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IM-CFO Unite Financial Experts for the Support of Startups

In light of the importance of efficiency in the early stages of an entrepreneur’s timeline, IM Capital, in partnership with JE Austin Associates and Berytech, organized a workshop, under IM-CFO initiative, at the Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut from the 16th to the 18th of June. This initiative aimed at training a pool of CFOs who want to actively support early stage entrepreneurs. In that spirit, JE Austin Associates’ Mike Ducker and Tom Gibson introduced the IM-CFO program, launched by IM Capital, and addressing numerous topics including what start ups need, key players and decisions, equity and fund management, among many more. As a start, the focus was on the mentality of startup entrepreneurs, their journey as well the investment process and stages.

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Operated by Berytech, and funded by USAID, IM Capital is a newly established support program in Lebanon that provides matching capital, equity guarantee, and technical assistance to businesses. In that context, IM-CFO, was launched part of IM Capital financial advisory program. The program will recruit financial consultants who want to support start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs, guiding them and empowering them with the necessary tools and resources to support start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs. Through proper guidance, focused efforts would result in an impressive financial strategy, modeling, and being a step closer to landing interested investors.

The kick-off training presented a focused exchange platform for sharing financial expertise and experience with SMEs.

Tom Gibson who is the former founding president and chairman of the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), presented key financial tools and models, bringing a wide experience from the development of new SME risk capital funds, and training of fund managers and other stakeholders in SME finance.

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In addition, Mike Ducker, currently the Director of Tigers@Mekong, shared his extensive experience in facilitating investment and financing for early stage entrepreneurs, exposing key practical cases, examples and resources. “It was impressive to work with some of the top financial professionals in Lebanon, they had a deep understanding of financing businesses in Lebanon but also a real passion to work with young entrepreneurs” stated Mike.

Furthermore, Dr. Nicolas Rouhana, IM Capital General Manager, showcased the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem and the rising opportunities for the support of startups and SMEs.

The workshop had approximately 30 participants all of whom had come from finance backgrounds with the intent to empower start-ups and provide them with the right tools for efficient and effective progress. Participants who have completed the program will be considered to form the IM-CFO pool of financial experts. Furthermore, IM Capital will be launching other initiatives under capacity building and technical assistance with the aim to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon.