The Rise of Young Entrepreneurs

Nov 9, 2017

"Dream big, innovate, work hard and have courage" were the words Mrs. Fayza Mehanna, Executive Director at INJAZ Lebanon, addressed the 2017 Company Program participants with. It brings INJAZ Lebanon a great joy to announce that this year, through our Company Program, we succeeded in leaving our fingerprints in the hearts of 68 students from seven schools and three universities across Lebanon, all thanks to our committed volunteer mentors.

Thriving to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, the flagship entrepreneurship program of INJAZ Lebanon; the Company Program, was delivered over a period of four-months. The program culminated in the Young Entrepreneurs Competition (YEC 2017), that took place under the patronage of Banque du Liban (BDL) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) back on September 23, 2017.

After a full YEC day of adrenaline rush, friendly competition, and co-working activities, it was thrilling to announce “Ayadi” team from Saint Joseph School and “Innovating Green Technology” team from the American University of Beirut as the “Best Company Award” winners of the school and the university tracks, respectively.

Other awards were distributed during the YEC. Teams “PineCo” from Maroun Abboud Public School and “Innovating Green Technology” from AUB were selected as Most Innovative Products from YEC school track and university track, respectively. Teams “Ayadi” from Saint Joseph School, and “Find A Nurse” from AUB and LAU were selected as Best Social Impact projects from YEC school track and university track, respectively. And team “The Golden Age” from Balamand School was selected as the Best Team Spirit across both tracks.

Mr. Khaled Bohsali, Director of Foreign Affairs at BDL, commented on the competition saying: “BDL has been thriving to reverse the trend of Lebanon’s university graduates leaving the country to look for jobs elsewhere. We know Lebanon has the human capital and talents required to develop a startup ecosystem and support the growth of the country’s economy, it just lacked the financial support, and here is where we stepped in with the creation of BDL circular 331 in 2013, enabling equity financing in the financial sector (through banks, VCs, accelerators and incubators). Our collaboration with INJAZ Lebanon highlights our commitment to support the success of Lebanon’s youth and the growth of our nation.”

 

        


Team “Ayadi” provides a web platform which facilitates volunteering and community
service.
The platform links volunteers and donors with charities, NGOs, municipalities, and
groups in need of volunteers.

 

     Team “Innovating Green Technology” aims to solve energy problems so we can
     move towards greener and more efficient society. Towards this end, the team
     started with tackling solar water heaters problems through their innovative
     product “PRO-Shield”.
    “Innovating Green Technology” further received $5,000 prize 
     offered by BanqueDu Liban and an incubation support offered by Berytech, all 
     to help the team develop their project and help us achieve a "greener life," as
     the team projects.

Based on the results of YEC 2017, The two teams represented Lebanon and competed against other teams from 13 Arab countries at the INJAZ Al-Arab’s Regional YEC, which took place in Egypt this November 2017. INJAZ Lebanon team's story did not stop here. IGT came back to Lebanon with TWO Awards from the Regional YEC competition. The team won MBC Hope Elevator Pitch Award and Best Product of the Year Award by Pepsi Co. 

A special thank you goes to everyone who made the YEC happen. The YEC was held under the patronage of Banque du Liban (BDL), with the support of our Event Partners; AUB Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, Entreprenergy, and Limitless Lab. Of the other partners of YEC, thank you Band Industries, Beytech, Creed Capital, Diffa Group, FabricAID, Lebanese League for Women in Business | LLWB, PwC's Academy Middle East, RDCL, and Tania Kassis Voice Academy. The Abdallah Lahoud Foundation supported our Company Program at the University level, and Demirdjian Global, Fattal Group and Kurban Group supported our Company Program at the School level. 

Thank you to our esteemed panel of judges: Mr. Khaled Bohsali, Executive Director Foreign Affairs Department at Banque du Liban; Mr. Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy General Manager at Berytech; Mr. Sami El Khouri, Senior Associate at Creed Capital; and Ms. Dania George, Senior Manager at PwC Academy & Board Member of the Lebanese League for Women in Business. 

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