In the Marrakech-Safi region of Morocco, many resources are available to entrepreneurs, but businesses weren’t working together or coordinating to influence policy. The Al-Rawabet project, funded by the United States Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), takes an entirely new approach to the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. Through Al-Rawabet, MEPI strengthens entrepreneurs by linking business development services and incubators together and increasing their capacity to meet the needs of businesses.
One example of how MEPI contributes to the bond between entrepreneurs in the region is the success story of Hub Créatif. Hub Créatif is a business incubator that supports innovative and creative enterprises. Hub Créatif was founded by the Marrakech Creative Interiors Cluster and offers meeting and co- working spaces, as well as specialized training and support to enhance Marrakech’s creative sector. It has incubated 18 enterprises already and continues to expand its support network for creative businesses in the region—including artisanal crafts, interior design, and many other arts. MEPI works with and assists in funding Hub Créatif because continuing to develop the entrepreneurial spirit is an aspiration and goal of both MEPI and Hub Créatif. Hub Créatif also hosts training sessions, roundtables, and networking events. Hub Créatif is just one example of the many dedicated and creative entrepreneurial businesses working in the Marrakech-Safi region. Since its founding in 2018, Al-Rawabet and MEPI have supported over 250 businesses, including 50 “gazelles” that achieve at least 20% growth annually, and have created more than 150 jobs.