Social enterprises are organisations that measure their value based on their social and economic impact on the community. They have sustainable business models and sell services or products to achieve a social purpose. Instead of distributing dividends among shareholders, they often reinvest the majority of their profits into furthering their social goal.

The British Council’s Global Social Enterprise programme draws on the UK’s expertise. It is running in more than 30 countries around the world and aims to support the development of social enterprise and social investment in the UK and other countries and share best practice and create opportunities between them. 


Research on social enterprise 2015

In Morocco, Social Enterprise and innovation have been identified as key areas for the development of the Moroccan economy and society. In 2013, the British Council commissioned Social Enterprise UK in partnership with the MCISE to complete a research report assessing the level and type of social enterprise activity in Morocco, and its potential for further development. 

The report presents the findings from research designed to scope the early stages of social enterprise development and its landscape in Morocco. It formed the future outline of the British Council Morocco’s social enterprise programme. 

This report is the first of its kind in Morocco and it forms the foundation for future interventions and research studies conducted by the British Council and its partners in the field. The results of the report were presented at the International Social Enterprise Forum hosted by The British Council Morocco and The World Bank in March 2014.

The summary of the results of the report can be seen below:

• There are a variety of social purposes that social enterprises work for, the most common being working to improve or support a community, supporting women and providing education and training. 

• The artisan and handicraft sector are the markets which commonly attract social entrepreneurs. This is largely influenced by the dominance of the co-operative sector.

• Operational barriers to growth included: lack of appropriate technical support, lack of finance and funding and the limitations of the legal framework. 

• Systemic barriers included the lack of an enterprise culture and mind-set as well as issues around language.

• There was common agreement that the movement needs to become more inclusive and collaborative with stakeholders from other sectors.

• Platforms and hubs which bring social enterprises, practitioners and supporters together to share best practice and ideas are also needed. These platforms can also serve as open forums which bring different stakeholders together to debate and build consensus around key issues which will shape the future of social enterprise.

The report is available and can be downloaded on this page in English, French and Arabic.


The International Social Enterprise Forum 2015

The International Social Enterprise Forum took place in Casablanca on the 21 and 22 March 2014. The forum gathered senior stakeholders from government, the private sector and civil society to explore international examples of social enterprise. They discussed how to develop a sustainable social enterprise ecosystem in Morocco.

The first day was aimed at enablers (policy-makers, educationalists, companies) and asked questions about the role of each stakeholder group in developing a sustainable social enterprise ecosystem in Morocco. The second day was designed for practitioners looking to meet new partners, listen to success stories and learn new tools to help them build their projects. 

There was a series of practical workshops that aimed to build the capacity of entrepreneurs and aspiring practitioners by sharing new methodologies and tools to support the development of effective and sustainable social enterprises. The theme of these workshops included: measuring social impact, transitioning from charity to social enterprise, and understanding the community’s needs. 

Furthermore the forum showcased successful stories of international social enterprises in order to inspire and motivate a new generation of practitioners and provide a platform for social entrepreneurs to network. 

The Forum was also an opportunity to present the conclusions of Lighting the Way, a research report assessing the landscape of social enterprise activity in Morocco published by British Council Morocco, in partnership with Social Enterprise UK and the Moroccan Centre for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship. The findings were warmly received, and set the tone for many of the discussions over the conference.

The International Social Enterprise Forum report is available in English and can be downloaded on this page.

Social Enterprise Competition 2015

The British Council in partnership with the World Bank launched for the first time in Morocco a Social Entreprise Competition under the theme of “provision of employment and inclusion services for youth in Morocco”. The aim is to support the development of social enterprises in Morocco and to encourage and support the best ideas and projects in the social entrepreneurship field.

The competition is for young people between 18 and 35 years owning a non-profit organisation, a business or applying as an individual or group of individuals located in Rabat and Casablanca regions.

The 30 short-listed finalists benefited from five days intensive training in social enterprise delivered by UK experts to enhance their skills and develop their business plan before a final pitching session in front of a panel of judges.  

The ten winners received a prize of USD 10,000 to build a sustainable social enterprise and to create a positive social change in their community. They will benefit from a considerable mentoring and coaching delivered by a team of UK experts in social enterprise during 6 month. 

For more information about the competition, visit this page.


MENA Social Enterprise Forum 2015

The British Council and the World Bank organised the MENA Social Enterprise Forum on the 17 March to 18 March 2016 in Rabat, Morocco.

The purpose of the Forum was to discuss the potential of social enterprises in MENA to become an engine of employment, economic growth, and enhanced service delivery and to identify best practices and policy options to improve the social enterprise sector in the region.

The Forum brought together a mix of high level stakeholders and ministers, including policy makers, senior representatives from the donor community, social enterprises, financial institutions, and civil society to share experiences and develop collaborative opportunities. The event was also an opportunity to present the finding of the companion regional report on social enterprise: Think Global, Trade Social.

An article on the MENA Social Enterprise Forum is published on the guardian website. Click here to read the article.

Social EntrepreNorth 2017

Social EntrepreNorth is a British Council programme supported by the British Embassy in Morocco. As its name suggests, this programme aims to promote social entrepreneurship in northern Morocco.

The programme aims to strengthen the inclusion of young people and positive action by developing fair and equitable commercial structures that seek to address social and environmental issues.

The objective is to give young people a stable social and economic stake in the north of Morocco and to participate in the development of this region. 

The programme strengthened training, expertise and support capacities for social enterprises. Indeed, it has also integrated social enterprise skills into a university to help young people take the road to social innovation. 

The programme established a policy dialogue with local authorities to increase their support and understanding of social entrepreneurship.

You can learn more about the programme activities here

DIRES Programme (Development of Regional Social Enterprise Initiatives)

British Council and the Social Development Agency (ADS) signed a partnership agreement in 2020 to launch their joint social enterprise programme that will be implemented in the Fez-Meknes region.

The DIRES programme aims to strengthen female and youth inclusion and positive action, developing fair and equitable business structures that seek to address social and environmental issues.

The programme is designed to provide existing cooperatives led by women and youth with a stake in the economic and social development of their communities. This will be achieved by strengthening training capacities, providing business and strategic support to cooperatives in the Fez-Meknes region and developing a support network with the local and international ecosystem.

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