Submitted by Matthew Johnson

The Ramadan Youth Outreach conference is in full swing. There is so much to write about, but I want to provide a few observations from the first full day of sessions.

As I mentioned in my previous entry, the first day of the conference focused on Entrepreneurship, Employability, and Investment. There are six breakout session throughout the day. I was able to participate in a few of the sessions and found them to be fascinating.

One of the sessions I participated in was called “Acquiring the Spirit of Entrepreneurship.” The purpose of this session was to get the participants thinking creatively about solving problems. During the session, we had a few “challenges” which as a group we had to solve. Each problem seemed impossible. That is until we started to think creatively and think outside of the box.

In talking with the youth and NGOs working in Morocco, I’ve learned that opportunities are so limited for young people. Many quit school at an early age because they see no point in it. They don’t think they will be able to find a job, so why bother going to school.

That is where the spirit of entrepreneurship becomes important. There may not be a job available for many of the youth participating this week, but they are learning to create their own opportunities. One of the participants said during a breakout session, “I don’t need to wait for someone else to make things happen. If I start to make things happen myself, the others will follow me.”

After a day full of thinking and talking about entrepreneurship, I put together this short video asking a few Moroccan youth what they thought about entrepreneurship and innovation. It was interesting to hear their responses.