Building entrepreneurial knowledge together and finding solutions to (gender-specific) challenges in order to increase and promote start-up activities of female students and graduates at the universities in the Maghreb – this is the idea and goal behind the Erasmus+ research project “Women Entrepreneurs in the MAGhreb” (WEMag), which will start in mid-January with MBS as a cooperation partner.
A total of seven universities on the European and African continents are participating in the transnational project: In addition to Munich Business School, the VIVES University College in Belgium and the IPAG Business School in France as coordinating university are represented on the European side. On the African side, the Tunisian universities Université de Sousse and Université de Gafsa and the Moroccan universities Université Hassan 1er and Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah are involved.
Why Maghreb With a Focus on Tunisia and Morocco?
The labour market in the Maghreb is characterised by high youth unemployment and a low level of integration of women. The integration of young people is hampered by an economic development model that does not create enough jobs, combined with training that is not adapted to market needs and the lack of attractive jobs in the formal sector. Morocco and Tunisia also each bring specific problems, such as an above-average low rate of firm creation or a negative correlation between education level and employability. In the university landscape of both countries, there are only insufficient initiatives to promote (female) entrepreneurship, which have not yet been crowned with success.
Project Activities and Target Groups
The specific objective of the WEMag project is to develop a joint university course on entrepreneurship for women in the Maghreb, and a teachers’ training, both offered in a blended format. The university course aims to train female students on employability and business creation and foster their entrepreneurial spirit by helping them to build professional networks. In order to transmit the entrepreneurial knowledge that students have been lacking in entrepreneurship and to give them the support they need, the teaching staff teachers will be offered a tailored training, built on current and innovative pedagogy. Thus, the third-party funded project addresses two main target groups: female students and recent graduates, and teaching staff specialized in entrepreneurship.
Project Duration and Volume
MBS professors Dr. Patricia Kraft and Dr. Barbara Scheck submitted the research project to Erasmus+ together with the other partners at the beginning of 2020, and in August last year the project was approved so that it can now start in 2021. The project is scheduled to run for three years until the end of 2023, with a total project budget of 732.000 euros. At MBS, the research project is part of the research focus Female and Diversity Entrepreneurship.
Stefan Baldi, Dean of Munich Business School is looking forward to the new research project: “As MBS, we are very pleased to be part of this consortium within the framework of Erasmus+, as the project fits perfectly with our MBS values – innovative, responsible and globally-minded. We can contribute our competences in entrepreneurship, female empowerment, internationality and innovative teaching and achieve concrete successes in the Maghreb countries with the partners.”