The Second Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit - 2015

10 Feb 2016

At the second Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit on December 22, 2015 in Beirut, key members of the Lebanese diaspora came together to discuss ways in which they can provide crucial support for Lebanese entrepreneurs.

Entitled: ‘Building Bridges: Connecting Lebanese Entrepreneurs with the Business Diaspora,’ the Summit was organised by LIFE and Endeavor Lebanon. It brought local entrepreneurs together with expatriate Lebanese investors, business executives and global investors from the world's major financial centres of New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore and Dubai. It also raised awareness among the members of the Lebanese diaspora about success stories in Lebanon, promising start-ups and SMEs. Three hundred people attended the event, comprising a mix of local stakeholders (entrepreneurs and funds) and members of the diaspora.

Launched in December 2014, the Summit forms part of LIFE’s Invest in Lebanon Initiative, which aims to bridge the gap between the Lebanese business and finance community abroad and the local Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The aim is to complement the Banque du Liban (BDL) effort in their circular 331 by bringing in other stakeholders to support the economy,” Adel Afiouni said. “We will work with Endeavor throughout the year to continue connecting entrepreneurs and members of the diaspora. We have now launched the "Invest in Lebanon initiative and created a steering committee comprising highly experienced professionals with a diverse set of expertise who will work together towards the next steps for making it a permanent effort.”

“The Summit has become the annual forum for expatriates and entrepreneurs to meet and do business together. We plan to replicate the event in various major cities around the world.”

We hope to build a virtual market place where local entrepreneurs and international diaspora members can interact, exchange information and transact. We believe a dedicated business portal for diaspora members looking to do business in Lebanon will be a key catalyst for investments and business partnerships.

At LIFE, we also aim to encourage the creation of investment vehicles targeted at diaspora members, offering them access to investment opportunities in Lebanon in a diversified and structured manner. The emergence of a funds industry in Lebanon has already started and the creation of institutional investment vehicles is a major step towards increasing capital inflow from the diaspora.