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Endeavor announced today that it will launch a new affiliate office in Morocco, expanding its efforts to select and service high-impact entrepreneurs across the Middle East.
The affiliate is being launched with the support of the United States Agency for International Development in Morocco, which has provided a grant to launch Endeavor Morocco through its Morocco Economic Competitiveness (MEC) program with the aim of advancing youth entrepreneurship. Additional support for the launch has come from the Citi Foundation EMEA.
This will be Endeavor’s sixth affiliate in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) region, following successful launches over the past six years in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Endeavor has already selected 131 entrepreneurs representing 73 companies in the MENA region and provides these entrepreneurs a range of services including mentoring, access to key networks and introductions to sources of smart capital.
All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people who share the organization’s vision for screening and selecting entrepreneurs and then providing them guidance to scale their businesses.
The Endeavor Morocco founding board will be chaired by Moulay Hafid Elalamy, President, SAHAM Group. Moulay Hafid Elalamy will be joined on the board by Hicham Berrada, Co-President, Palmeraie Holding; Mohamed El Mandjra, CEO, Meditel; Said Ibrahimi, CEO, Casablanca Finance City; Majid Iraqui, CEO, Jlec; Alami Lazraq, CEO, Alliances; Walter Siouffi, CEO, Citibank Maghreb and Mostafa Terrab, CEO and Chairman, OCP Group.
The board will be joined by an Advisory council of Moroccan business executives including Khalil Azzouzi, General Manager, DAYAM Fund; Ismail Douiri, Director General, Attijariwafa; William Fellows, Advisor, SME and Entrepreneurship Development; Amine Guennoun, General Manager, Residences Dar Saada; Anas Guennoun, Director General, Abraaj Capital Morocco; Khalil Jai Hokimi, Advisor to the CEO, OCP; Mamoun Marrakchi, Founder and CEO, Offset Polyplast and Brahim Slaoui, Director General, Mafoder.
The board nominated Amine Hazzaz to serve as the first Managing Director, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Morocco. Mr. Hazzaz has an extensive background in corporate strategy and business development in start-ups and multinationals in Morocco, North America and Japan. His first responsibilities include selecting, mentoring, and catalyzing the first Endeavor Entrepreneur candidates in Morocco in order to magnify their influence throughout the country.
“Morocco is at a critical stage of its economic development and Endeavor will be a big contributor,” said board chair Moulay Hafid Elalamy. “Entrepreneurship will be an increasingly important way to meet young Moroccans’ aspirations for jobs and opportunities.”
“Through our work with high-impact entrepreneurs in the MENA region, we hope to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship, leading to innovation as well as job and wealth generation,” said Endeavor Co-founder & CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We’re very excited by the enormous opportunities to build entrepreneurship in Morocco and the Maghreb.”
Endeavor breaks down barriers that prevent emerging-market entrepreneurs from reaching their high-impact potential. Hailed by NYT columnist Thomas Friedman as the “mentor capitalist” model and “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs leading high-growth innovative companies in emerging markets. These entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic advice, access to key networks and other tools that will catapult them to success. With Endeavor’s guidance they become “high-impact” – expanding employment, generating wealth and inspiring others to innovate. Often overlooked, these local entrepreneurs are now jumpstarting private sector development in their countries.
At year-end 2011, Endeavor Entrepreneurs throughout Latin America, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon had created more than 200,000 jobs and generated over $5 billion in revenues. In 2012 Endeavor expanded operations to include new affiliates in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Greece. For more information, visit www.endeavor.org.
About USAID-Morocco, MEC Program
USAID-Morocco is supporting the launch of Endeavor Morocco through the MEC program’s grant initiative. MEC is helping establish a more competitive business climate in Morocco – work that includes strengthening entrepreneurship promotion that targets high potential entrepreneurs. MEC is improving the business climate in Morocco and helping link smallholder farmers to agro-processing companies that MEC is helping to find new markets in Morocco and overseas. The initiatives are creating job opportunities and ameliorating employment conditions in both rural and urban areas.
For more information on Endeavor Morocco, please contact Amine Hazzaz at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further details on Endeavor Global and Endeavor’s entire portfolio of High-Impact Entrepreneurs please contact email@example.com (SVP, Marketing & Communications) or Joanna.firstname.lastname@example.org (Director of International Expansion).
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