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UM6P's Social Innovation Lab: More than 4,200 beneficiaries in Morocco's 12 regions

Since its creation in 2019, the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) at Université Mohammed VI Polytechnique (UM6P) has been committed to deploying initiatives to create impact at different levels: local, regional, national and continental. These efforts are taking shape across Morocco's 12 regions, directly reaching more than 4,200 beneficiaries. Among them, a significant proportion of young people in NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) situations represent 53%, while 64% of beneficiaries come from rural populations.

SIL's programs include support for social entrepreneurship, women's entrepreneurship, employability, digital inclusion, valorization of cultural and craft heritage, and optimization of agricultural value chains.

In the field of social entrepreneurship, SIL supports over 700 cooperatives across Morocco, involving more than 3,500 cooperants. This support includes strategic diagnostics, customized training, personalized coaching and ongoing technical assistance.

Women play a central role in SIL initiatives, representing 48% of participants. SIL works actively to promote female entrepreneurship and empower women through programs such as Al Montija, the Women Empowerment Center (WEC) and Femmpact. Over 400 women entrepreneurs benefit from these initiatives, which cover all stages from project ideation to the management and development of income-generating activities, including mentoring and access to essential professional networks.

Al Montija specifically targets rural female entrepreneurship, accompanying 50 women in two douars Bouizate and Ouled Salmane in Safi. These women receive tools and support to develop their local projects. The Women Empowerment Center (WEC) aims to acculturate women in Khouribga to entrepreneurship and the realization of their project ideas, by supporting 180 OFPPT trainees and 50 women with a territorial approach, based on the region's promising sectors.

In partnership with GIZ and AMCI, the Femmpact project represents a tripartite North-South initiative that supports 60 young women with project ideas in Côte d'Ivoire and Senegal, while also supporting 12 incubators in these two countries to promote an exchange of expertise and know-how.

Digital inclusion is a central pillar of SIL, training young people in digital professions through practical workshops in video editing, digital content writing and marketing strategies. At the same time, SIL attaches great importance to promoting cultural heritage and craftsmanship, actively supporting 50 companies to modernize their practices and increase the competitiveness of their products.

In addition, SIL contributes to the upgrading of agricultural value chains, working with over 40 stakeholders and supporting more than 15 strategic value chains for nutritional security. These efforts include developing sustainable agricultural practices, training farmers in modern techniques and improving the marketing of agricultural products to ensure greater food security.

Through these diversified initiatives, UM6P works to achieve its public mission in socio-economic transformation, creating tangible opportunities for local and African communities and stimulating large-scale social innovation.