2017 LIFE and Endeavor Lebanon Global Business Summit

10 Jan 2018

For the fourth consecutive year, Endeavor Lebanon and Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) hosted their annual Global Business Summit in Beirut. The Summit brought together more than 400 local businesspeople, entrepreneurs and members of the Lebanese diaspora to network and explore various trends and topics.
This year, the Global Business Summit reviewed developments and trends in social entrepreneurship, innovation in the educational sphere in Lebanon, as well as Lebanese success stories from around the globe. Discussions also revolved around the support of local family businesses to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The President of the Council of Ministers H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri stated: "Lebanon is a great market to invest in right now and we are developing a Capital Investment Project (CIP), working in collaboration with the World Bank and the IMF, to adhere to international standards and safeguard investments. The CIP will attract various investments for different industries, and encourage Public Private Partnerships (PPP). We also want to develop and channel our efforts into areas that will actually bring about change, creating incentives and subsidies for companies and entrepreneurs alike," he stated. Adding that the government's focus is to identify and invest in areas that will aid in Lebanon's economic growth, such as the medical sector, as well as technology, a sector that is founded on an advanced Lebanese entrepreneurial spirit.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Lebanon, H.E. Mr. Riad Salamé also addressed the audience, stating: "It is our duty to stimulate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon in order to eventually reverse brain drain, create opportunities and jobs to bridge the unemployment gap and contribute to economic prosperity. When Banque Du Liban (BDL) issued Circular 331, the purpose was to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the startup ecosystem, in order to foster a knowledge-based economy. Our mission remains to support the thriving entrepreneurial scene in Lebanon, placing the country and its people on the world map."
The Global Business Summit seeks to connect businesspeople and Lebanese diaspora members with local stakeholders, and identify opportunities where the diaspora can support and fund entrepreneurial ventures coming out of Lebanon.
Commenting on the current climate, Adel Afiouni, LIFE Board Member, stated: “The Lebanese economy has always been driven by private enterprises and private initiatives. The Lebanese diaspora boasts a unique pool of talent, experience, capital and relationships around the world. The objective of the Summit, and our mission at LIFE, is to mobilize Lebanese diaspora members and help them identify and explore business and investment opportunities in Lebanon by connecting them with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Increasing Direct Diaspora Investments (DDI) should be a key priority for our country in order to stimulate economic growth and business and job creation in Lebanon.”
Christina Chehade, newly appointed Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon, shed light on the challenges that entrepreneurs across the country and region face, including access to capital, sourcing the right talent and access to markets: “Entrepreneurs need support to tackle these challenges. Our mission is to bridge the gap between them and the diaspora to overcome these obstacles and transform our country’s economy; more success stories will arise, more jobs will be created, reversing brain drain and supporting dynamic minds to achieve more.”

The Global Business Summit’s attendees also watched a series of live pitches by entrepreneurs based in Lebanon.
The Summit reinforces Endeavor Lebanon’s and LIFE’s goal of bringing together Lebanese entrepreneurs and investors, and connecting the local business community with the Lebanese diaspora, in an effort to enhance business opportunities for Lebanese people across the globe. The combined widespread network, by virtue of Endeavor’s presence in 27 countries and LIFE’s 10 international chapters, links Lebanon to every corner of the world. The Summit was sponsored by Bank Audi, Banque Libano-Française (BLF), and Med Investment Bank (MIB).

For the full press coverage, please click here
For the youtube playlist with the sequential videos, please click here