The MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Start-up Competition is in it’s final stages. A competition that celebrates and encourages innovation, growth and action, the MIT Enterprise Forum highlights some of the most thought-out ideas from young adults throughout the MENA region. We spoke to the Moroccan group La Perle De La Mer about their ingenious idea, and some of what inspired them to participate.
1) Who inspires you in the Arab world?
There are many personalities in the Arab world who inspire us: The human development expert Ibrahim El Fakki, the Moroccan “Mother Teresa” Aicha Chenna — they represent a model of people who have dedicated their lives to help others improve theirs. Their achievements remain everlasting.
2) Why did you apply for this competition?
Our project consists of the valuation and marketing of two species of shells that exist exclusively in the region of Oued Laou Kaa-Srass located in the north of Morocco. This goal will be achieved by implementing a shellfish purification plant in favor of cooperations located at Oued Laou and Kaa Srass to ensure the safety of products and their direct marketing in the market. Such projects require a large budget, so this competition is a great opportunity for us to get financing to start and to conduct our project in the field, and promote our products.
2) What impact does participating have?
On one hand, through workshops and trainings offered we can improve our business model, and develop our competences in social entrepreneurship. On the other hand, participating will enable us to meet experts and leaders in different economic sectors and to have their valuable comments and suggestions.
3) In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of such competitions in the region?
That kind of competition encourages people around the world to take action and believe in their ideas; it also allows entrepreneurs to meet each other and to develop their professional network.
5) In what sectors would you like to see improvement in the Middle East?
The Middle East region has experienced tremendous developments in recent years, but some domains are still not able to keep up with this development and need to make more efforts to develop them, as is the case for: Housing, education, health, industry and women rights.
6) Any tips for those who may want to participate in similar competitions in the future? Opportunities like this do not happen all the time, so people who want to participate in similar competitions must be curious, try their chances, believe in their project, take action, and work hard.