As part of the European Union for Women Empowerment Project in Lebanon (EU4WE, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France), eighteen women-owned/led MSMEs and start-ups are to receive financial grants, following a detailed needs assessment performed by experts in business consultancy.
The selected MSMEs and startups will undergo a journey of tailor-made technical, business, and financial support that varies from covering legal fees, content creation, and marketing expenses, to the costs of platform development, capacity building, and franchise, in addition to machinery, and many other types of expenditures.
The selected companies are fighting as entrepreneurs to survive the current crisis. WEEL will enable them to create more jobs and provide import substitution and export readiness ensuring the injection of hard currency into the Lebanese economy.
The Jury and Selection
The jury included Charlotte Binet and Sonia Sanchez Quintela from Expertise France, Corine Kiame from IM Fndng, and Amira Mourad from Berytech. Asma Zein and Ursula Hage participated as Business Representatives. Roula Abbas represented the EU as an observer to the deliberations of the jury.
The companies were selected for their ability to showcase a strategy and add value to the sector, increase production, exports, and quality of service and fill gaps in the local, regional, or global market with a high emphasis on employment creation, the introduction of new technologies that can improve processes and products along with cost-effectiveness.
KAMKALIMA is an Arabic educational platform for learning and teaching in schools. It inspires teachers and empowers Arabic classrooms with the needed tools, resources, and support to raise a generation of students armed with 21st-century skills. KAMKALIMA is one of the finalists that will be able to increase their revenues and WEEL grant will allow them to increase literacy especially among marginalized communities and reduce schools’ emissions by paperless and digital learning.
Wakilni is an e-commerce fulfilment partner for small to medium e-commerce businesses, providing a wide spectrum of personalized and customized services to support and empower business owners. Wakilni covers e-commerce deliveries for more than 1,900 Lebanese SMEs. The grant will enable them to increase their orders affecting their total sales and revenues while reducing fuel consumption by optimizing the system of centralized hubs per region.
Synkers SAL (Ostaz)
Ostaz is a private tutoring digital platform that offers premium private tutoring services for all school subjects and grades with a special focus on Math, Science, and English. It offers flexibility and accessibility to global subject matter experts, along with affordable and convenient solutions for private tutoring. Ostaz will be able to increase their sales and onboard more tutors which will help create more jobs in one of the most affected sectors in Lebanon after the crisis. On an environmental level, this digital platform helps reduce fuel consumption by converting private tutoring commuting to paperless and digital learning.
Irma & Co runs a central kitchen in Dbayeh and manages restaurant concepts. It also creates and sells homemade high-quality exportable products prepared by Armenian mothers & female farmers. WEEL will allow IRMA & Co to create more jobs for women in Anjar’s rural area, to increase export and import substitution while reinforcing her business model to reduce water waste by relying on gravity conventional irrigation methods.
Bread Basket Square SAL (TAQA)
Bread Basket Square is a wheat-free bakery that started with only bread and now sells square-shaped Arabic Rye Bread and fresh buns and has added a range of salty and sweet items, such as Oat Kaak Thyme and Oat Kaak Sesame to the product list. With the support provided by WEEL, Bread Basket Square aims to maximize sourcing from local farmers and increase export and import substitution while working on zero carbon emissions by 2024.
Agrofitt S.A.L was founded with the main specialization of producing healthy snacks, specifically dehydrated apple chips. Located in the rural district of Jezzine Southern Lebanon, Agrofitt supports 101 apple farmers by buying 4,000 boxes of medium-sized apples which to date helps in creating 30 new job opportunities of which 50% are for women. WEEL will support Agrofitt in maximizing their production chain which will impact the circular economy.
Delta Co. For Industry and Commerce (Delta Group)
Delta Group has been one of the leading Lebanese companies of packaged and branded herbs, spices, and mixed powders. It grew and is still expanding through a very precise vision combining high standards of hygiene, quality, and consistency. With the support of WEEL, Delta Group is working towards creating more jobs and supporting local farmers, using eco-friendly packaging, and increasing export and import substitution.
THE PARK SAL
The Park is an outdoor entertainment space that provides a healthy environment for kids and families to enjoy playing in an environment with friendly play equipment. With the support of WEEL, The Park will be able to hire more than 50 new employees to operate in full capacity after 2 years of closing, while preserving the 16 existing women employees. They are also planning to switch from fuel consumption to a fully green energy supply.
Karoline Lang International SAL
Karoline Lang is born from the juxtaposition of the traditional with the contemporary, blending ready-to-wear with artisanal art and fashion. The Lebanese designer Karine Tawil seeks inspiration from the lines of architecture and different couture techniques to create silhouettes that are tailored yet feminine, and elegant while still being modern. Due to WEEL’s grant, the line’s team will grow and increase export sales by relying on raw materials from local suppliers. Karoline Lang also has a vision of social responsibility and environmental engagement with a focus on upcycling leftovers.
IRC Outsourcing SAL
IRC HR Services is one of the leading regional HR Outsourcing/ PEO & Recruitment in the Middle East, based in Lebanon and serving the MENA region. It is on a mission to create local and international jobs for more than 2,000 Lebanese. With the support of WEEL, IRC will be developing its systems and helping Lebanese employees get hired in more than 14 countries to ensure salaries in foreign currencies. They are also audited and certified by SGS as an environmentally friendly company.
Food Delights SAL
Food Delights was established in 2004 by a group of highly qualified and licensed dietitians who offer professional nutrition counseling. The concept went beyond a mere nutrition center to include a restaurant, different from any other diner in Lebanon, distinguished by its healthy as well as rich menu. Food Delights intends to expand in the market and increase its sales, hire more people to promote healthy food and switch to biodegradable packaging for a green environment.
Ariane Travel et Tourism SARL
Ariane Travel & Tourism offers customized bundles to attract tourists including hotel booking, tickets, car rental, events, and others. The company offers multiple eco-tourism facilities customizable per budget across all Lebanese territories. Ariane Travel & Tourism is considering sustaining the current job positions and outsourcing freelancers to expand the team to promote eco-tourism and green activities and attract more tourists to visit Lebanon and inject foreign currencies into the Lebanese economy.
Digital Prestige S.A.L
Digital Prestige specializes in the end-to-end development of high-impact systems, providing technological solutions to start-ups and companies that are seeking to innovate and need support in developing their ideas. WEEL will enable Digital Prestige to have more jobs in the ICT sector and outsource Lebanese talents ensuring salaries in the hard currency.
STEM LAB SAL (GEEKEXPRESS)
Geek Express is an online learning platform enabling K-12 students with accredited technology skills through private and group coding classes. With the help of Microsoft-certified instructors, students learn how to code video games, apps, and websites, and they get to enhance problem-solving, communication skills, creative thinking, math performance, and job opportunities. With the help of the grant, GEEK EXPRESS will be creating jobs and enhancing digital literacy among youth.
Established in Baalbek in 2020, GARBALISER specializes in transforming organic waste (vegetable remains & animal manure) into liquid organic fertilizers. Designed to improve crop quality and yield while being environmentally safe, their products are formulated and produced in their production line under the supervision of professional experts, using natural aerobic and anaerobic fermentation processes. With the help of WEEL, Garbaliser will be able to invest in their R&D and have their mini lab aiming to offer farmers safer and more effective fertilizing solutions while promoting eco-friendly practices and import substitution.
Wall Creations SAL
Wall Creation provides a large selection of printed wallpapers, peel-and-stick vinyl, wall decals, wall art, frames, mirrors, moldings, wood and metal accessories for your home. WEEL will allow Wall Creations to be export ready which will minimize the import.
Modeo (RE S.A.R.L.)
Modeo is a sustainable solution of modular furniture that allows the creation of custom designs while ensuring their modification and movement at the customers’ convenience. Based on a mobile app, Modeo helps clients customize, view in augmented reality, and order the parts. With the support of WEEL, the company will be increasing its capacity and allowing the model to be self-sustainable by investing in a greener operation.
Ground Vertical Farming SAL
Ground is a simple innovative system designed for greenhouses and agricultural firms as well as residential hobbyists of all ages. It can be designed for educational purposes and for home greenery production or for big industrial corporations. WEEL will enable them to contribute to the environment by maximizing the farming space and water waste and they will also be supporting farmers in an innovative platform.
Some of the beneficiaries of WEEL at their premises: