Simon Mills

In November 2016, the British Council secured £300,000 from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s North Africa Good Governance Fund to lead a one year project that will support the development of youth led social enterprises in Northern Morocco.

Social EntrepreNorth, as the project is known, aims to tackle some of the root causes of instability that have led to the exposure of young people to extremism; namely high youth unemployment and declining trust in government.

In Morocco, youth unemployment stands at 20.6%, but rises to 39.9% amongst urban workers aged 15-24. Meanwhile, young Moroccans are rapidly losing faith in the government’s ability to solve the country’s problems. These two factors, along with poor levels of education, are considered to be key drivers of radicalisation.

Informed by our previous social enterprise work in Morocco with the World Bank, Social EntrepreNorth will focus on social enterprise as a means to develop locally-owned, innovative solutions to social and economic challenges.

To deliver the project, the British Council will work with Abdelmalek Essaedi University in Tetouan to establish a social enterprise incubator programme. The idea will be to train a team of social enterprise trainers and help students gain the skills to secure employment or start their own social enterprises.

We will also engage with local authorities and encourage them to be more responsive to youth needs, improve service delivery, and support social enterprise.

Through Social EntrepreNorth, we want to strengthen youth inclusion and positive action, therefore developing fair and equitable business structures that address social and environmental issues, foster economic development, and give young people a social and economic stake in stability.

In turn, this supports UK policy to strengthen peace, security and governance, and tackle underlying causes of instability.

Click here to find out more about how the British Council works to support social enterprise development around the world. 


Simon Mills


February 2017