Endeavor Lebanon challenges economic climate to catalyze sustainable economic growth

Launched in 2011 with the mission to foster a culture of high-impact entrepreneurship, Endeavor Lebanon marks eight years of growing support for Lebanese scale-ups in an annual fundraising dinner that aims at giving back to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
The 2019 fundraising gala convened officials, business leaders, board members, Endeavor Lebanon Entrepreneurs, mentors, representatives from the private sector and supporters.

In a country where unemployment has reached unprecedented rates and where local scale-ups face numerous challenges including lack of mentors, great exposure to risk, and limited access to smart capital, Endeavor Lebanon has succeeded in riding against the tide, identifying leaders of high – growth businesses and speeding their scale-up journeys by providing them with the skills and tools that enable them not only to generate wealth, but also create jobs and reinvest in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Scale-ups are companies led by high-impact entrepreneurs. These are entrepreneurs who dream big, build and grow innovative successful businesses. In the current economic context, they are the ones who have the capacity to transform the Lebanese economy by generating wealth, and creating jobs. One of our recent studies has shown that these companies generate on average 1.6 times more jobs and revenues than traditional SMEs in the country,” said Endeavor Lebanon’s Managing Director, Christina Chehade. “As they expand locally and internationally, their impact will go far beyond that. They will bring back knowledge and credibility, they will give-back, invest and inspire the youth and future generations of entrepreneurs, multiplying their impact and fueling the entire ecosystem,” she added.

To date, Endeavor Lebanon has supported 40 entrepreneurs, representing 31 Lebanese companies. Crossing borders, their high-impact efforts have managed to generate more than $260M in revenue in 2018, employing more than 2,300 people.

Thanking Endeavor’s supporters, Chehade showed her appreciation to those who give back to the country, extending her gratitude to the dinner’s “main sponsor and Endeavor’s strategic partner Beirut Digital District; and the outstanding Board and team of Endeavor Lebanon.”

In turn, Executive Chairman of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Founder of the Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the American University of Beirut, and active Board Member of Endeavor Jordan, Mr. Said Darwazah, shared with the audience his path, the journey of Hikma Pharmaceuticals and its evolution from a local company into a $2 billion global pharmaceutical business.

During his speech, Mr. Darwazah emphasized on innovation, courage and ambition as catalysts to success, inspiring the attendees and especially all of the aspiring entrepreneurs present at the dinner.