero interest, with a payback period that can be as long as 10 years.
The program includes a four-phase selection process, and selected candidates receive access to free training programs designed to maximize their likelihood of market success.