“Digital natives have more of an entrepreneurial mindset”

For Habiba Benjelloun, CEO of Digital Nomads Agency, digital natives already have an early start on new trends and adapt more easily to new technologies. They are eager to learn and grow with time.

• What will be the characteristics of this population that we call digital natives?
Beyond being fully connected with digital tools, digital natives grow up with this openness to the world and are therefore more internationally oriented than previous generations.
In my agency, all my experts are digital natives, they naturally adopt English not only in their professional communication, but also as their primary language. It is not so important, their expertise is obtained on the net and is mainly accessible in English. They adopt Online-centric consumer behavior. Whether it is for the purchase of products, the search for information and recommendations, their decision-making process is carried out on the Internet.
They are one step ahead of new trends and adapt more easily to new technologies. Be it the Metaverse revolution, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) or artificial intelligence, digital natives are eager to learn and evolve with the times. The community is a very important aspect that allows them to exchange and meet according to their centers of interest. A sense of belonging is very important and helps to provide a sense of identity.
But beyond their affinity for technology, digital natives have a much more entrepreneurial mindset. Social networks offer them the opportunity to test their projects, reach a large audience and gain the freedom and confidence to start an online business.

• How is their work relationship?
He is different. They are looking for more openness and autonomy. The traditional hierarchical model does not motivate them, hence a very high turnover in companies with traditional management. Covid exacerbated this need for freedom.
In many respects they feel inconsistent with previous generations and the system they can use today in Morocco. In digital marketing, for example, many are self-taught and prefer to offer their services on freelancing platforms (such as Upwork or Fiverr) and collaborate with international start-ups. This sector in Morocco is still not very dynamic.

• What are their expectations?
They have high expectations. First of all, from an administrative point of view, the status of auto-entrepreneur allows them to open to new customers and develop their activity. But this is still not enough. The income ceiling is still very low and the procedures are not 100% dematerialized.
International payments are subject to many restrictions, but it is a target that naturally needs to consume foreign currency, if only to have access to digital work tools or to train online (strategies are fast changing and accessible on foreign platforms).
The standard of living can be very high for the younger generation who are starting out professionally and don’t see themselves receiving start-up benefits and/or assistance.
Finally, business management is forced to adapt to this new mindset. Trust and evaluate the relationship with the hierarchy, which can stifle their creativity. In a world of absolute instability, this young generation must continue to have a sense of progress, creating and bringing added value.

• How to attract them and above all keep them?
It is clear that we are experiencing a real brain drain in Morocco. I have seen this in my professional environment, some of my experts have taken steps to live abroad. I work with Moroccan digital nomads based in Canada, Portugal or Asia. 49 countries now offer the digital nomads Visa, a temporary residence permit that allows entrepreneurs working remotely in the digital and tech fields to live there.
Moroccans are talents who have no problem selling themselves abroad, we see this in developers, but also in digital marketing experts.
Due to the different expectations mentioned above, Moroccans do not feel that they are developing professionally and have access to a satisfying work environment.
Whether in companies where the digital transition is slow, or in terms of administrative and logistical aid that is too strict, there is a gap between the reality of the market and the level of requirements sought by digital natives.
However, the removal of these brains becomes a serious handicap if one wants to be a new starting country and to meet international standards, if only compared to other African countries, in terms of innovation and of technological development.

• What can companies do in these specific cases?
They have a role to play in retaining these talents: setting up the digital infrastructure that makes it possible to track results realistically, providing access to quality training that enables development and -according to change its managerial model to provide more flexibility in work. In my agency, some of my employees are based outside of Casablanca (Agadir, Marrakech, Nador, Salé or Rabat), which allows them to stay close to their families or in an environment that suits them better . We use remote monitoring and collaboration tools that do not affect their performance. On the contrary, this mode of operation increases their motivation and commitment.

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