Lebanon Export Academy, the first Export Academy in Lebanon, celebrated the graduation of its first batch of 21 SMEs from the agriculture and agri-food sectors, of which over 80% are women-led. The academy offered them a well-rounded programme in export readiness tools with top-notch experts in multiple relevant fields. The Lebanon Export Academy implemented by UNIDO and UNDP Lebanon in partnership with Berytech is part of the Productive Sectors Development Programme (#PSDP) generously funded by the Government of Canada.
To that end, Berytech organized a certificate distribution ceremony to celebrate the first batch of training delivery, graduating 21 Agri-food SMEs and top-notch trainers, with the presence of Mr. Emmanuel Kalenzi UNDO Representative and Head of Regional Office for Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, the representative of the embassy of Canada Ms. Alexandra Santillana and Berytech CEO and chairman Mr. Maroun Chammas. The ceremony marked as well a good representation from the UNDP and UNIDO team, Berytech, trainers and trainees.
The academy offered 11 modules addressing different barriers that Lebanese businesses are facing when exporting. 21 Businesses had the chance to subscribe to the 11 modules package or select specific ones based on their needs, leveraging flexible modalities of training delivery including online, in-person, and self-paced courses.
The Lebanon Export Academy has recruited 21 trainers with multiple backgrounds to offer their vast experience to the participants of the academy.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations
The Berytech team and representatives from UNIDO and UNDP discussed the lessons learned and the next steps for the Lebanon Export Academy, in a learning session held at Berytech – Mar Roukoz.
Berytech’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) team presented their results and learnings based on all the satisfaction surveys and attendance forms from all the sessions given across the batch, while UNIDO representatives presented their results and learnings based on satisfaction surveys sent to the experts who delivered the 11 modules. Moreover, UNDP presented the new e-learning platform that will serve as a tool for trainers to provide and monitor the new modalities of training delivery. Each trainer had the chance to present their feedback on the modules given, sharing their personal experiences and recommendations.
The closing ceremony took part in presence of Mr. Emmanuel Kalenzi UNIDO Representative and Head of Regional Office for Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria, the representative of the embassy of Canada Ms. Alexandra Santillana and Berytech CEO and chairman Mr. Maroun Chammas,. The ceremony marked as well a good representation from the UNDP and UNIDO team, Berytech, trainers and trainees.
The ceremony started with a welcoming note from Chantale Khouriyeh – from Berytech, addressing the importance of the academy within the Lebanese economic crisis.
A short video was played showcasing the scope of work of the Productive Sectors Development Programme (PSDP) which is a joint programme between six UN agencies uniting their efforts to support job retention in the agriculture and agri-food sectors, seeking to provide a fair and safe environment for women and youth working in productive sectors.
In his speech, Maroun Chammas CEO of Berytech addressed the importance of such joint forces, especially in Lebanon where the agri-food sector constitutes the largest industrial sector in terms of employment, thus the importance of enhancing the participation in this productive sector is a major goal for Berytech.
“During these sensitive and difficult times in Lebanon, we at Berytech proudly launched together with UNIDO and UNDP the Lebanon Export Academy, I would like to thank our donors for helping us make the Lebanese Export Academy a success as the first of its kind academy to equip micro small medium enterprises and cooperatives in Lebanon with the needed knowledge and knowhow to scale up their operations and increase the readiness to export,” stated Chammas.
Santillana discussed how the Lebanon Export Academy can help SMEs and agricultural cooperatives led by women and men access to markets and promote export readiness of agri-food products: “In the framework of PSDP, the 21 companies who participated in the Lebanon Export Academy, 80% of which are women-led businesses, were trained by Berytech through a training program that helps through several assistance schemes and courses on improving the capacities of SMEs led by women and men to enhance their export readiness.”
In his turn, Kalenzi explained the importance of reducing poverty through inclusive and sustainable industrial development, that UNIDO works on, and discussed the importance of Lebanon Export Academy in adopting new practices based on information transfer and developing the needed technical skills that would empower SMEs led by women and men to ensure equal opportunities and the knowhow to export their products and take part of sustainable economic growth.
The SMEs and trainers received certificates for their efforts and contribution to the academy before taking part in a networking session to share knowledge and recommendations and potential collaborations.
About The Lebanon Export Academy
Lebanon Export Academy is the first export training center and online academy dedicated to equipping Lebanese businesses with the needed skills to sustain their operations, enter new markets, and expand globally. The Lebanon Export Academy implemented by UNIDO and UNDP Lebanon in partnership with Berytech is part of the Productive Sectors Development Programme (#PSDP) generously funded by the Government of Canada under the joint UN – Productive Sectors Development Program (PSDP), which aims to support gender-responsive job creation and economic opportunities in the agriculture and agri-food sectors, prioritizing women and female youth in disadvantaged areas.