Posted on January 10, 2020
As social entrepreneurship is critical in building a better socio-economic environment in the country, Berytech’s Impact Rise social innovation program plays a crucial part in putting ambitious startups, devoted experts and support partners on the road to growing sustainable and successful social ventures.
Berytech has chosen 16 teams to join the startup scaling track, one of the three tracks of the Impact Rise program designed and managed by Berytech and funded by the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).
The selected entrepreneurs will get the chance to grow their startups by developing their business skill sets, boosting their operations and sales, accessing new markets, getting up to $9.5K in support vouchers, meeting with impact investors, and connecting with local and international support networks in the 2-year program period.
The 33 shortlisted startups of the original 118 who applied to program pitched their innovative and impactful solutions to jury sets composed of Ramy Boujawdeh – Deputy GM of Berytech; Maya Barhouche – Grants Program Manager at the U.S. Embassy of Beirut; Dina Harake – Executive Director of GCNL; Joanna Abi Abdallah – Business Support Manager at Berytech; Nadine Asmar – trainer at IES; Elie Akhrass – Director of the Asher Center for Innovation at USEK; Krystel Khalil – Projects Director at Berytech; Alain Daou – Assistant Professor at AUB; and Corine Kiame – Investment manager at IM Capital.
The 16 finalists were chosen based on the startup’s business and innovation potential, business model, scalability, team compatibility, and the social and environmental impact.
3QA is a regional social enterprise that offers organizations support through its programs and services that focus on holistic organizational management and excellence in governance. All the programs are based on a well-renowned British Quality Mark offered in partnership with the NCVO (the National Council for Voluntary Organizations), the leading agency in the UK providing quality assurance to 3rd entities.
La Brocante – under arcenciel NGO, collects used furniture and appliances donated by households, restores, up-cycles and sells them at reasonable prices in Damour. By giving a new life to used furniture through antiquing, the new objects are then sold, therefore generating revenues for arcenciel’s social and environmental causes and sustainability.
Cezar’s project is a rural development project oriented towards promoting sustainable and responsible tourism in the Shouf area through providing ecotourism services. It consists of guesthouses and farmhouses with an organic farm. The project provides guests with an authentic experience and the chance to explore the beauty and culture of the Shouf region through green packages. It also activates the participation of the local community, and builds effective partnerships with schools, universities and NGOs through awareness workshops and activities to ensure the involvement of youth and locals in rural development.
Compost Baladi is a social enterprise that develops treatment systems for organic waste management through composting on different scales and for different entities. Compost Baladi composting system is perfectly tailored for residences, educational institutions or businesses to perform and achieve their urban organic waste management needs with minimal effort.
Drawwit aims to promote culture awareness throughout the illustrations of talented designers. It is an e-platform mainly designed to open doors for graphic designers to sell their unique digital illustrations inspired by any country’s culture.
FabricAID is a Lebanese social enterprise that enables underprivileged people to get decent clothing at affordable prices, while reducing fabric waste. FabricAID collects clothes either from partnering NGOs or through their smart clothing collection bins. Collected clothes appropriate for reuse are sorted into over 50 categories to be sold either through one of FabricAID’s own permanent shops located in very underprivileged and remote areas for prices ranging between $0.3 and $2.0 per item.
Find A Nurse
Find A Nurse helps families find, hire and manage trusted home care providers to take care of their infants, disabled or elderly at home. The online platform (findanurse.net) aims to help browse nearby caregivers’ profiles, filter and sort them based on proximity and fees, and check their photos, availabilities, qualifications, locations, and biographies.
E-Froz is a community-based, two-sided online platform that facilitates the process of making and tracking environmental impact. It enables local responsible businesses and establishments to list their products and services and increase their activity (sales). It also engages citizens to easily access affordable eco solutions. The online platform provides an interactive eco-directory comprised of ethical businesses, NGOs, recycling facilities and establishments that tackle waste management on various scales in addition to a ticketing section for eco-conscious events and initiatives.
Green Track is a social enterprise for a sustainable waste management system, that aims to solve the waste crisis in Lebanon through the sorting at source and recycling projects lead by Green Women Team.
KwikPak Shelter is a ready-to-deploy emergency housing unit for refugees, vulnerable people forced to migrate, and communities caught in natural disaster zones who are no longer able to cope or meet their basic shelter needs for survival. The shelter concept relies on a foldable and logistics-friendly system, for quick mobilization and rapid emergency response; it also helps in lowering the costs of transportation and deployment. The shelter is Sphere standard-compliant and utilizes materials for all weather conditions.
Live Love Recycle
Live Love Recycle is a mobile application that connects people keen to sort their waste and to recycle, as there is no public waste management in Beirut, and no affordable recyclable collection services. With just one click a driver on an e-bike will reach the destination within 30 minutes. Trained personnel will come retrieve the bag of recyclable waste and swiftly deliver it back to the closest appropriate facility. The whole process is free and can be arranged with just a few taps on the user’s phone screen.
Nooreed is a social enterprise launched in 2017 to help students across the MENA region become successful and productive members of their communities. Nooreed introduced career guidance to over 100 private and public schools over the past 2 years and reached over 100,000 high-school and university students.
Skaniks is a localized interactive information system for travelers and city goers. Fixed pods will be placed throughout a city’s landmarks and walkways to present information about these landmarks and famous people that lived here (writers, philosophers, etc.) or events that took place there. These pods will be linked through a QR code system to an online portal where more information will be presented to the viewer via text or video or 3D holograms.
Teabah is a new Lebanese tea product in the market planted and cultivated in Lebanon. The plan is to engage farmers and unemployed women in the rural area of Shouf in the production process of it.
The Volunteer Circle
The Volunteer Circle is a social enterprise and a bold step towards personalizing the volunteer experience in Lebanon. It is a skill-sharing platform that covers all areas of Lebanon, and eventually the MENA region, and matches individuals’ skills and time, to the cause that needs them the most as per their interests, location, and type of impact that they are seeking.
Zima is a software that enables Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to manage their bandwidth, users’ subscription, and billing without the need for servers. This allows rural and underprivileged communities to access low cost internet.
The 16 selected startups will go through an intensive 4-day business bootcamp in January 2020 powered by INSEAD and led by international experts from IES Business School.
The social startups will then go through 9 months scale-up acceleration tailored support to grow their marketing and sales activities.
Berytech will select 7 social startups who will then proceed with the program and benefit from a follow up 8 months growth support phase from October 2020 to May 2021 to scale further their ventures and access new markets.
Read more about the Impact Rise Social Innovation Program here.