MOROCCO – Morocco’s ministry of Economy has launched a new finance program to support young entrepreneurs in the country to access capital necessary for growth of their businesses.

The  program launch was attended by Wali of Bank Al-Maghrib, Abdellatif Jouahri, and the Vice-President delegate of the Professional Association of Banks in Morocco, Mohamed Kettani, attended the Intelaka Program’s launch.

Also in attendance was the President of the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development, Dounia Taarji, also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Morocco’s Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun who chaired the program launch said “the first products will be marketed tomorrow to banks.”

The minister added that the program which was dubbed “Intelaka Program” agreements will be subject to several mechanisms specified bilaterally by the banks and the Central Guarantee Fund (CCG).

Benchaaboun also pointed out three elements of rupture in relation to what has been practiced so far.

The first is access to financing. A study conducted by the High Commission for Planning, access to financing was a major concern for 75% of SMEs.

The minister said that this problem should be addressed through the new financing mechanisms introduced by the Ministry which are essentially based on funding guarantees of up to 80%.

The second rupture relates to guarantees. Under the Intelaka Program, banks will rely on product-related guarantees and thus forego personal guarantees.

Benchaaboun added that the third rupture was in relation to Morocco’s historically low interest rate, which is lower than the key rate of the Central Bank (2.25%).

He revealed that the interest rate will be fixed at 2% in general and 1.75% in the rural world.

Morocco is making significant investments in its entrepreneurs and small business owners and in January this year, the country Morocco created the Integrated Program for Enterprise Support and Financing.

The program includes a fund under the 2020 Appropriation Bill that includes a budget of MAD 6 billion to finance enterprises. The budget, which spans over three years, is financed equally by the government and the banking sector.

The fund, mobilizes significant financial resources and will mainly benefit young project holders and small and medium-sized enterprises to enable them to have access to financing.

Several days later, the Hassan II fund announced its commitment to contribute an additional MAD 2 billion to the program, dedicated to rural entrepreneurs.

The fund seeks to empower projects belonging to small or very small businesses, whether they are agricultural or non-agricultural, self-employed entrepreneurs or young project holders, young innovative companies or small farms.