Virtual Morocco-US Coffee Shop Supports Female Entrepreneurs


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Rabat – Entrepreneurs from the US and Morocco held a virtual coffee shop to promote female entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Camille Richardson, US assistant under secretary of Commerce for Global Markets in the Middle East and Africa, hosted the meeting and included a series of panelists sharing thoughts on investment opportunities in Morocco for women. Additionally, the meeting served as a networking tool for Morocco’s female entrepreneurs and professionals from the US.

Richardson stated, “This discussion reflects the high priority that the U.S. diplomatic mission in Morocco places, not only on US-Morocco trade relations, but also on the importance of economic opportunities, including Moroccan women entrepreneurs.” 

The US consulate general in Casablanca assisted in organizing the event and remains a vital link in US-Morocco economic relations.

Morocco’s female entrepreneurs in the STEM field such as Laila Berchane, Meriam Bessa, and Khouloud Abejja presented their personal experiences and discussed future commercial cooperation between the US and Morocco.

In addition to the US consulate general, professionals from the two countries gathered in partnership with the US-led “Trade Empowerment Initiative.” 

In December 2020, the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced new bilateral economic relations with Morocco. The initiative seeks to invest nearly $5 billion (MAD 44.7 billion) in the North African country. 

The DFC inaugurated Project Africa to establish an in-country body for promoting investments in Morocco. One primary role of the project is linking entrepreneurs in the US and Morocco.

Undersecretary Richardson will host the virtual coffee shop in three other African nations including Ethiopia and Kenya. In 2022, the final conference will take place in-person at the Trade Winds Dubai 2022 event, which will coincide with International Women’s Day.

Both countries consider female entrepreneurs to be a key factor in establishing Morocco as the “gateway to Africa.”