Sports Orange Corners has officially kicked off! Its ceremony took place on January 14 2022 at the Ambassade des Pays-Bas au Maroc in Rabat in partnership with Tibu. Ambitious and far-reaching sport startups have been created by young professionals, ready to contribute to economic growth and make social change in Morocco!
The young entrepreneurs will participated a six-month incubation programme and receive support for Orange Corners mentors in the process of developing and implementing their startups. The next boot camp will take place in February, preparing the young entrepreneurs on digital marketing and brand storytelling.
OCHQ asked Youssef Laidouni and Fouzia Madhouni why they applied for Sports Orange Corners.
Hi Youssef! Could you introduce yourself and your startup?
“I am Youssef, 22-year-old and living in Tangier. In six months I will officially be a software engineer! The startup PickaltyPickaltek, meaning “my bike is yours’’ is a project that me and two other engineers are setting up. It is a mobile application in Morocco, connecting bike owners with bike users. Its mission is to improve mobility for city dwellers and tourists by offering 24/7 access to self-service bicycles. We are still in the concept phase of our startup, but we hope to officially launch the app in four months!”
How did you come up with the idea?
“The idea stems from pure passion. Developing an application with all its technical aspects has always been a dream for us. Combining our IT expertise with sports, and spreading the joy of biking with other people is really rewarding. Our initial goal would be to launch the project and improve the app continuously. Not only would we like to enjoy the entrepreneurial adventure but also hope to generate jobs for other people, for example in the marketing and communication department.
Hopefully in five years, our app will be used in all cities in Morocco and other countries in Africa, pushing for transportation improvements on our continent!
The goal of our startup is to implement the culture of bikes in Morocco and have more and more Moroccan people use our bikes instead of cars. In using bikes, carbon emissions will be reduced and the viability of an area will increase. Safe bike lanes would ensure that bike riders are happy and eager to hop on a bike, contributing to the environmental and social impact of communities. Hopefully in five years, our app will be used in all cities in Morocco and other countries in Africa, pushing for transportation improvements on our continent!”
What is your advice for future entrepreneurs?
I always say: “If you can’t dream it, you can’t do it!” Through Sports Orange Corners, we have received advice from our supervisors and learned from like-minded people that have faced struggles as an entrepreneur. With our startup, we are not only solving problems but also creating new ideas! So if you have an idea that can make a significant social, environmental or economical impact, do so. The future is ours.”
Hi Fouzia! Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
“I am Fouzia Madhouni, a former American football player and a breast cancer survivor. With the help of Tibu, I managed to open the first American football academy in Morocco last year, known as “Hiya a la force”, meaning she has the power. The project is designed for 30 high school girls. Most young people drop out of high school at an early age, so we are trying to give them the access that they need. We provide them with English, French classes and leadership programmes next to our football classes, which will make them more athletically and intelligently stronger. Our academy has already been running for one year, and it has proved to be very successful.”
With Sports Orange Corners’ help, I hope to build new partnerships that can help me with making my business a long-lasting success!
What kind of difficulties did you face with launching your startup?
“Most girls don’t have the access, ability and/or the right to play. We have to convince the parents that the girls can play football, similar to the boys. Most girls think that the right to play is not theirs. We have to let them know that they can be the person that they want to be in future. So the only struggle that we are facing now and we continue to face is to convince the parents that the girls can play. It is so hard to let them be part of sports. We are trying to do our best in order to help them.”
How did you discover Sports Orange Corners?
“Yassine from Tibu shared the opportunity with me. Being an entrepreneur and empowering other girls is something I never thought of doing. I thought I was going to be an American football player from the moment I started a girls-only team in 2015. The people at Tibu really changed my perspective on my passion. What I will do now will touch the generations after me. I also hope to do more than running a really good business. I also want to create opportunities for young girls and build more projects in the future in the community.”
What did you think of the integration week at Sports Orange Corners?
“It was excellent! Sports Orange Corners is one of the best incubation programmes I have been in. During the integration week and bootcamp with training in “design thinking”, “defining needs” and “setting objectives”, a lot of my ideas became clearer. With Sports Orange Corners’ help, I hope to build new partnerships that can help me with making my business a long-lasting success! I can’t wait for the next boot camp.”
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