From Innovation to Creation: Unlocking the Potential of the Lebanese Green and Social Sectors

From Innovation to Creation - Closing Event

On April 23, 2024, took place the closing ceremony of Berytech’s ‘From Innovation to Creation’ Program. Designed to support and enhance the capabilities of innovation stakeholders actively engaged in social and green entrepreneurship, the program aimed to create employment opportunities and drive economic growth.

With the support of the European Union, and in collaboration with SPARK, FITC supported two different kinds of startups, positively influencing Lebanon’s environmental and social impact.

“Two trainings were held at the beginning of the program, one for the green and one for the social sector”, explains Ms. Jessica Ghaoui, Business Development and Programs Manager. “From these, 10 startups were selected to move on to a second phase of support”.  In total, the program trained 40 experts, worked on two capacity-building “train the trainer” bootcamps, supported 40 startups, and organized two soft landing missions.

In order to maximize impact in Lebanon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, the From Innovation to Creation program empowers Innovation Support Organizations, by providing them with the necessary tools, support, and knowledge to assist entrepreneurs in the social and green sectors. These organizations include tech hubs, university entrepreneurship centers, incubators, and accelerators.

Berytech’s Programs Director, Krystel Khalil, underlines the program’s unique role in the social entrepreneurship track: “This counts as a pioneering initiative in Lebanon, tackling challenges through sustainable ventures and solutions. Such experiences are beneficial and crucial in guiding the current business landscape, and encouraging the innovative solutions startups aspire to build.”  

Spanning over the course of a full year, the From Innovation to Creation program significantly impacted green and social startups, helping them stay at the forefront of innovation.

One notable example is City Greens, co-founded by Wael Kamaldeen. This green solution aims to make farming processes more accessible in urban settings through the implementation of smart agri-systems. Wael explains: “Berytech’s FITC Program allowed us to get a clearer vision and a better understanding of our products, by properly introducing us to the market and enabling us to develop a solid business model.” He goes on to add: “Although the experts sometimes gave us comments that we did not want to hear, it helped us stay on the right track.”

Another interesting case was Pawfuel, a startup that collects organic waste and converts it into pet food in an effort to reduce waste. Herbert Pritzker, Co-Founder, recalls: “In additional to valuable go-to market sessions, knowledge exchange, and networking opportunities, the financial guidance provided helped our startup understand how to evaluate the company, which was our primary objective from the start, and the reason we were eager to join the program.”

From a trainer’s perspective, skilled experts were solicited to help the participating entrepreneurs maximize their potential.

One point of focus was the incorporation of sustainability in business. For that, Lynda Achkouty, certified Business Coach, offered her insights: “Social startups have to work on their ecological impacts because today, whenever we mention businesses, we have to talk about sustainable plans.” Her training introduced startups to circular economy practices, encouraging them to implement long-lasting changes into their operations.

The “From Innovation to Creation” program, which was launched in August 2023 and concluded in April 2024, aimed to bolster the local green and social sectors. By fostering continuous innovation, creating opportunities, and driving economic growth in the local community, it was able to cultivate a culture of growth and advancements, crucial for developing sustainable solutions in the fields.

In just 12 months, the program supported ten innovation organizations, 40 coaches and experts, and 40 startups through 170 hours of tailored training and support. Wrapping up this successful journey, the FITC’s closing event provided a platform for its startups to showcase their hard work, network, and exchange connections and knowledge, inspiring a better and more prosperous future for the green and social sectors.

About From Innovation to Creation

The ‘From Innovation to Creation’ Program aims to enhance the capabilities of innovation stakeholders in Lebanon. Funded by the European Union and implemented by Berytech in partnership with Spark, it actively engages in social and green entrepreneurship. This program aims to boost the capabilities of established and emerging innovation support organizations, such as tech hubs, accelerators, incubators, university entrepreneurship centers, and organizations, by supplying them with the needed knowledge and means to sustain the development and growth of social and green startups. 

Berytech’s role in this program aims to implement various activities for selected innovation stakeholders through training in social and green entrepreneurship by doing boot camps to create an environmental impact. This will enable these organizations to enhance their services for startups, making them more oriented towards impact.

Picture of Karem Monzer

Karem Monzer

Karem Monzer is a journalist, filmmaker, and artistic activist. He holds a BA in Communication Arts and MA in migration, using his degrees for documentary production and cinematography, scriptwriting, editing, and content creation.

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