On Monday December 7, 2015 the “Mount Lebanon Youth Entrepreneurs” Competition was launched under the patronage of HE the Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Rachid Derbas and in the presence of the National Coordinator of the Lebanon Host Communities Support Project at the Ministry Mrs. Suheir El Ghali, the Regional Development and Protection Programme Manager Mr. Sergio Garcia, the Mount Lebanon United Nations Development Programme Area Manager Mr. Abdallah Muhieddine, the Deputy General Manager of Berytech Mr. Ramy Bou Jawdeh, the working group at the Ministry of Social Affairs, and representatives from relevant ministries, the UNDP, the Knowledge Development Company (KDC) and Berytech.
The initiative is funded by the Regional Development and Protection Programme, which is led by the Denmark through a generous contribution from the European Union, Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Norway, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and is one of the interventions that are implemented by MoSA and the UNDP in Lebanon under the Lebanon Host Communities Programme (LHSP). LHSP is a joint initiative between the Ministry and the UNDP that implements activities aiming at enhancing stability and promoting development as part of the national strategy to respond to the crisis that has been straining Lebanon since 2011.
The “Mount Lebanon Youth Entrepreneurs” Competition aims to support young entrepreneurs in developing new and innovative ideas and launching their start-ups that would also create job opportunities in the Mount-Lebanon area. The project will include training the youth on entrepreneurship and business planning where a technical jury will choose 4 groups who will win a grant up to 15000 USD.
In his opening speech, Mr. Bou Jawdeh confirmed: “We are gathered here today to show our support to the Lebanese youth and their ambitions through this project that encourages entrepreneurship and job creation in the Mount Lebanon area. It incites each young man and woman to achieve his /her ambitions and dreams and helps them develop their businesses whilst growing the Lebanese economy.”
Similarly Mr. Muhieddine emphasized that the project is a positive, encouraging competition for young entrepreneurs in Mount Lebanon: “It will create opportunities to support the local youth in developing and building their own companies in Mount Lebanon. It will also present a leading example to the Lebanese youth aiming to launch their own business projects that reinforce the local economy creating new job opportunities and additional revenue. This same project being launched today in Mount Lebanon was launched last week in Tripoli. Based on the results of the experiences of both projects, we will work with our partners on widening the scope of this project to reach as many young people as possible.”
In that respect Mrs. El Ghali confirmed that the Lebanese youth deserves attention, because it is a productive and innovative force taking initiatives to create job opportunities. This project was conceived to support these successful initiatives and restore the youth’s confidence in their capacities and in their country.
Finally, Ms. Rania Chahal presented the eligibility criteria, application process and support track of the competition:
- The start-up project should be implemented in the Mount Lebanon region
- Team should be a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 participants
- All Participants should be Lebanese and above 21 years old
- The business idea / project should be innovative
The four business plans that receive the highest scoring will be selected for the awarding of the grants and the Berytech incubation program to develop their businesses.
Detailed information and project application form are available on: mlec.berytech.org