The African Development Bank and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Morocco have jointly carried out a study to analyze the socio-demographic characteristics and intrinsic capacities of entrepreneurs, and the main constraints and needs in terms of support for creating and developing their businesses.

The study is based on a national survey of entrepreneurial profiles, representative of the labor market at national and regional levels. It identifies the socio-demographic characteristics and intrinsic capacities of entrepreneurs and determines the main constraints and needs in terms of support for creating and developing their businesses. 

The survey covered 9085 individuals in 3034 households, from which 2297 entrepreneurs (established and potential) were identified. These entrepreneurs represent a population of 7.4 million individuals throughout Morocco.

The results of the study show that the Kingdom has an entrepreneurial potential commensurate with its level of development. Indeed, this potential is estimated at 25% of the Moroccan population aged 18 and over, divided between 9% of established entrepreneurs and 16% of potential entrepreneurs who have initiated conceptual or concrete actions with a view to setting up a business. Nevertheless, the study reveals that 57% of established entrepreneurs are doing so out of necessity, through micro and small businesses in low-productivity sectors and activities (almost 50% are self-employed and 40% are heads of businesses with 1 to 3 employees). 

The study reveals that 22% of businesses created are run by women. As for potential entrepreneurs, 44% are women, reflecting their growing aspiration to engage in entrepreneurship.

The rate of informal entrepreneurship is over 70% nationwide. Regulations (taxation, social charges, and administrative complexities) and the instability of economic activity are perceived as the main constraints to formalization. On the other hand, access to health insurance and retirement benefits are seen by entrepreneurs as an incentive to formalize their activities, which supports the idea of extending social protection.  

In addition, the study confirms that established and the development of micro, small and small-sized enterprises (MSME) represent an important source of short and medium-term employment for the country. If just 5% of established or potential entrepreneurs were able to develop or create a viable business, this could generate an average of 100,000 jobs a year nationwide. The study identifies five pillars that should form the basis of a strategy to promote entrepreneurship in Morocco: Markets; Active Support; Regulations; Education and Financing (MAREF).