US Department of State PNB-NAPEO Maghreb Delegation Media Kit

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On October 27 - November 2, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton led a delegation of Maghreb diaspora entrepreneurs, early stage investors from Silicon Valley, …

On October 27 - November 2, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton led a delegation of Maghreb diaspora entrepreneurs, early stage investors from Silicon Valley, university representatives, and NGO leaders, to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. This delegation was unique and different from previous ones hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Program in that it was a coordinated effort with the Partners for a New Beginning U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO). Representatives from USAID, OPIC, and the Aspen Institute also joined the delegation.

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  • 1. PNB-NAPEO and GEP Maghreb Delegation October 27-November 2, 20121 | SummaryOn October 27 - November 2, Special Representative for Commercial Fast Factsand Business Affairs Lorraine Hariton led a delegation of Maghreb Who: A total of 20 prominent U.S.diaspora entrepreneurs, early stage investors from Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs and early-stage investors,university representatives, and NGO leaders, to Morocco, Algeria many from the North African diasporaand Tunisia. This delegation was unique and different from previousones hosted by the Global Entrepreneurship Program in that it was a When: October 27-November 2, 2011coordinated effort with the Partners for a New Beginning U.S.-North Where: Casablanca, Algiers, TunisAfrica Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO).Representatives from USAID, OPIC, and the Aspen Institute also Why: To foster new partnerships andjoined the delegation. build key relationships among American entrepreneurs, investors and theThis delegation showcased the talent of young innovators in the Maghreb’s brightest innovatorsregion and highlighted entrepreneurship as an exciting jobopportunity for youth. The 20 most promising start-ups in each What happened:country were pre-selected by the PNB-NAPEO local network and Start-up pitch sessions were targetedadvisory boards. These startups received mentoring and training at both mature start-ups and youngfrom delegates (which was the main focus of this delegation), entrepreneur teamsparticipated in a business plan competition, and heard from role There were institutional and one-on-model diaspora entrepreneurs. The culminating event of the one mentoring workshopsdelegation was the selection of three winning start-ups from each Delegates visited local universities,country, received a three-month business incubation and business incubators, and businessentrepreneurship scholarship in Detroit, Michigan. The prize was centerscourtesy of TechTown Incubator, Wayne State University, and the Business angel roundtables focusingAmerican Arab Chamber of Commerce in Detroit. on best practices Youth-oriented town hallsThe delegation awarded 24 year old Moroccan entrepreneur Yassine highlighting Maghreb diasporaEl Kachchani, who was originally selected from Flexcible Information entrepreneurship success storiesandSystems out of eight youth teams who presented business projects experience in the United Stateson October 28. El Kachchani’s concept is a mobile application for The Maghreb Growth Fund wasMoroccan restaurants called La Carte Plz (http://lacarteplz.ma). created by our delegates with a budget of $25,000 granted toKachchani, clearly thrilled by this opportunity, stated that he learned promising and innovative projects inabout the delegation through a blog, adding that “I am really excited technology, energy and health.about this opportunity; this is really life changing in a very positiveway.”In Algeria, the winner is an innovative 25-year old, Youghourta Benali, founded Walletix which provides a wayto lower business and consumer transaction costs by taking advantage of Algeria’s well developed mobilephone infrastructure, and providing an electronic complement to Algeria’s cumbersome, largely paper-basedpayment systems. His company could be a breakthrough interim electronic payment system solution forAlgeria, especially where e-commerce doesn’t yet exist in this country.Finally, the winner in Tunisia is a female professor, Dr. Souad Rouis, is the Founder of BiotechRDP whosebiotech company is the first of its kind in Tunisia, focusing on vaccines, and veterinary diagnostic kits. Thiscompany was established in 2008, specializing in the production of antigens and antibodies necessary for themanufacture of immunodiagnostic kits for veterinary diagnosis, sanitary analyses and toxicity tests. The"immunodiagnostics" based on the method of studying antigen-antibody reactions to detect the presence of
  • 2. a virus or a bacterium. The prize at Techtown will further develop her business plan to market it more forinternational markets.2 | GEP in the MaghrebInspired by President Barack Obama’s June 2009 Speech in Cairo calling for a New Beginning with Muslimcommunities around the world, the GEP is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spurentrepreneurship around the world. The GEP brings U.S. and local partners together to work around six mainactivities related to supporting entrepreneurship in Indonesia: 1) identifying opportunities, 2) trainingaspiring entrepreneurs, 3) connecting and sustaining them, 4) assisting with access to funding, 5) enablingpolicy decisions, and 6) celebrating entrepreneurs. Mentoring session, with our delegate Joanna Harries and a start-up in Tunis Entrepreneurship Delegates and Participants3 | DelegatesDelegates were selected from leaders in the U.S. venture capital and technology industries. Individuals wereinvited to join the delegation based on their expressed interest in cultivating and expanding theentrepreneurial ecosystem in the Maghreb.Maghreb Entrepreneurship Delegation: Mustapha Baha: Angel Investor, Pasadena Angels Lloyd Baroody: Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Golden Seeds Ghazi Benothman: Head of Asset Management, Malaz Capital Sid Ahmed Benraouane: Senior Lecturer, University of Minnesota and TechWadi Ahmad Chebbani: Co-founder of American Arab Chamber of Commerce and Techtown Incubator Ahmed El-Alfi: Founder & Chairman, Sawari Ventures, LLC Craig Hanson: Partner, Next World Capital Joanna Harries: Director of International Expansion, Endeavor Jennifer Kushell: President and Co-founder, Your Success Network (YSN) Kevin Langley: Chairman Elect, Entrepreneurs’ Organization Said Ouissal: Vice President of Strategy & Customer Engagement, Ericsson IP & Broadband Shervin Pishevar: Managing Director, Menlo Ventures Sami Ben Romdhane: Senior Director, eBay Wesley David Sine: Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, Cornell University Driss Temsamani: Senior Vice President of Marketing, Citigroup Global Jacqueline Strasser: Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the President, OPIC Kathleen Wu: Economic Growth Officer, USAID
  • 3. U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a regional public-private partnershiplaunched by the U.S. Department of State and co-led with The Aspen Institute to promote economic opportunity through increased links between the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). It is a regional initiative within Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a global alliance of public-private partnerships led by the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other prominent American business and civil society leaders committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad in response to the “New Beginning” vision laid out by President Obama at Cairo University in June 2009. What do we do? The U.S. - North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity is a forum for increasing private sector andgovernment engagement. The PNB-NAPEO business network is composed of leading American and North Africancompanies and organizations, as well as local entrepreneurs, business leaders and partner organizations workingtogether on local advisory boards in each country. The network is a vehicle for members in the United States andNorth Africa to identify, initiate, and sustain projects in North Africa that foster economic opportunity, especially for youth. The network seeks to provide access to a pipeline of locally backed projects and business ideas at thenational and regional level for financing or partnership consideration. The U.S. Department of State collaborateswith local governments on policies that sustain SME development, entrepreneurship and job creation, including a twice annual meeting with North African economic ministers. Global Entrepreneurship Program The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) is a U.S. State Department-led effort to promote and spurentrepreneurship around the world using the U.S. Department of State’s unique ability to catalyze, convene andcoordinate. Under the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity, GEP is the lead implementer for Department of State entrepreneurship programming. What do we do? Work with non-governmental partners around six key areas that are essential to creating a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem. These six areas include: identifying promising entrepreneurs, training them, connecting and sustaining entrepreneurs, guiding them to capital, advocating for supportive policy and regulations, and celebrating their successes. Interested in joining a future Entrepreneurship Delegation? Please contact the GEP at entrepreneurship@state.gov for more information.
  • 4. Sample Press ClippingsEastern Standard Time : 10:57 am : Friday, February 17th, 2012http://moroccoworldnews.com/2011/10/u-s-north-africa-partnership-for-economic-opportunity-entrepreneurship-delegation/13075U.S.-North Africa Partnership forEconomic OpportunityEntrepreneurship DelegationOctober 27, 2011The U.S. Department of State and Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) are hosting an Entrepreneurship Delegation toMorocco, Algeria and Tunisia from October 27-November 2, 2011 as part of the U.S. – North Africa Partnership forEconomic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO). The goal of the delegation is to foster and deepen relationships between U.S.investors and entrepreneurs and their local counterparts in emerging markets and showcase local talent in the Maghreb. Thehighlight of the event will be the selection of three starts ups, one from each Maghreb country, to receive a residency andscholarship prize.Organized in partnership with PNB-NAPEO local advisory boards in each country and managed by the State Department’sGlobal Entrepreneurship Program (GEP), the delegation consists of 12 prominent U.S. investors, role-model entrepreneurs,and academic leaders with experience in angel or venture investing and/or track-records as successful entrepreneurs andmentors. Some delegates are members of the Maghreb Diaspora living in the United States. The delegation’s over-archingtheme will be “innovation,” defined broadly to include business sectors such as information technology, clean-tech, bio-techand ag-tech. Many of the delegates will be technology entrepreneurs and investors from Silicon Valley, but also includerepresentation from across the United States, including Detroit, Michigan, home to the largest Arab-American population.
  • 5. The delegation will participate in pitch sessions and mentoring workshops to promote the most promising entrepreneurs inthe Maghreb region. Ten to fifteen promising startups in each Maghreb country will pitch their ideas to the delegation andadditional companies and young entrepreneurs will engage in one-on-one mentoring meetings. One winning start-up will beselected by the delegation in each Maghreb country to receive a three-month incubation residency prize and one-semestertuition scholarship to study entrepreneurship in the United States awarded by the Tech Town Incubator and Wayne StateUniversity in Detroit. The delegation will also host business angel roundtables and mentoring sessions with local institutionsthat mentor entrepreneurs themselves. In each country, the delegation will participate in town hall meetings, with youth.Other highlights of the delegation’s visit include visits to local business incubators in each country, investor dinners hostedby the local entrepreneurs and partners on the PNB-NAPEO Boards, and receptions hosted by U.S. Ambassadors in eachcountry.Source: US Department of StateThe Maghreb Delegation: A NewBeginning…Posted by admin on Saturday, November 5, 2011 ·By: Sid Ahmed Benraouanehttp://techwadi.org/mena/the-maghreb-delegation-a-new-beginning%E2%80%A6/I was sitting next to a beautiful woman who was carrying a musical instrument; I asked her whatwas the instrument for and she said it is for playing Andalusia music, a genre of classical musicknown in the Maghreb region. I asked her if she could play a bit and she replied of course! Atthat moment, cabin crew had started cross checking the landing procedures, and by the time shestarted singing, we were about few thousand feet above one of the most beautiful bays in theworld, La Baie d’Alger (The Bay of Algiers). I tugged myself into my seat and decided to let mythoughts land on the wings of a beautiful voice in a land of which I know nothing. This was myfirst encounter with Algiers, and it was one of my greatest moments.
  • 6. This is how a member of the Maghreb Delegation, who knows about the world quite a lot,described to me his visit to Algeria. He was part of the Maghreb Delegation trip to Morocco,Algeria and Tunisia put together by the U.S. Department of State in the context of an initiativelaunched last year in Algiers: the US- North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity,known as NAPEO, which is part of the global alliance Partners for a New Beginning. TheDepartment of State’s Global Entrepreneurship Program spearheads key entrepreneurshipprogramming for the NAPEO initiative. The goal of the Maghreb Delegation led by LorraineHariton and Julie Egan from the US State Department was to jump start a discussion aboutentrepreneurship in the region, by identifying promising entrepreneurs and connecting them withmentors willing to coach them on how to sharpen a business plan, pitch an idea, seek fundingand manage a venture.To this date, GEP has conducted few similar delegations: Egypt, Indonesia, and soon in Turkey.The idea is to help countries, on the tipping point of breaking away from a managed economy toan entrepreneurial economy, take advantage of the US experience in building an ecosystem thatfosters entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation. At its core, GEP delegations are abouthelping young entrepreneurs in these regions make sense of the Silicon Valley’s cultural DNA:Why start ups like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Groupon live and thrive in the US, and dieelsewhere?In Algiers, the business plan competition launched by the Maghreb Delegation was tough. Wespent about two days reviewing business plans, coaching entrepreneurs, and mentoring them onhow to improve their performance in front of a judge panel. We looked at about 25 businessplans and we selected one start up that was quite unique for Algeria: an e-payment application byfounder Yourghouta Benali that provides consumers with the ability to operate commercialtransactions. This could be a breakthrough solution for Algeria as it offers an interim step, whilethe country is working on its e-commerce strategy. The winner of this competition, along withtwo other winners from Morocco and Tunisia, have been offered a special prize structuredthrough the NAPEO partnership: Spend a short stay in Tech Town (Detroit) and Silicon Valleyto learn more about the US market and, why not, develop a marketing strategy to commercializetheir product in the US and elsewhere. This kind of partnership that builds bridges between theUnited States and the Maghreb is what the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for EconomicOpportunity is all about.In the Maghreb Delegation, I represented TechWadi; there were about fifteen membersrepresenting successful entrepreneurs, academics, angel investors, and VC companies. As ajudge and a mentor, I had a unique perspective. I was quite familiar with the specificity and theneeds of young Arab entrepreneurs in the region. I know what motivates and drives youngentrepreneurs, but perhaps more importantly, I know the challenges and the barriers that caneasily demotivate them. The concept of mentorship, for instance, which is quite known in theUS, has a different meaning in the region. A mentor could be looked at as an evaluator withwhom we can’t afford mistakes, share information, or simply someone from whom we shouldhide our weaknesses. This difference in perception, of such a critical concept toentrepreneurship, can makes mentorship a useless one. At TechWadi, and in addition to ourtechnical advice that we provide through our global mentorship platform, we are quite aware ofthe type of cultural traps that can cost an opportunity.
  • 7. In Algiers, we also had a chance to discuss the impact of the North African Partnership forEconomic Opportunity initiative. NAPEO was launched in Algiers in December 2010 at the US-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference. Its aim is to build bridges between the peopls andbusiness communities in the United States and the Maghreb, support regional economicintegration, and support the dreams and jobs of young people in the region. One interestingaspect of this partnership is that it focuses on local priorities. It does this through careful inputfrom local partners and entrepreneurs who have formed local advisory boards in each country tosupport this initiative.This initiative is also part of a larger framework, called Partners for a New Beginning, designedto reflect President Obama’s vision of how the US should deal with 21st century globalchallenges. As part of the Maghreb Diaspora living in the US, I have been dreaming about thisNew Beginning for quite a while, perhaps more than two decades. A New Beginning, whereentrepreneurs, innovators, educators, and young women and men (the people that is) have a sayin how the US-Maghreb relations ought to be shaped.Now that we have completed the process of building institutional frameworks, we can startworking on our promise: A New Beginning… Telnet Holding meets US-NAPEO delegation members on November 1st, 2011As part of the conference Maghreb-US project initiated by the U.S. Department of State through the creation of US-North Africa Partnership for EconomicOpportunity (NAPEO), a delegation of businessmen, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and investors in Silicon Valley and other parts of the United States
  • 8. are visiting Tunisia from October 31st to November 3rd, 2011. A group of experts and business leaders came to meet Tunisian companies, businessorganizations, foundations wishing to establish partnership relations. Tunisian institutions were selected following a call for applications issued by theMEPI (Middle East Partnership Initiative) to the U.S. State Department. Round tables, workshops and working sessions were planned to allow members ofthe US delegation to evaluate, coach and advise project developers and contractors.Telnet was on the top of this action, organizing a dinner in honor of the US delegation present in Tunisia. Dinner held on November 1st at the HotelConcorde, has been enhanced by the presence of Mr. Jalloul Ayed, Tunisian Minister of Finance and S.E. Mr. Gordon Gray, U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia.For this important occasion, Mr. Mohamed FRIKHA, CEO of Telnet Holding and also member of the TACC (Tunisian American Chamber of Commerce),invited the members of the TACC, the members of the executive board of NAPEO and personalities from business, organizations and Tunisian syndicate. NewsletterThe Tunisian American Professional QuarterlyFebruary 4th, 2012 | Issue: 3 Tunisian American Young Professionals recent accomplishments; How you can contribute to our projects; Tunisia’s investment value proposition; Obama’s plan for Tunisia; Members news and events; Tunisia podcasts; The 30,000 Feet View TAYP’s activities in the past 2 months Dear TAYP members and followers, Mohamed Malouche The highlight of the month of January 2012 for Tunisians throughout the World was the Revolutions first anniversary celebration. We all reflected back on all the previously unimaginable changes that Tunisia went through in only the past 12 months. In the US, the revolution was celebrated through art: an unforgettable and breathtaking concert was organized at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC on January 9, 2012. Composer and former Finance Minister Jaloul Ayed beautifully presented his piece called "Hannibal Barca", which was played by both Tunisian and American musicians. On the west coast, the first Tunisian film festival took place in Hollywood featuring a number of new movies and performances by Tunisian film makers and artists. TAYP’s I had the privilege to attend the first event, and was particularly moved by President the national anthems played by the symphonic orchestra and the emergence of the traditional Tunisian bendir in the background during the symphony’s second movement which accelerated the rhythm and gave it a warm Tunisian touch. At TAYP, we are continuing to focus on promoting Tunisia’s value proposition to US investors. To that effect, we will accompany his Excellency
  • 9. the Ambassador of Tunisia in the US, Mohamed Salah Tekaya, in apromotion roadshow that will take him to Chicago, Houston and Atlanta onthe week of Feb 13, 2012. The event, co-organized by TAYP and theBilateral US Arab Chamber of Commerce includes meetings with localofficials, investors and top tier companies in these 3 cities. We continue tospread the word about Tunisia throughout the US by initiating dialogues withthe business community, while also encouraging them to learn more aboutTunisia rather than trying to “sell” it to them. We are the first to recognize theneeded reforms that Tunisia has to undergo, but we also want to bringforward Tunisia’s unique advantages, its fundamentals and what it gainedfrom the revolution in terms of freedom, scrutiny and increasedtransparency.Finally, the challenge and uncertainty of the current democratic transitionhas to be put in context. Investors are not expecting Tunisia to becompletely safe and stable today or any time soon. They are seeking tounderstand what aspects of Tunisia are predictably safe and stable. Theanswer to that lays in the fundamentals of Tunisia as a traditionally peaceful,educated and civilized country, often referenced as the Switzerland ofAfrica.On the entrepreneurship side, we are very excited by the upcoming“entrepreneurship and investment conference, that will be held thissummer (July 16-19) in Monastir, and that TAYP is co-organizing with ourfriends at NATEG. This event will not focus on high growth entrepreneursbut rather on graduating and graduate students in Tunisia’s top engineeringschools. We will do our utmost to share with them our experience, thelessons we have garnered over the years, and to be mentors to this newyoung generation. We look forward to working with GIST, GEP, and localpartners to organize this important event, and we welcome the help andsupport of any other interested parties.On both entrepreneurship and investment, I reiterate our TAYP motto: thereis simply No Time To Lose. We will continue to help young Tunisianentrepreneurs through mentoring, technical and financial support, and wewill also continue to contribute to making Tunisia’s value propositionstronger.Sincerely,Mohamed MaloucheTo learn more, visit our Tunisian American Young Professionals site, e-mail us, or follow us on Facebook Tunisian American youngProfessionals
  • 10. Delegation of US Based Investors Welcomed toTunisiahttp://www.tunisia-live.net/2011/11/01/north-africa-partnership-for-economic-opportunities-delegation-in-tunisia/Sadok Ayari | 01 November 2011 | 1 CommentMaghreb Entrepreneurship Delegation BannerIn an effort to promote investment in North Africa, the US Department of State and Partners fora New Beginning (PNB) have dispatched a delegation of 12 prominent entrepreneurs and earlystage investors to visit Casablanca, Algiers and Tunis under the US-North Africa Partnership forEconomic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO). Headed by the Lauren Hariton– the US SpecialRepresentative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the State Department, the delegationarrived in Tunis on October 31st and will be staying until November 2nd.The delegation was welcomed to Tunis by a reception at the Movenpick Hotel by the TunisianAmerican Chamber of Commerce, Tuninvest, Coca-Cola and Swicorp. The US Ambassador toTunisia, Gordon Gray was also in attendance.In welcoming remarks, Ms. Hariton announced the delegation’s strong interest in investing inTunisia and in contributing an added value to the Tunisian economy. She also stressed the factthat the delegation represented potential investment in many sectors of the Tunisian economy,“The delegation will not only focus on IT, there will also be a focus on huge growth businessessuch as clean energy, industry and tourism.”
  • 11. Regarding the capacities of the Tunisian labor force, Ms. Hariton also highlighted the need toprovide training and mentoring for Tunisian youth to step up their capabilities in order to furtherintegrate the Tunisian economy in the global market. Moreover, according to Ms. Hariton,Tunisia can be a showcase in the region since she considers it as the most prepared NorthAfrican country to undertake change quickly, “Tunisia is more ready than any other nation in theregion to undertake rapid economic growth.”The only major roadblock to a foreign investor is assurance of a safe investment climate, “Themost important issue for investors now is the security of their investments. Money should besecured.”As far as the American government’s support for the Tunisian transition is concerned,Ambassador Gordon Gray reassured the investors present that US support for post-revolutionTunisia is not conditioned on the outcome of the elections, “We are not supporting an outcome,we are supporting a process… we are supporting democracy in Tunisia.”Home » Economy » The Maghreb Growth Foundation Provides Financial Support for Young Moroccan EntrepreneursThe Maghreb Growth FoundationProvides Financial Support for YoungMoroccan EntrepreneursLoubna FlahMorocco World NewsCasablanca, January 31, 2012The Maghreb Diaspora in the US joined forces with the US State Department in coordination with the PNB Napeo AspenInstitute and the Consulate General of the Kingdom of Morocco to create a fund that benefits primarily young entrepreneursin Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia according to the Moroccan daily “Aujourd’hui le Maroc. The Maghreb Growth Foundationaims to match Morocco’s emerging entrepreneurs with the Moroccan diaspora in the United States who will help themsucceed in their business ventures and to build economic prosperity across the region.
  • 12. The US Department of State and its special agencies like US Aid and other partners will provide guidance and effectivementoring, including on tools, resources and materials. The whole idea revolves around a Mentor Match programspearheaded by the Moroccan diaspora who will create profiles describing their expertise and area of interest. This databasewill be made available to young Moroccan proteges who can present their projects.Driss Temsamani, President of The Moroccan-American Coalition and Vice President of Citi Group in charge of planningand marketing for Latin American countries initiated the project. The creation of the Maghreb Growth Fund, dedicatedmainly to information sciences, is the culmination of Moroccan diaspora efforts. The project, announced during the last US-Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference provides local young managers with the Moroccan and American expertise in thedomain of entrepreneurship. A budget of $25,000 will be granted to each promising and innovative project in the fields oftechnology, energy and health.The Maghreb Growth Foundation project tour will be inaugurated in Morocco and carried out equally in Tunisia and Algeria.Mr. Temsamani explains, “We have put forward a strategy in partnership with investors from the Maghreb and ArabDiaspora in order to sponsor innovative entrepreneurs who strive for financing.” The Maghreb Growth Fund will beactivated in the Maghreb countries in accordance with national legislation, infrastructure and contextual differences. Projectmanagers are expected to return 18% of their profits built during the five years of execution. During the take off stage that isexpected to last one year, the project files will be submitted to American consulting agencies to start their realization. Oncelaunched, the projects will be closely monitored by the PNB Napeo, formed mainly by Moroccan companies.This ambitious initiative is likely to provide potential entrepreneurs with a new management model that would enable themto penetrate national and international markets. In an interview with Medi Sat TV Mr. Temsamani points out, “TheMoroccan diaspora is determined to be a piece and parcel in the development of Moroccan entrepreneurship. We want toprovide support for Moroccan companies and generate job opportunities.” He conjectures that the project will set out theterms of cooperation between Moroccan emigrants in the US and young mangers in Morocco. He adds, “Start up companiesoften toil to find financing for their take-off. Therefore the project aims at sponsoring innovative and promisingentrepreneurs in their ventures, while forging a sustainable partnership with Moroccan investors.”The MGF mentorship project is expected to inject new blood in the Morocco-US Free Trade Agreement that has beendawdling, since its signature in 2004. Mr. Temsamani points out that Morocco has an economic potential in agriculture andin human resources that could be valued. The real challenge is to set an adequate strategy to penetrate the American market.The Moroccan disapora in the US is estimated at 150,000 emigrants. The Project leaders envision expanding cooperationopportunities between Morocco and the US. The project forerunners aim also at boosting their political and economicparticipation as US citizens who can affect political life in the United States.© Morocco World News