U.S. - Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference, January 16-18, 2012

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
January 16, 2012

The 2nd annual U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference will take place in Marrakech, Morocco, on January 16-18, 2012. The conference is a regional follow-on to the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship held in Washington, D.C., in April 2010 and serves as the annual partnership convening event for the U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO), part of the global alliance Partners for a New Beginning (PNB). The NAPEO Morocco advisory board is hosting the conference in coordination with The Aspen Institute, with the support of the U.S. Department of State and the PNB-NAPEO network. PNB-NAPEO brings together business, nongovernmental, and public organizations in the United States and North Africa to create regional partnerships that promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation. The inaugural U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference was held in Algiers, Algeria, in December 2010.

This year’s conference will bring together North African business leaders and entrepreneurs, aspiring youth entrepreneurs, business leaders of the North African diaspora, along with U.S. business leaders and young entrepreneurs. The conference will include concrete training sessions and partnership-focused workshops on key challenges for advancing entrepreneurship, including:

  • Improving access to capital in the Maghreb
  • Catalyzing youth entrepreneurship in the Maghreb
  • Promoting cross-border business partnerships in key sectors
  • Building partnerships with Maghreb diaspora entrepreneurs in the United States
  • Addressing youth unemployment through education, exchange, and mentorship
  • Exploring business opportunities in the creative and other industries

The conference will also offer capacity building for entrepreneurs during a full day of hands-on skills training on January 16th, following by workshops and networking opportunities. Additionally, the winners of the October PNB-NAPEO Entrepreneurship Delegation start-up contest will be featured during the conference. For more information about the 2012 U.S. – Maghreb Entrepreneurship Conference, please visit: http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events and http://napeo.ma.

A senior-level delegation from the United States will participate in the conference, led by Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez. The U.S. Department of State is supporting the organizers of this event by identifying key speakers and U.S. entrepreneurs who can advance our shared goals of building economic partnerships entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the Maghreb. Scheduled speakers include the Honorable Madeleine K. Albright; Walter Isaacson, president and CEO, The Aspen Institute; and Hernando de Soto, president, Institute for Liberty and Democracy and author of The Mystery of Capital.

The U.S. – North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a regional public-private partnership network launched by the U.S. Department of State and co-led with The Aspen Institute with the goal of positively impacting 100,000 youth in the next five years through entrepreneurship, job creation, and increased links between the United States and North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia). It is a regional initiative within Partners for a New Beginning (PNB), a global alliance of public-private partnerships led by the CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other prominent American business and civil society leaders committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad in response to the “New Beginning” vision laid out by President Obama at Cairo University in June 2009.


PRN: 2012/059