Endeavor Lebanon and LIFE leverage Lebanese diaspora to support high-impact entrepreneurs

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The initiative, held in Beirut Digital District (BDD), seeks to bridge between the high potential of Lebanese scale-up companies and the opportunities for growth beyond the local market.

by Maysaa Ajjan -Source: Annahar

Picture shows the participating companies divided into groups. (Picture courtesy of Endeavor Lebanon)

BEIRUT: The recent economic crisis has had crushing repercussions on Lebanon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Startups are finding it harder than ever to access local markets and expand to regional ones.

In an effort to alleviate the effects this crisis has had on the entrepreneurial sector, Endeavor Lebanon and Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) organized a speed mentoring session targeting 15 high-growth companies Friday, 27 December, 2019.

The session was a joint effort to enhance the business opportunities between high-impact entrepreneurs and Lebanese investors, and strengthen the ties between the local entrepreneurial community and the Lebanese diaspora.

“Today, Lebanon’s dim economic outlook poses a range of new challenges on these Lebanese scale-ups,” Endeavor Lebanon’s managing director, Christina Chehade, said in her opening remarks. “Hence our constant endeavor to pave the way for new openings that ensure continuity of this most active economic engine for the multiplier impact it generates.”

“This form of networking would engender new avenues and draw on a wide range of perspectives for the growth to our entrepreneurs,” she added.

The initiative, held in Beirut Digital District (BDD), seeks to bridge between the high potential of Lebanese scale-up companies and the opportunities for growth beyond the local market.

Through the active involvement and shared expertise of the LIFE global business network, the focused networking discussions aim to actively support Endeavor Lebanon network companies

with business introductions and mentoring opportunities.

“We are delighted to avail our global network towards mentoring local enterprises and creating investment and employment opportunities, and most importantly, access to international markets,” LIFE board member and chair of the Promote pillar, Paul Raphael, said. “We believe in Lebanese human capital and we are committed to promoting the Lebanese brand equity beyond the borders of Lebanon.”

The companies participating from within the Endeavor Lebanon network included major game players in the industry such as Arabnet, Flyfoot, FOO, HiCart, Neotic, NymCard, Royal Gourmet, SE Factory, Synkers, Topotrade, Toters, and Zima.

The sessions featured 40 mentors from LIFE network, and participants were divided into work groups, each of which comprised one Lebanese company and three of LIFE’s specialist mentors.

The groups focused on ways to confront the challenges faced by these companies in light of the present economic circumstances in Lebanon. Sessions highlighted the significant role such companies play in catalyzing the local economy, particularly given the fact that they generate 60% more revenues and jobs on average than small and medium-sized local firms.

The format of the event allowed the participating companies to interact directly with LIFE mentors who shared their global experience and outlook, reflecting on the companies’ plans and challenges, particularly with regards to attracting capital and scaling and developing expansion prospects outside the country.

 

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