The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) announced in Jeddah an initiative to support women entrepreneurs in Morocco.
Supported by the ITFC and the IsDB (division of economic empowerment of women and youth), the initiative “SheTrades Morocco” will be jointly implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC) as part of its overall program SheTrades and the Trade Promotion Office Canada (TFO Canada) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy in Morocco, said the company in a press release.
The project will leverage the expertise of ITC’s SheTrades networks, which aims to bring three million women entrepreneurs to the market by 2021, as well as TFO Canada’s expertise in the areas of export capacity building, preparation exports and the inclusion of women entrepreneurs in markets in developing countries.
The initiative, which is scheduled to roll out in January 2020, will span 24 months. It will focus on SMEs owned or managed by women in the processed food sector, the same source added.
In its press release, the ITFC recalled that the agro-food sector is classified as the second industrial sector in the country with almost 30% of total industrial production and that it is therefore vital for the Moroccan economy. They added that women are largely involved in the processed food sector where the unexploited export potential is significant due to the limited opportunities, insufficient skills and poor market access for many companies, notably belonging to women.
For ITFC Director General Hani Salem Sonbol, “SheTrades Morocco” will allow the establishment of means and devices to strengthen the capacities of SMEs owned by women in Morocco and to create commercial links with potential buyers in Canada and in Europe.
“The initiative will create a favorable business environment to improve the export capacity of companies owned by women in Morocco, facilitate their compliance with market requirements and, thereby, integrate these women entrepreneurs into the global value chains of the agro-food sector”, he assured.
“The ITFC and ITC share the same vision as to the importance of the inclusion of women in the economy for global development,” said the Executive Director of the ITC, Arancha González.
According to her, SheTrades Morocco, which is an extension of ITC’s SheTrades network, should “promote the establishment of a more efficient commercial institutional environment in Morocco, the creation and development of appropriate structures and services to better help local SMEs owned or managed by women, with the ultimate goal of creating more jobs for women and encouraging economic growth.”
Other local partners and support organizations also support this initiative, like the Moroccan Agency for Investment and Export Development (AMDIE), the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Morocco (AFEM), the national federation of the agroalimentary (FENAGRI) and the Federation of the industries of the canning of the agricultural products in Morocco.