Moroccan CISE

Hey! Here comes the case study about MCISE, a very active groupe in social changing in Morocco.

Tell me/us about your project / work

How you got started and current situation?

Moroccan CISE was started in 2012 by 17 young people enthusiastic about social change in Morocco. The co-founders set out to spread awareness about social innovation and social entrepreneurship, develop training programs to teach people the relevant skills, and create an ecosystem that supports changemakers in Morocco and across the region. Three years later, we have 55 members, 4 full-time staff, a coworking space in Rabat, and an international network of experts supporting our programs to raise awareness, educate young people, support researchers and accelerate social startups.

Who’s involved: Who is in the team? Roles and responsibilities? Skillsets (what are individual team members good at?) Any partnerships?

  • Adnane Addioui, President and Chief Visionary Officer
  • Jamal Touissi, Treasurer
  • Jamal Elamrani, Secretary
  • Oussayd Bouayad, Director of Operations and Finance
  • Eric Asmar, Director of Programs
  • Hind Touissate, Marketing Communications Associate
  • Ilyas Aaqaoui, Program Coordinator

We have a number of local and international partners, including National Endowment for Democracy (USA), Drosos Foundation, Ashoka, Unltd, Unreasonable Institute, SocialImpact (Germany) and Makesense.

Hypothesis guiding the work (“I believe that to achieve x, we need to do y, through z”)

We believe in a world where innovative ideas and opportunities are at the service of the common good.

What your main objectives are/why you do this?

Our mission is to find innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to all of Morocco’s social problems.

What you enjoy about the work and what you enjoy less?

We have the pleasure of working with some incredibly smart, energetic, motivated changemakers from Morocco and around the world.

The not so pleasurable part is convincing slow-moving institutional actors first, that social entrepreneurship actually exists, and second, that our approach can create value for all of society. That, and of course looking for funds.

What kinds of tasks do you do on a regular basis? Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily

Daily, we welcome changemakers of every kind into our coworking space, and we meet with entrepreneurs to coach and support them in turning their ideas into real, viable projects.

Weekly/monthly, we organize a lot of events, workshops, bootcamps, etc. We also attend a lot of conferences.

What, other than money, do you think could help you in your work?

We are always looking for new partners, new content experts, new approaches and tools, and new innovative projects from all over the world with whom we can collaborate.

What help could you offer others and under which conditions (assuming no money is involved)?

We can provide expertise in social entrepreneurship and social innovation, access to our facilities in Rabat, and access to our local and international networks.

Deeper questions: What should those who really wish to understand the work know?

What do you produce/offer, Products or services that you currently produce?

Our biggest programs at the moment are:

  • Tamkeen Initiative: a program that empowers high school students to become changemakers in their communities by providing them with training in social innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as mentoring to bring their projects to life.

  • Dare Inc: Morocco’s first social enterprise incubator. We empower social startup founders to turn their ideas into viable, high-impact companies.

  • Dare Space: our coworking and collaboration space in Rabat

How do you go about doing this- what steps are involved? Technologies or processes used?

Costs: What expenses are involved? Who benefits from the work? Who currently supports it, how and why?

Tamkeen Initiative is financed by the National Endowment for Democracy. Dare Inc. and the Dare Space are financed by the Drosos Foundation.

Existing alternatives: Who else is doing similar or relevant work/offering similar things- locally and or elsewhere?

Our sister organizations in Tunisia and Algeria do similar work to develop the social enterprise ecosystem in their respective countries. Unreasonable Group, Unltd, and groups like the family, group SOS, and Makesense are have had a tremendous impact in the US, the UK, and France respectively. Ashoka has been a global leader in social entrepreneurship for many years, and ideo has been instrumental in promoting human-centered design as a means to address social problems.

Important players affecting the work? (locally and internationally)

Aside from the above, there are a multitude of impact investors, universities, NGOs, and companies contributing to the global social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Long term perspective: any Business or sustainability plan?

Our goal is to become financially autonomous in the next 5 years through rents from our coworking space, paid training and consulting, and return on investments in our Dare Inc. startups.

Transportation and logistics?

The majority of our resources are human, so planes trains and automobiles are essential to our work. Most of our logistics are tied to organizing events, worksops, conferences, etc.

Regulation and policy affecting this?

Social enterprises don’t currently have a legal status in Morocco. Part of our long-term strategy is to lobby for a new status allowing social entrepreneurs to engage in commercial activities while benefitting from funding and tax deductions shared by NGOs and charities.

What do you believe are the most important projects locally that are relevant to the work you are doing at this moment? What does the concept of pooling resources mean to you? How about the concepts of Collaboration and Mutual Support?

Collaboration and mutual support are central to our approach. Our programs are products of co-creation between us, our beneficiaries, and our partners. In fact, the line between beneficiaries and partners is rather fuzzy, which is good, since it means that all of our stakeholders are creating and benefitting from the impact of our programs. Collaboration is essential to our work, and we welcome any opportunities to work with like-minded individuals and organizations to improve lives and bring about social change.

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Hi Driss,

curious as to how this initiative is going? Maybe you or others you know in Morocco might find the fellowship program we just launched useful. Deadline for applications is September 20: Open Call: Join the first ever OpenVillage MENA fellowship programme!