MEPI Local Grants Program Project Narrative

The Project Narrative provides detailed information about your proposed project. Your responses to the questions below will be used to determine if your application will be considered for funding as a MEPI Local Grant. Your responses should provide a clear and concise description of your project.  If selected for funding, you will have the opportunity to work with one of the MEPI Regional Offices to create a more detailed statement of work.

Organization Name:

Greenside Development Foundation-Morocco

Brief Summary:

Please provide a one-paragraph description of your project and what it will achieve?

The youth unemployment crisis threatens the very fabric of North African societies – a staggering 49% of Moroccan young adults are neither in school nor employed. Our global society well knows the dangers of failing to provide adequate opportunity for young adults – millions of young people are just waiting for the opportunity to realize their dreams of starting a business. Our program provides business planning training, startup funds and mentoring to engage and empower the creation of new micro businesses. Our grassroots approach to empowering young (especially female) entrepreneurs provides this opportunity for young people to engage in meaningful work that creates new jobs and income, marketable skills, and a sense of dignity and pride. Our approach won the 2013 AEIF award and was recognized by the Minister of Employment and Social Affairs, who called it “a model we can follow in other Moroccan cities.” Now, we want to expand this opportunity to more youth and women in the region.

Project Details:

What is the title of your project? (Example: Rule of Law Awareness Campaign in Egypt)?  (500 characters)

Empowering Unemployed Youth and Women through Entrepreneurship

Please list the country and cities where your organization proposes to perform its proposed activities. (1000 characters)

Morocco: Fes-Boulemane Province & Sefrou Province

What is the issue/problem you want to address?  And how will this project address the issue/problem? (1000 characters)

We want to address the disenfranchisement and hopelessness of unemployed youth and women who possess the desire to enter into society through employment but lack the opportunity. With 49% of Moroccan youth neither in school nor employed, this is an incredibly pressing and multi-faceted problem – this problem is especially severe for young women. This project will address this issue through entrepreneurship, tapping into the un-serviced desire of young people to start micro businesses. Our self-employment program requires unemployed youth and women to engage government, local businesses and community mentors as they learn how to start and grow a new business. The results are incredible and dynamic – a sense of empowerment and hope for the future, new skills that they can apply locally, new economic activity and increased engagement in their community. Our program strengthens communities, expands opportunities for youth, promotes entrepreneurship, and engages young women in public life.

Which one of the MEPI priorities does this project address?

Expansion of women’s participation in public life at the local, regional, and national levels.

Goal and Objectives:

What are the main goals/objectives of the project?

Goal: Empower unemployed youth and women and re-engage them as active members of their community through entrepreneurship. This economic empowerment drives participation in civic society, leading to stronger communities, new jobs, and sense of dignity and activism.

What are the results/impact of this project?

Impact: 1.) Economic empowerment resulting in increased purchasing power, activity and engagement with local economy 2.) Increased participation and volunteerism in community, strengthening the networks between Moroccan citizens 3.) Support long-term economic growth and build skills in entrepreneurship and business development 4.) Promotion of entrepreneurship as a means of workforce development and economic reform for unemployed youth and women 5.) 75 new micro businesses that will provide jobs for 100+ youth and women

Main Activities:

What are the steps and actions that you will take to achieve the main objectives above?

(Activities should flow together in a logical sequence and/or chronological order).

1. Month 1: Build awareness of this opportunity for youth and women through outreach and partnership-building with regional NGOs and ANAPEC offices. 2. Recruit local business men and women to serve as volunteer advisors and mentors to young and women entrepreneurs. 3. Month 2: Trainer-of-Trainers for entrepreneurship facilitators. 4. Month 3: Enrollment of aspiring youth and women entrepreneurs in training classes. 5. Months 3-6: Provide entrepreneurship and business management training to 1,200 youth and women in the Fes-Boulemane and Sefrou provinces. 6. Month 7: An independent panel evaluates business plans and selects which ones to provide seed funding to. 7. Month 8: Organize an Award Ceremony with national and international media, attended by high-ranking Moroccan officials, local civil society, and U.S. diplomats to promote entrepreneurship and build US-Moroccan collaboration. 8. Month 8: Issue seed funding to passionate youth and women entrepreneurs to purchase equipment and materials for the launch of new micro-enterprises. 9. Months 8-12: Provide on-going mentorship and business management consulting to youth and women entrepreneurs through paid staff and local business volunteers over 6 months. 10. Month 12: Organize a Youth and Women Entrepreneur Exhibition to showcase the MEPI-supported new businesses, with their respective products and services on display.

Who are the direct beneficiaries of your project?

The direct beneficiaries of this program include 1,200 youth and women in the Fes-Boulemane and Sefrou Provinces.

How long will it take to implement this project?

12 months (see Activity Steps and Actions)

Organization and Partner Information:

Describe your organization’s mission and purpose.

GDF-Morocco is dedicated to the economic empowerment of youth, especially young women who are particularly under-served by existing organizations in Moroccan society. We believe entrepreneurship is both a short-term response to the massive youth unemployment in Morocco and a long-term solution to endemic poverty. This grassroots organization formed in response to the Arab Spring in 2012.

In what year was your organization established (YYYY)?


Is your organization registered under applicable law in your country?

XYes No

Do you have partner organizations working with you on this project?

XYes No

If yes, please list the name(s) of your partner organizations and how they will assist on this project.

ANAPEC – provides pro-bono business management support to youth and women entrepreneurs referred by our program. They are part of the long-term and on-going support of our entrepreneurs. Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs – Minister Abdeslam Seddiki is a vocal supporter of our program, saying on national television that our approach “is a model to follow in other Moroccan cities.” (See: ) INDH – technical support ODCO – technical support Centre Agricole de Sefrou – training partner Al Akhawayn University, Rotaract Club – training and mentoring partner Rotary International – funding and training partner La Mairie de Saint-Ouen – promotional partner

Has your organization received or applied for MEPI funding in the past?


Has your organization received or expected to receive financial assistance from other donors?

XYes No

If yes, please name the donors and the amount of financial assistance received, and briefly describe funded projects.

Funding and support for the Youth Ventures Program and “Creating Jobs for Youth, by Youth” Initiative, all operated in a very similar model to the one proposed here with proven resultsUS Department of State, Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund award = $25,000 (See: )US Embassy, Public Affairs grant = $19,986Greenside Development Foundation, an independent U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit = $83,251Rotaract Club = $1,000 Mairie de Saint-Ouen and Rotary International = $9,800Commune Urbaine d’Imouzzer-Kandar = $1,250 Norcal Peace Corps Association = $1,000

Has your organization been convicted of a felony criminal violation under a Federal law within the preceding 24 months?


Does your organization have any unpaid Federal tax liability that has been assessed for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability?