Lebanese Startup Wins World’s Biggest Social Entrepreneurship Competition

FabricAID – Second Hand Clothes Collector & Distributor, lands first place in the finals of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) where 19 finalists were chosen to compete among 550 startups from 60 countries.

The journey of the young, change-seeking startup began in Beirut after winning first-place in the local competition organized by Berytech – GSVC regional partner. Omar Itani – FabricAID co-founder, then travelled to the GSVC world finals held in Milan, Italy on April 12 -13 to pitch along with the 19 finalists chosen from across nine regional competitions bringing home the first prize of 40,000 US dollars.

FabricAID’s mission is offering underprivileged people good quality clothing at affordable prices while helping Lebanon reach zero fabric waste through maximizing the efficiency of second hand clothes collection, sorting and distribution.

FabricAID implements a creative model that optimizes the fabric waste value chain through smart collection, management, need base distribution, innovative clothing bin system and social franchising. During its first year of operation, the startup benefited more than 1700 persons, selling more that 10K items. Beyond the financial prize, FabricAID also received mentoring, international acknowledgement and visibility, and access to an international support network through Berytech.

The level of competitors was really high, like nothing we have seen before in any other competition. We were also one of the smallest countries and youngest startups represented but thankfully we were able to show the true side of Lebanon.” – Omar Itani


The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) & Berytech
The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) was founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business to empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs by providing them with mentoring, exposure, and cash in prizes to transform their ideas into ventures that address the world’s most pressing challenges.

Berytech, the Lebanese ecosystem for entrepreneurs, is one of the current 16 regional partners of the competition. For the last 7 years, Berytech has been organizing the GSVC in Lebanon giving local social entrepreneurs the mentorship, support and visibility needed to grow their startup into an international business.

Success Stories
Some of the success stories emerging from the local GSVC competition include: NARobots who developed a software solution for aerial platforms to prevent oil spills, Carpolo who created a car sharing platform to reduce traffic and pollution, Riego who innovated a smart irrigation system to reduce water waste, and Triple E who designed a smart water and waste water management solution.

The GSVC competition in Lebanon was initiated by USJ and is supported by arcenciel, MakeSense, dot Lebanon, GCN Lebanon, Al Fanar, ELFS.


Who are FabricAID? Watch the Video  

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