USJ: Entrepreneurship in the spotlights

Posted on June 13, 2017

USJ: Entrepreneurship in the spotlights

The Career and Placement Office of the University of Saint-Joseph organized the “USJ Entrepreneurship Awards 2017” competition, in collaboration with Berytech, Fransabank and the Federation of Associations of Alumni. True to its tradition, which is to encourage the young generation to sustainably settle in Lebanon, the University of Saint-Joseph aimed to inspire students to engage in the entrepreneurial adventure. And for its first edition, “The Environment” was the theme to adopt.

Designed for USJ students, this competition was launched in February 2017,
whereas 7 projects were preselected and qualified for the finals. Students from different majors were accompanied by Berytech, who helped them improve their projects and final presentation. These projects focus on domains related to environmental education, to wastewater remediation, to the fight against pollution and deforestation, to organic agriculture, to waste treatment, etc.…

Promising commitments

On Tuesday, May 30th, the awards ceremony was officially inaugurated in the Faculty of Science. The director of the Career and Placement Office, Mr. Edmond Chidiac, summarized the outlines and defined the criteria according to which the board of Jury would award the prize. Then, the director of the Marketing and Communication Department of Fransabank, Mrs. Dania Kassar, gave a speech in which she emphasized the commitment of the bank in activities related not only to education and the learning of dialogue and tolerance, but also to the environment. Her active support for this project is also part of the willingness of the Bank to combat this brain hemorrhage and to push the young generation to believe in Lebanon. “We must encourage our young generations, through such experiences, to initiate, to innovate and to stay, especially to stay!”

The Deputy Manager of Berytech, Mr. Rami Boujawdeh, felicitated the USJ for this initiative and reminded the teams that Berytech will grant the winners programs of support, incubation services, funding, accommodation and access to professional networks. Meanwhile, the Vice-President of the Federation of Associations of Alumni of USJ, Dr. Christian Makary, developed programs of professional character, to USJ’s Alumni, including Mentoring Networks and the creation of a scholarship fund for young entrepreneurs.

And to conclude, the Rector of the University, Professor Salim Daccache, put accent on the role of the academic institutions of USJ and the Career and Placement Office in the development of entrepreneurial skills. It is in this perspective that the USJ took the initiative to launch Berytech in the year 2000. He also added that the USJ has been a creative institution of the future since 1875, accompanying the economical and industrial revolution of Lebanon and the Middle-East, highlighting as well, the correlation between entrepreneurship and innovation. He also encouraged the creation of an entrepreneurship certificate, the creation of SMEs and the promotion of business mentoring.

Innovative Projects

In order to efficiently move from idea to project and then to enterprise, students were well supported by Berytech who insured the necessary entrepreneurial formation, in collaboration with the Federation of Associations of Alumni and the Association of Managers of the USJ. Thanks to the financial support of Fransabank, the event’s main sponsor, and to the Federal Associations of Alumni of USJ, valuable prizes were handed to the winning teams.

 

The first prize of 5000 US Dollars was awarded to a 5 student team from the Faculty of Science, formed of Raymond Bou Samra Lebbos, Mirabelle Alam, Mona Issa, Grace Féghaly and Souad Badawi Darazi. Their project is to create organic waste treatment facilities that transform organic waste into ecological compost which is resold to farmers. The project has already caught the attention of a municipality in Kesrouan.

The second project, led by Priscilla Kareh, Stéphanie Massoud and Léa Sayegh, from the Institute of Management, was awarded the prize of 3000 US Dollars.
It covers the creation of a completely ecological village in the Bekaa valley, where food, energy and water will be bio productions. Even the restaurant and spa are planned, based on the same standards.
And finally, the third prize of 2000 US Dollars was attributed to a team of two Engineering students, Hussein Salami and Boulos Haddad, initiators if a computer application capable of identifying information about the environment from various resources including social networks, and exploiting them in order to fight the environmental deterioration.

As for the four remaining projects that did not win, they will be followed by the Career and Placement Office of the USJ and the Federation of the Associations of Alumni, therefor allowing their authors to put them into action.

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