The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)2004 - 2006
Through the Economic Development Initiative under The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), WDI partnered with Al Akhawayn University of Ifrane, Morocco, to provide business training to 60 Moroccan entrepreneurs from 2004 to 2006. The goal of the project was to strengthen skills among entrepreneurs and business people working for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Morocco through targeted training of business managers and direct consulting at the firm level in the areas of handicraft, tourism, electronics, agribusiness, offshoring, and textiles.
The overall objective was to help entrepreneurs in Morocco benefit from its recently concluded Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States and provide Moroccan firms with the tools needed to grow into more competitive companies. By equipping the owners of 60 small businesses with management skills in key areas and encouraging participants to share their learning with their employees, the training was projected to impact up to 1,800 people in small businesses throughout Morocco.
The project included a Small Business Training Component (featuring workshops at Al Akhawayn University), a 7-week student consulting project, and three 14-week summer consulting projects featuring students from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. The consultant teams presented their findings to the clients and to the US Ambassador in Rabat and received appreciation for their concrete business solutions.