Visa, the global leader in digital payments, announced today the launch of its international She’s Next initiative in Morocco, which is to economically empower women entrepreneurs and business leaders. This initiative was rolled out in partnership with Société Générale Maroc, the leading international bank in Morocco. “She’s Next empowered by Visa” is an international program that consists of supporting small businesses run by women, while providing them with expanded options for networking, support and financing.
Since 2020, Visa has invested more than $2.2 million to benefit women entrepreneurs globally, including in the United States, Canada, India and Ireland, as a result of its “She’s Next” grants.
Women entrepreneurs in Morocco thus have the opportunity to participate in the She’s Next program and thus be able to access financing, in addition to benefiting from targeted support and networking options that will help them meet all the challenges that have been set out. in a recent Visa study of these women.
The main conclusions of this study are as follows:
- Half of the women (50%) surveyed in the study said that obtaining financing for their business was a real challenge for them, while 69% of them had to dip into their funds own to be able to start their business. Forty (40%) indicated that finding a business partner was a major hurdle for them, while nearly four in ten women still remain skeptical about the long-term success of their business.
- Almost half of the women (48%) surveyed admitted that gender stereotypes had a negative impact on their work as entrepreneurs; 85% of them said that the approval or disapproval of society played a role in their choice of career or company.
- Eight out of ten women said they now accept both cash and other forms of payment from their customers. Nearly a third of women surveyed said they plan to invest in new technology (34%), a third to make online activity safer (33%), a third to grow teams (33% ), and another third to create new products and thus be able to penetrate new markets (33%).
- The search for financial independence is the main motivation that pushes these women to create their business, followed by the need to find the right balance between professional and private life, as well as the need to manage their time independently. and finally being able to have its own professional team.
The areas in which women entrepreneurs are looking more to develop their skills are: being able to better set profitability objectives for their business, being able to develop stronger strategies and surviving the impact of COVID-19. The “She’s Next” initiative revolves around a whole series of mentoring programs that allow women entrepreneurs to access practical information provided by women leaders in both the public and private sectors. This initiative also gives them access to the different tools and resources they need to better develop their businesses.
Leila Serhan, Visa’s Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for North Africa, the Levant and Pakistan, commented: Women who own and run businesses face a range of challenges, including difficulty accessing capital and peer networks, in addition to societal pressures of different types. This is why we are delighted to support Moroccan women entrepreneurs through the first She’s Next grant program in Morocco and to offer them access to coaching and support sessions thanks to IfundWomen. We also offer them a grant of 10,000 USD for their project. We are also honored by the partnership we have entered into with Société Générale Maroc, which will greatly assist us in our mission, which is not only to empower women entrepreneurs, but also to provide them with a favorable environment in which they can easily grow and prosper.”
Ahmed El Yacoubi, Chairman of Societe Generale Morocco, said:”Growth and inclusion are closely intertwined, especially when it comes to women’s contribution to value creation. This is why it was important for us to give birth to this initiative in partnership with Visa, and this for the first time in Morocco thanks to its complete system, including financing and mentoring, the She’s Next initiative represents for the Moroccan woman entrepreneur. the opportunity to fully express their potential ”
This new grant program comes on the heels of Visa’s commitment to digitally enable 50 million small businesses worldwide to recover more quickly from the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the digital payment networks par excellence, Visa also gives companies access to entrepreneurial tools that allow them to be perfectly in tune with the digital age via the Visa Practical Business Skills platform. The Visa She’s Next grant program helps support small businesses, while unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs.
Thus, women entrepreneurs in Morocco, from all sectors, are invited to take part in the Visa She’s Next Grant program. The winner will receive one of five grants of $10,000, plus a year of coaching and mentoring funded by IFundWomen. Applications are open now and until July 20, 2022. For more information and details regarding this program