Entrepreneurial training and support can be a catalyst for innovation and development (EU, UNDP, UNESCO, OECD). Yabda  project (Yabda يبدأ is the Arab word for beginning, initiating), aims to build the capacity necessary in ten Maghreb Universities for matching the high research and development potential of the region with soaring youth unemployment rates.

Its objectives are:

  • to address entrepreneurial and innovation challenges in the areas where partner countries display competitive advantage: ie. green technology, energy and sustainable development,
  • to build a high calibre network of future entrepreneurs and thinkers that connects with the local/regional and international market ecosystem with a multiplier effect in the Maghreb region.

Yabda developed an innovative ecosystem that fosters:

  • Guidance: an online guide offers practical, personalized information for building an enterprise; a targeted training programme, complemented with personal coaching supports the creation of start-ups.
  • Engagement: a university network reaches and mobilizes faculty members, administrative staff, researchers and students. The Yabda-Innovate unit orient students to the process of design thinking; at its core is the business/marketing, engineering and computer science departments. Through the Yabda-Law unit Law faculty members, staff and students help potential entrepreneurs and startups with their patent/copyright etc., before seeking expert advise. The Yabda-Student unit provides grassroots support group to entrepreneurship.
  • Exchanges and sharing: the Yabda-Hub is a centre for the development of early-stage startups in green technologies, energy and sustainable development; the Yabda-Site provides all the information for the development and visibility of startups; the Yabda-Community connects all interested parties in the University in exchanging experiences and ideas.
  • Support: the Yabda-enterprise team has the mission to support and advance Yabda in the long term through a) the development of expertise in the commercialization of Universities’ knowledge and technology, b) partnership-building with the external regional/national/international entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Yabda stimulates an entrepreneurial mindset that fosters innovation in the entire Maghreb region.