Chris Koney’s column: Youth and creativity – spotlight on Morocco’s Emerging Business Factory 


Being an aspirational young global citizen, you get excited anytime you come across young people in the creative industry making valuable impact in their communities and the society as a whole. For me, it has become more critical to empower young people through the social and economic opportunities that the cultural and creative industries can offer. This is captured as the heart of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Connecting with young people is always exceptional, and it becomes more useful and important when you get in contact with young creative brains around the globe finding innovative solutions to the world’s problems and exploring alternative ways of making life easier in all aspects. As a necessity, other special groups of young people we do not have to forget are young creators and cultural professionals.

Beyond empowerment, youth and creativity requires the building of the capacity of young people, which includes helping young entrepreneurs gain access to professional training in strategic areas such as management and marketing; equipping them with the skills and techniques needed to run successful creative enterprises; and enhancing artistic and creative skills. This certainly will lead to fostering more dynamism in the creative sectors.

In addition, strengthening the development of professional associations of creatives is much needed; leveraging on their networks beyond the sector to create a social capital is necessary. Besides building alliances for young cultural and creative professionals, it is becoming equally important to raise awareness among young people about the contribution culture makes to development.

It was a matter of delight when I arrived in Morocco’s “red city”, Marrakech, and learnt about a creative space managed by a group of young Moroccans with groundbreaking initiatives to primarily strategically position their city, in addition to offering a platform for people to realise their dreams in an unusual fashion. For starters, Marrakech is a very popular African city known around the world as an ultimate tourist destination – attracting millions of visitors on a yearly basis.

The Emerging Business Factory (EBF) is the first private Information Technology and Media incubator in the Marrakech-Safi region, and the only one of its kind in Morocco. Also serving as a coworking space, the Emerging Business Factory was a former textile factory nestled in the industrial district of Sidi Ghanem, an industrial and creative culture hub.

It was co-founded by Taoufik Aboudia and Pascal Chevalier: a serial entrepreneur and a veteran in the digital industry as well as in the world of incubation being the co-founder of 50 Partners – Paris. Pascal Chevalier is also the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Reworld Media Group, a young company that quickly rose to the top of the digital media podium with a turnover of more than 300 million euros in 2015.

The Emerging Business Factory is also the gateway to a community that brings together entrepreneurs, creatives, start-ups, experts, trainers, researchers, consultants, associations and many other actors working today for the reinvention of business models and for the development of innovative and sustainable ecosystems.

According to Co-founder and CEO, Taoufik Aboudia, the mission of the Emerging Business Factory is to act with entrepreneurs for the sustainable transformation of the region. The 50 Entrepreneur Programme is the business creation and development support programme for entrepreneurs – listening, training, guidance and support.  This comes with a serious helping hand to build your project.

The numerous services offered by EBF are categorised into three, namely: Studio, Digital Transformation Kiosks (KTD) and Consulting & Strategy. The first is Studio EBF – a space exclusively dedicated to photo and video creation. The studio is fully equipped with professional photo equipment to enhance your articles, and for more impactful portrait photos.

At Studio EBF, emphasis is placed on the details in order to offer a complete service that meets the requirements of the customers. For photographs, photo retouching, creation of institutional films or filming, the Studio EBF team, with several years of experience, will not skimp on the means to offer you a quality rendering.

Digital Transformation Kiosks (KTD) make it possible to assist companies in search of digitalisation with experts in the field. Emerging Business Factory offers its strategic expertise in order to allow the client to have a single interlocutor who responds to several requests in terms of digital. The goal is to simplify the relationship between these two parties and provides experts for community management, branding, copywriting, graphic designing and others.

Under consultation and strategy, The Emerging Business Factory assists clients with publications, business development solutions, customer insights, partnerships and modern trends in business management. There is a wide variety of business solution tools offered by The Emerging Business Factory to its clients across the country.

A few months ago, EBF launched the Data Sidi Ghanem, a project resulting in the creation of a detailed map of the industrial district aimed at among other things, listing all the businesses in the area. Data Sidi Ghanem is a solidarity project that Taoufik Aboudia has at heart. Placing data at the centre of all strategies, it was a detailed study of the neighborhood’s ecosystem that finally convinced Taoufik and his team of the importance of carrying out this mapping.

According to the co-founder, “the objective is therefore that, companies in the industrial district can finally be placed in the spotlight and that an inventory of their respective situations be carried out, and appropriate solutions be proposed to them. It has taken several months of meticulous work, and the support of emblematic partners – the Near East Foundation, the Marrakech Safi Regional Investment Centre, the General Confederation of Enterprises of the Marrakech-Safi Region and the Sidi Ghanem Entrepreneurs Association – has made it possible to make the Data Sidi Ghanem project a reality.

One will wonder why creativity is important and what it contributes to national development. Creativity engages the mind and frees the mind in a way that enables a person to absorb knowledge more easily. It makes processing learning more efficient and enables alternative ways of thinking.

It unblocks old patterns or habits of thinking and allows for non-linear thinking. Creativity enables empathy, connects us to ourselves and opens our hearts and doors to our mind. It brings us to hidden parts of ourselves and allows recognition of uniqueness and identity. Creativity can help draw out what is already there within – hidden talents and inner capacities can emerge. It connects us with our passions.

Leave a Reply