Chila El Bourgi
Talent Management Specialist
The “Crisis Management for Women-Led Businesses” program supports the economic mobility of women in Lebanon, helping them to grow sustainable businesses that are market-oriented, profitable, scalable, and which will facilitate job creation or maintain existing jobs. This Program is produced as part of the Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF).
Recognizing the importance of closing economic gender gaps, the Government of Lebanon and the World Bank Group have therefore launched the Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF) in 2019 in collaboration with the Governments of Iraq and Jordan and with support from Canada and Norway. The MGF aims support government-led efforts, country level priorities and strategic regional activities that address constraints to and improve women’s access to economic opportunities.
Under this initiative, the World Bank Group has partnered with Berytech and the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) to provide capacity building in times of crisis for women who want to grow their businesses and enhance their business model, marketing, financing, and networking opportunities, as well as learn how to be resilient in the face of crisis. A key component to be addressed will be on identifying links with financial institutions and programs and identify sources of funding. Berytech and LLWB will provide customized trainings in addition to mentorship sessions to participating trainers and women-led businesses.
80 business advisors will be selected and trained on crisis management so that they can support the women-led businesses admitted to the program.
160 women-led businesses will be selected and supported to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis in Lebanon and COVID19 on their businesses, as well as the impact of the Beirut explosion.
This Program is part of the Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF). This 5-year Facility (2019-2024) provides technical assistance to Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon to enhance women’s economic empowerment and opportunities as a catalyst towards more inclusive, sustainable, and peaceful societies, where economic growth benefits all. Working with the private sector, civil society organizations and development partners, the MGF supports government-led efforts, country level priorities and strategic regional activities that: (i) Strengthen the enabling environment for women’s economic participation; and, (ii) Improve women’s access to economic opportunities.
The Mashreq Gender Facility is a World Bank – IFC initiative in collaboration with the governments of Canada and Norway. It is mainly supported by the Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE) with contributions from the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The objective of the program is to provide women business owners with the needed understanding of the crisis mechanism and the required tools and frameworks to understand the crisis impact on their business, and to help them develop adequate mitigation plans to navigate the repercussions of the current crises and ensure sustained operations.
The program is aimed at trainers who will in turn deliver gender-sensitive trainings to women business owners in Lebanon. Eighty (80) representatives of institutions that support women entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in these sessions.
The first series of workshops will target advisors who will attend a one-day training-of-trainer (ToT) on ‘Supporting women-led businesses in times of crisis.’ After attending the training day, advisors will receive six coaching sessions to support them in their activities with women-led businesses.
There will be a full-day training session in each of the following Lebanese areas: one in Beirut, one in Beqaa, one in North Lebanon, and one in South and Chouf. The session will teach the trainers how to help the women address the new challenges that emerged because of the recent economic crisis in Lebanon and COVID-19, as well as the impact of the Beirut explosion. Topics to be discussed will revolve around the considerations of women’s challenges in the business world, and the implementation of a crisis management framework.
After attending the training day, advisors will receive six (6) coaching sessions. The sessions will consist of a one-hour meetings to discuss challenges encountered by the advisors while coaching the women-led businesses.
Applicants who wish to participate in the training of trainer program need to fit the following criteria:
The second series of trainings will target women business owners and women with a leading managerial role in their business. They will learn tools to mitigate the economic crisis impact in Lebanon and the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on their businesses, as well as the impact of the Beirut explosion.
The program is aimed at women business owners based in four main regions in Lebanon, Beirut, Beqaa, North Lebanon, South and Chouf.
One hundred and sixty (160) women entrepreneurs will be invited to participate in the sessions. Issues discussed will revolve around leadership in times of crisis, crisis management framework for SMEs, review of the business model, human resources considerations, and if needed, business skills and cash flow and financing.
After their training, the businesswomen will be matched with the advisors trained under the program.
There will be 2-day sessions on ‘Implementing a crisis management framework to support your business’ which will teach the women how to address the new challenges that emerged because of the recent economic crisis in Lebanon and COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the impact of the Beirut explosion. The 2-day sessions are scheduled in each of the following Lebanese areas: one in Beirut, one in Beqaa, one in North Lebanon, and one in South and Chouf.
After their crisis management training sessions, the businesswomen will be matched with the advisors trained under the program, who will in turn continue in the support.
Applicants who wish to participate in the program, need to fit the following criteria:
The Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) is a non-profit association founded in 2006 to support women in business and women entrepreneurs. LLWB achieves its mission by providing women with a platform for networking, access to funding, skills development, and mentorship. LLWB has a membership base of 350 women and men, including business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals, and students. The association operates in the areas of Beirut, Mount Lebanon, Beqaa, and North Lebanon. LLWB is working on multiple fronts supporting businesses affected by the ongoing economic crisis as well as by the COVID-19 pandemic. For this purpose, LLWB devised a task force explicitly dedicated to assessing the needs of members during the current situation and design and implement activities tailored for addressing identified needs and challenges.
Eedama is a social enterprise that was formed in 2015 in the UAE as an independent training and consultancy agency to support companies, schools, universities and communities in their sustainability initiatives. Eedama has been developing innovative training material and delivering trainings for both trainers and end-beneficiaries in Lebanon and the UAE. One of its important sectors of activities in the recent years has been socially and environmentally responsible entrepreneurship, working with incubators and business support organizations. Eedama has developed interactive and adapted training content for responsible and sustainable businesses, and its CEO has been mentor for tens of young startups.
Berytech is an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, providing a dynamic environment for the creation and development of startups and SMEs, fostering innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Lebanon. Since 2002, Berytech has housed more than 350 entities, assisted more than 3,800 entrepreneurs, helped create more than 2,700 job opportunities, granted more than $2.0M to startups, raised $26.5M in funds to manage programs, and has been investing more than $70M in Lebanese technology companies. Berytech has been certified by international organizations and has international memberships offering entrepreneurs in the Lebanese community access to global support networks. Berytech manages 12 programs, under different sectors including Agri-Food Innovation, Clean Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, Women Empowerment, and SME Development.
Meet the Berytech team members in charge of the program.
As a member of the Global Compact Network Lebanon, Berytech enacts the 10 principles of the UNGC and this program falls under Berytech’s mission to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.