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Morocco Entrepreneurship Class
There’s a stark reality in Morocco -- 50% of middle school students will quit school and never return. But thanks to HP Morocco employees, more than 350 students learned the basics of starting a business. These skills could give a very real-life boost to the ability of these students to earn a living.
The employees delivered Jr. Achievement Morocco’s Entrepreneurship Master Class program to students between the ages of 14 and
16 attending senior school in Casablanca.
"Our goal was to introduce students to entrepreneurship and provide them with an alternative to violence and delinquency," says Amal Abahmaoui, Enterprise Group, EMEA. "Although we stressed the importance of continuing studies until at least until the end of high school, we also recognized the reality that only 50% of students in their senior year will continue their studies. The rest will leave. Some of these young people will go on to work with their parents, while others will simply wander.
"We were there to tell them that they can start a small activity by selling clothes, food, electronics, etc. and make a profit - and therefore a decent living – by starting a small business."
The course taught students the basics of how to create their own companies. HP employees started the exercise by explaining how companies choose a name and logo, using HP as an example. The students were then divided into small groups. Each group chose a name and a logo and had to explain why they made their choice.
The employees then introduced and explained the functions of key departments and roles in a company—finance, marketing, operations, human resources, etc. The students were then asked to list their main strengths, and then match them to the most relevant job qualification – students good in math might choose to be a CFO; natural leaders might choose to be a CEO.
Afterwards, the students learned some basic business skills. They computed fixed and variable costs to determine how much money they would need to buy raw materials to produce 1,000 "wish cards". Then they virtually "bought" the raw materials to produce a sample of their wish card. Depending on the cost computed, on the effort invested in the card and on how much competition there was from other groups, they then chose a price to charge for each card. At the end of the exercise, one group was chosen as a winner in each class.
"We are extremely proud of this event," says Amal. "We received very positive feedback from both the students and the volunteers. Although this is a one-day program, several students have asked us if we could come back and do another entrepreneurship day."
This event might well have sown seeds that will enable disadvantaged youth to bloom and go on to lead productive lives.
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