A number of organizations have adjusted their orientations to support start-ups. These include (but are not limited to): banks, incubators, accelerators and business development agencies:
- The Lebanese Central Bank has $400 million to invest in start-ups, accelerators and other business incubators, which can be a tremendous opportunity for economic growth and job creation. This is why the Central Bank decided to support entrepreneurs through its “Circular 331”.
These companies must be Lebanese and must operate in Lebanon, the goal being to reflate the economy and create jobs. The Central Bank has provided 75% of the sum of US$400 million to Lebanese commercial banks to invest in start-ups, accelerators and incubators.
- Berytech: an incubator for start-ups and innovative companies. Berytech’s mission is to provide incubation opportunities, support and hosting to as many project holders and active, growing companies as possible, in the fields of technology, multimedia and healthcare.
- Bader: To fight unemployment and emigration among Lebanese youth, Bader provides support to start-ups.
- Seeqnce, AltCity and Wamda: start-up accelerators.
- Kafalat: a financing, development and creation tool in the Lebanese financial landscape. It targets innovative start-ups and SMEs operating in a number of economic sectors: industry, agriculture, tourism, high-technology and artisan crafts. The loans underwritten by Kafalat offer subsidized interest, funded by the Lebanese Treasury and administrated by the Central Bank.
- Servcorp: With the aim of allowing companies to focus their time and resources on their actual business, Servcorp’s premises offer access to furnished offices and fully equipped conference rooms, reducing its client companies’ financial risk and enhancing their flexibility.
- Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), Berytech and BLC Bank offer support for start-up companies.
- Female Francophone Entrepreneur of Lebanon: the project selected for this award receives start-up support from the incubator Berytech.
- AFD: The French Development Agency supports job creation, competitiveness and the emergence of start-ups through its subsidiary PROPARCO which is dedicated to the private sector. Its priority sectors are healthcare, education and vocational training, agriculture and food safety, sustainable development and the climate, and support for growth.
In the Mediterranean and the Middle East, AFD works to boost employment and reduce social and geographic inequalities.
AFD is active in aid for start-ups and innovation through its actions in favour of the business incubator Berytech and Saint Joseph University’s healthcare technology research centre, Pôle Technologie Santé.
- The Research Institute for Development (IRD): a public French establishment specializing in research on economic and social cooperation with developing countries, the IRD has launched a procedure to register for its Programme to Aid the Creation of Innovative Enterprises in the Mediterranean (PACEIM). That programme aims to enable students originally from four Mediterranean countries (Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia) and with French degrees to create technological or innovative companies in their home countries under an agreement with local incubators.
- The $6.4 million Mobile Internet Ecosystem Project approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors will strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship in the Lebanese mobile Internet ecosystem. Beneficiaries include software developers, university students and graduates, and information and communication technology (ICT) firms. The project will also target industries where new software applications can improve productivity, and mobile users at large.