As part of its campaign to sensitize ecosystem stakeholders to Social Innovation, Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation brought together a representation of the Moroccan media ecosystem on March 25, 2021. 

This meeting was the occasion:

 – To present the concept of social innovation to media players, who are still little aware of social innovation as a means of supporting sustainable and inclusive development.

 – To illustrate by example the scope and benefits of social innovations by highlighting the promoters of innovative and high-impact projects.

 – To share with media players the latest lessons that have emerged from the publication of the Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation report and the main recommendations of the regional tour that followed.

 Like the operation of social innovations, based on collaboration and co-construction, the media meeting saw the intervention of many actors in the ecosystem of social innovations:

 – An institutional actor: Salwa Tajri Director of Social Economy Promotion at the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts, Air Transport and Social Economy. 

– An academic actor: Manal El Abboubi Professor at Mohamed V University and Associate Researcher at ECONOMIA – HEM.

 – A civil society actor: Tarik Maaroufi Chief executive of the Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation. 

To illustrate the principles of social innovations and operate communication by example, the Foundation wished to highlight the following project leaders: 

Siham Meftahi: Founder of MAMIAM project in 2018, she is a young Moroccan graduate in industrial engineering from ENSAM. She has won several awards including the “Start Your Project” Social Entrepreneurship Award in October 2019.

 Cantal Bakker: Founder of “Pikala bikes” initiative, a bicycle sales and rental project that also provides education and awareness for young people in road safety, health and urban mobility. 

Yassine Aabar: Co-founder of Kech Radio, an associative radio station with local roots, humanist, anti-sexist, non-commercial, independent of any party or political system. It is pluralist media which aims to develop and promote communication and expression of all the actors and inhabitants of its territory.

DAM is a project launched by Insaf association with a view to empowering groups of single mothers living in its reception center. The aim is to train these women in hairdressing, couture and cooking, so that they can support themselves and their children and live in dignity.

Wishing to contribute to this objective, Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation has taken charge of 80 women who will follow training courses in the above-mentioned professions, and will be accompanied in developing their knowledge of project management as well as improving their “soft skills”. At the end of their training course, these women will receive business kits with the materials they need to launch their individual professional activities.

This project reflects a real collaborative work of different actors of the ecosystem: Insaf, FABS, Anapec and the VSE center of Mohamed V Foundation have joined forces to achieve the goal of empowering these women.

The first fruit of this collaboration was the success of the first group of 20 women, now trained in the hairdressing profession, who created their self-entrepreneur status and started their professional activities.

A second group continued in the same vein and began their training and support in couture professions this time. A new glimmer of hope for these women, who are just waiting for a chance!

At Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation, we are convinced that the development of social innovation and the deployment of its principles cannot be done effectively and efficiently without the conjunction of actions of all the stakeholders in the local, regional and national ecosystems.

This ecosystem cannot play its important role of accompanying, supporting and incubating socially innovative initiatives if it is not itself trained and informed on the subject.

Respectful research work has been carried out by various social development actors in Morocco on the subject. And the Foundation also wanted to contribute with a study that represents the beginning of a series of educational publications on social innovation that will be made available to the ecosystem.

Through the study on the state of the art of social innovation in Morocco, which we carried out in collaboration with SOS Consulting Group, we wanted to offer stakeholders a global vision of the current development of social innovation in Morocco, by defining the concept and its principles and benefits and by demonstrating all the assets that the country and the ecosystem of stakeholders have to host innovative initiatives.

In order to open the reader’s horizons to other experiences and draw the best lessons, our study also analyses the experience of mature and emerging ecosystems that have successfully deployed the principles of social innovation to solve their social problems.

In the end, we wanted to make this study the starting point for collaborative dynamics for social innovation on different scales. To this end, we present 35 recommendations and 5 winning collaborations that we hope can accelerate the movement.

MAMIAM is a socially innovative project launched by SAFE-EAT, a social catering company for companies and led by Siham MEFTAHI, a young committed social entrepreneur.

The story of this partnership began in 2019 when Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation launched a call for socially innovative projects with the aim of accelerating their development and enabling them to broaden their social impact for the benefit of the communities and territories they serve.

MAMIAM project presented by Siham MEFTAHI caught the attention of the competition jury thanks to its double impact, financial autonomy and empowerment of its women beneficiaries.

The idea of this initiative is to help women living in difficult financial situations to take charge of their financial situation by acquiring training and professional immersion in the food industry.

During the first phase of the project, 23 women took cooking classes, completed a work placement in the MAMIAM workshop and participated in various events where they provided catering services and shone both for the quality of the service provided and for their courage and desire to succeed despite all the challenges.

At the end of their course, these courageous women obtained their diplomas, some of them have entered the professional world of catering and others have been able to create their own projects.

Today, a second class will join the MAMIAM adventure to follow the same path of learning and the quest for personal and professional fulfilment.

For Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation, being in direct contact with regional actors is a fundamental criterion to better understand local contexts and to be able to establish collaborations in order to achieve our common goal of developing territories.

From 24 November to 26 December, the Foundation organised a series of 5 virtual meetings under the theme: « Social innovation, the levers to accelerate the movement within regions of the Kingdom”.

These meetings brought together actors from the different regions of the Oriental, the Centre, the North, the South-East and the South in order to share their experiences and knowledge on Social Innovation in Morocco, through high-level interventions: a social innovator shared his inspiring journey, an academic actor introduced the audience to the concept of SI and a regional institutional actor exposed the role of public authorities in proposing mechanisms to encourage the development of SI in the territories.
During these meetings, Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation also shared with the participants the results of its study on the State of Social Innovation in Morocco (SI Morocco) which it carried out in 2020 and which brought out 35 recommendations for levers to accelerate the SI movement in Morocco. These recommendations were discussed in focus groups where stakeholders were able to feed them and prioritise their deployment.

Abdelkader Bensalah Foundation would like to thank the participants in these regional meetings on social innovation, whose results have enriched the final report “SI Maroc 2020”.