“Bader” Young Entrepreneurs Program President, MP Robert Fadel, stressed on the need for a “national vision to promote economic growth and competitiveness by providing the necessary facilities to SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurships, especially in the creative fields where growth opportunities are greater”. Fadel added: "We encourage young people to stay in Lebanon to start their businesses, and support is therefore needed to help the youth carry out their projects. We believe this will lead to developing the society and turning its creative potential into further productivity for Lebanon”.
Fadel delivered his speech during a ceremony that he held along with the chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan-Arab region, Mrs. Hala Fadel at the gardens of “Villa Sursock” in Ashrafieh, in celebration of BADER Young Entrepreneurs Program’s 8 years of success, where eight entrepreneurs supported by the two NGOs were honored. Fadel expressed a great pride in the role played by “Bader” in paving the way of success for the winners, promising that it will “continue to work on spreading the business culture, and providing all the components of initiative and entrepreneurship among youth.” He also congratulated the winners considering that the efforts deployed by “Bader” can only reach the aspired goal if “combined with a planning on the governmental level, and coupled with a comprehensive national vision aimed at stimulating the economic development.”
The honoring list included Ramzi Jalbout, for his project Krocks, Rana Chmaytelli for Little Engineer, Raja Moawad for his project Ovis, Hind Hobeika for Instabeat, Youssef Fares for Olivetrade, Souad Merhbi for GamaBox, Elie Chaaba for Edulab, Maya Nohra, winner of Bader scholarship and Soraya Umewaka for her documentary Boukra menchouf (Tomorrow we’ll see).
Fadel showcased Bader’s achievements for the past eight years, in financing, education, training and counseling or through business plans workshops gathwring more than 350 entrepreneurs in 2012. Bader also created the first SME Clinics in Lebanon, Bader Entrepreneurs’ Clinic, which provides since 2008 free expert advice for entrepreneurs on various topics and has granted scholarships worth over 200 thousand dollars to young people who wish to specialize in the field of entrepreneurship. He also highlighted Bader’s partnership with Deutsche Bank Middle East to organize the Deutsche Bank Awards in Lebanon, and with the Netherlands Embassy in Lebanon to hold the Netherlands Game Award competition, both falling within Bader’s education initiatives. Finally, Fadel stressed on the importance of Bader’s partnership with business incubators and accelerators and competitions.
From her side, the chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan-Arab region said “The MIT Forum has been organizing for the past eight years business plan competitions across the Arab region. We have four thousand applications every year from 17 Arab countries, 30% of which are Lebanese. We are proud that Lebanese won the first prize of 50 thousand dollars three times out of six competitions organized until today, proving once again the entrepreneurial and creative mind of the Lebanese people, which we are striving to encourage and support”.
It is worth noting that in 2010, Bader became the partner institute of the World Economic Forum thus allowing Lebanon to be ranked for the first time in the WEF Global Competitiveness Ranking. This year, Bader, and for the fourth consecutive year, conducts the annual Executive Opinion Survey (EOS), used as a basis for Lebanon's ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report.
Moreover, Bader launched in 2008 the Building Block Equity Fund, one of the first funds in Lebanon with a value of more than 10 million USD, and the Lebanese Business Angels in 2010, with three investments in Lebanon since January 2010.
Today, Bader takes pride in expanding its support to entrepreneurs throughout the few coming years by opening the door wide to membership (the number is limited today to forty members) in order to increase the revenues of the association and widen the scope of its support, thus reaching the business community. This would definitely draw in a new generation of entrepreneurs who would take in charge the management of “Bader” as well as its support, development and expansion.
It is worth mentioning that “Bader” was founded in 2005 amidst rough circumstances, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship in Lebanon through providing the necessary support for young Lebanese entrepreneurs and encouraging them to stay in their country to start their own businesses and projects; It also works on providing them with the relevant training, awareness, financing, and job opportunities. Almost forty entrepreneurs took in charge this initiative, among whom MP Robert Fadel, Founder and President of the Association. “Bader” has established a comprehensive network of programs enabling it to cope with the entrepreneur and provide him with the assistance at any stage of his project in order to encourage projects’ launching and development.