20 Jan 2020

Meet Mehdi, our new Programme intern

By Mehdi Mestassi

Hi everyone,

My name is Mehdi and I have recently joined BGV as a Programme Intern. I will be responsible for the smooth running of the programme, making sure the startups have an exceptional experience!

After spending the first 18 years of my life in Morocco, I went to France to study International Business. Although I didn’t leave home with a clear career plan in mind, I had always known that I wanted to have a positive impact on the world, and contribute to something bigger.

My first life-changing experience was the year I spent in Medellin, Colombia. I travelled to many countries, I discovered new cultures and I learned Spanish. But most importantly, I became familiar with a concept that would shape the rest of my life: social entrepreneurship. I met a lot of interesting people who were passionate about solving important issues, and I was impressed by their creativity and determination. I went back to France to pursue my studies, this time with a more precise career plan. Alongside my master’s degree, I worked with a startup called Caracol, that deals with refugee accommodation. Caracol creates flatshares between refugees and other people who live in precarious situations, thus allowing them to integrate into society and start building their new lives. This experience taught me that I was made to work in socially driven companies.

I have always been sensitive to ecological and environmental causes. Hence, after my experience with Caracol, I joined a company in Paris called Green Soluce that designs, facilitates and accelerates tomorrow’s cities and real estate. I learned a lot from Green Soluce and I had the opportunity to perform a variety of different tasks, due to the company’s unique positioning on sustainability, wellbeing and connectivity. I realized that contributing to positive environmental change was as important to me as contributing to social change. In my opinion, they’re equally important for society. That is the reason why, in January 2019, I co-founded a charity in Morocco called AMAL – Young Moroccan Leaders. It tackles both social and environmental issues but it also aims at empowering young Moroccans and encouraging them to take action and launch their own projects. 

As I was asking myself a lot of questions on what kind of structure AMAL was going to be, I began researching impact investors and accelerators and quickly came across BGV. Like many people, I was impressed with the diversity amongst portfolio companies and absolutely loved the fact that they tackled both social and environmental issues. When I looked at BGV’s achievements, such as the number of ventures backed or the number of users and beneficiaries from the portfolio companies’ products and services, I instantly knew that joining BGV would be the next big step for me.

I am thrilled to be a part of the BGV team and I can’t wait to work with startups that have the potential to improve millions of lives. If you have questions about the BGV programmes or if you just want to have a chat, feel free to get in touch with me!