NNA - The first annual EcoSwitch Festival for green Entrepreneurs in Lebanon was successfully organized by the EcoSwitch Coalition with two online afternoon programs followed by a physical gathering of eco-entrepreneurs and Business Support Organisations at the Beirut Digital District in Beirut. We welcomed over 65 online participants and 80 people at the networking event!
The festival consisted in a World Café with the Coalitions’ partners, knowledge-sharing discussions, expert panel sessions, speed dating and networking activities. One of the highlights of the event was the inspirational talks from four successful Lebanese green entrepreneurs: Batoul Hakim from Savvy Element, Marc Aoun from Compost Baladi, Vanessa Zuabi from Mint Basil, and Ralph Sbeih from Plastc Lab. Furthermore, four animated discussion panels with moderators, experts and eco-entrepreneurs ran on the topics of: Local Sourcing & Local Manufacturing; Export & Access to International Markets; Pricing Products in Times of Crisis; Access to Investment: Current Outlook - Donors & Investors; with the aim of enabling start-ups to take informed decisions given the current local climate. The Festival’s Agenda is available at: https://ecoswitchcoalition.creation.camp/ecoswitch-festival/
The EcoSwitch Coalition is a partnership of well-established institutions, NGOs and businesses that has been created in 2020 to strengthen the support to eco-entrepreneurs in Lebanon, extend and multiply their positive impact through targeted assistance. This partnership is supported by the Asfari Foundation and enabled through SwitchMed, a programme funded by the European Union covering 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean, which aim is to accelerate the transition towards social innovation and green circular entrepreneurship in the region.
The Coalition currently encompasses 17 Partners, all providing different types of support to entrepreneurs in general, and some more specifically to green entrepreneurs: BDD, Berytech, Beyond Group, Bloom, cewas, Circular Hub, changelabs, EcoConsulting, Fondation Diane (implementing partner of SwitchMed in Lebanon), Injaz Lebanon, LAU Innovation Center, make_sense, Proquale, SmartESA, Nucleus ventures, Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club, and Waterlution.
The aim is to offer eco-entrepreneurs knowledge sharing events, capacity building activities, access to expertise and technical support, and other assistance through events like the Festival and Entrepreneurship Labs. Another important objective is to help building a community of like-minded people, with space for networking and collaboration between local sustainable enterprises.