ENTREPRENEURSHIP – For five years, places dedicated to entrepreneurship have multiplied in Morocco. Between co-working spaces and other start-up incubators, Moroccan start-ups are spoiled for choice to better prepare for their launch and rely on the expertise of professionals to develop. And this development was highlighted in a recent study by the GSM Association (GSMA), which represents 850 mobile operators in nearly 200 countries around the world.
In an infographic summarizing the results of the study, we learn that Morocco has 21 active tech-hubs. It therefore ranks fifth on the continent after South Africa (54), Egypt (28), Kenya (27) and Nigeria (23). The GSMA defines any active space as a tech-hub that provides start-ups with support and services likely to give them tools to help them develop, such as expertise, funds or networks.
At the continental level, 314 tech-hubs are currently in activity, according to the same source, which specifies that 60% of these places are incubators or accelerators for start-ups and 12% are co-working spaces. But if the figures are positive, the distribution map shows an inequitable distribution of these spaces on the continent. 50% of tech hubs are thus installed in only five African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and Morocco.
At the Maghreb level, only Morocco and Tunisia are doing well by having a relatively significant number of spaces dedicated to start-ups with respectively 21 and 15 tech-hubs. Algeria, on the other hand, contains fewer than five active hubs.
To cover their expenses, 13% of African hubs have signed partnerships with mobile operators. This is the case, for example, of the New Work Lab in Casablanca, a co-working space and start-up incubator that sponsored some of its activities, such as the Pitch Lab, by the Moroccan operator Inwi. 49% prefer to turn to IT industry giants like Microsoft, Google and Ashoka, who are the most represented.
But if “the number of tech hubs is increasing weekly in Africa”, these spaces dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs are still very recent. Thus, these hubs have on average 4.3 years of activity, notes the GSMA.
In Morocco, state but also private initiatives are emerging to encourage young entrepreneurs to get started. In July, an agreement was signed by the Ministers of Economy and Higher Education and the Director General of the Central Guarantee Fund (CCG) in order to set up a seed fund for start-ups and others innovative companies. The fund is expected to help new start-ups more easily reach financial balance.