Why be an entrepreneur in Lebanon ?

The Lebanese have a very well developed entrepreneurial culture, and they are known in Africa, the United States, Europe, Latin America and of course Lebanon for their entrepreneurial initiative. There are a number of reasons to start a business in Lebanon:

- A need for independence self-employment, wealth creation, creativity and technological development all fuel the boom in entrepreneurship.

- Lebanese people have a good instinct for transforming risks into opportunities.

- Human capital is the country’s primary added value.

- With literacy above 90% and a post-secondary enrolment rate of 54%, young Lebanese university graduates form a competitive talent pool from which to draw.

- Lebanese entrepreneurs are ambitious, tireless and energetic and invest fully in their projects.

- The country’s free market economy, sophisticated banking system and available qualified labour force are valuable motivators, further reinforced by the existence of real opportunities on the Lebanese market.

- The privatization of certain public companies and the need to modernize others has opened up a broad range of business opportunities.

- Considerable investment opportunities are also appearing in respect of the development of the oil and gas discovered in the country’s regional waters.

- Moderate tax levels, an expanding infrastructure, favourable terms for investors and a lack of restrictions on moving capital over Lebanese borders: starting new business in Lebanon is certainly a very appealing prospect!

- According to a World Bank report released in 2012, founding a company in Lebanon entails an average of five steps that take nine days to complete, compared with an average of 8.2 steps spread over 20.9 days for the Middle East & North Africa region.

Examples of success stories:

- Salim Eddé (Murex)

- Elie Khoury (DerManDar)

- Bassam Jalgha and Hassane Salibi (Band Industries)

- Ziad Sankari and Layla el-Zein (CardioDiagnostics)

- Sara Hélou and Paul Saber (eTobb), and Mario Hachem and Naji Bouhabib (Apss2You)

- Rand Hindi, named French innovator of the year by the MIT Technology Review 

- Tony Fadell and his start-up Nest Labs (Google is preparing to spend exactly $3.2 billion to acquire this start-up, its second most costly acquisition after the buyout of Motorola)

- Just 20 to 33 years old, the founders of Lebtivity, Sociatag and eTobb, three Lebanese start-ups

- Lebtivity.com, a single platform for all the cultural, musical, sporting and culinary events being organized in Lebanon

- Sociatag, “a bridge between digital market and events coordination”

- eTobb, a medical site that connects patients and doctors

- Cinemoz.com and AltCity.me

- Ramzi Jalbout, who revisited and modernized a local snack, christening his company Krock’s

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