During the past decade, Morocco has expanded freedoms of expression and association, granted women unprecedented legal rights, and established a commission to redress past human rights violations. Simultaneously, Moroccan civil society has also grown in numbers and spread throughout the country.
Adnane Addioui, 28, noticed that private businesses were still an untapped resource in the country’s incremental reforms. So together with a group of entrepreneurs and social activists, he founded the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (CISE), a nonprofit organization that drives social change through entrepreneurship. As Moroccan CISE’s Chief Visionary Officer, he assists entrepreneurs with developing and scaling sustainable businesses models that support the common good.
“Social entrepreneurship has always been an ethos of democratic governance and thus it has flourished in societies where pressing needs are becoming urgent and where all the stakeholders should be involved,” Adnane said. “Morocco has reached a stage where it is a priority to rethink why and how people, organizations and even the government engage with the society at-large.”
Moroccan CISE has been targeting young social entrepreneurs and strengthening their capacity through trainings and mentorship to make both an economic and social impact in Morocco. Although social entrepreneurship has gained momentum in other countries around the world, it is still a relatively new sector in Morocco.
Adnane is thus leading the flagship movement in his country and has become a thought leader and role model for those interested in pursuing social entrepreneurship. As a popular voice in Morocco on the power of innovation and collaboration, he has spoken about the topic at prestigious engagements such as TEDxRabat.
“By addressing needs in an innovative way and unleashing the powers of business, we are tapping new opportunities for Morocco,” he said.
Adnane is also an ardent systems change coach and networker who has operated across the public and private sectors. He uses this background to establish public-private partnerships that are economically savvy and create social impact. Through his work, he is able to help his country continue on a positive path forward.
“We want more voices to be heard, and demand accountability and transparency,” he said. “It’s a new beginning for a country that has and still is undergoing countless transitions and reform.”