USAID and Berytech Celebrate Launch of LED Project

ArabNet Team
Jun 27 2018
USAID and Berytech Celebrate Launch of LED Project
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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated yesterday the launch of the Lebanon Enterprise Development (LED) project, a business promotion partnership with Berytech to provide business development services in Beirut, Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, and the Bekaa. The launch event took place in Beirut with USAID Mission Director Dr. Anne Patterson, Berytech Chair and CEO Maroun Chammas, as well as Lebanese businesses, associations, unions, and project stakeholders.

The LED is a 3 year project funded by the USAID with the goal of increasing employment opportunities for Lebanese citizens. Through LED’s activities and impact, USAID aims to advance socioeconomic development, empower youth and women, and spur economic growth and stability.

Project Duration
Base Period: October 2017 – September 2020

Project Budget
$14M over 3 years (including possible option period of $24.3M over 5 years)

Project Partners
BIAT, Berytech Foundation, business associations, syndicates, and chambers of commerce, business consultants and consulting firms, other business service providers, other development partner projects/programs, and others

Project Offices
Central Office: Beirut
Regional Offices: Beirut/Mount Lebanon (operated by Berytech), North Lebanon (operated by BIAT), South Lebanon (operated by Berytech), Bekaa (operated by Berytech).

The objectives of the project include:

- Creating jobs by increasing the competiveness and enhancing the growth of Lebanese client firms
- Improving Lebanon’s business enabling environment
- Communicating results and sharing project knowledge with the public and private sectors

LED will apply a problem-solving buyer-led approach to help Lebanese SMEs increase their sales and hire more Lebanese citizens. The project will prioritize support for businesses that produce goods and services for a known buyer or market and will assist selected enterprises to:

- Identify specific buyer/s and understand their requirements
- Diagnose the key enterprise-level constraints that hinder the signing of sales contracts with the buyer/s, and
- Address these constraints using tailored solutions

Over time, LED will also prioritize selected business enabling environment problems and work with the private sector to analyze these issues and propose the needed solutions.

Last month, LED signed a partnership with the Business Incubation Association in Tripoli (BIAT) to introduce business development activities in North Lebanon where the project will support businesses of all sizes from a wide range of sectors, including:  agro-food; tourism and hospitality; pharmaceutical/medical; information and communications technology; fashion/garments; and, manufacturing.  LED works with stakeholders and partners to identify, analyze, and propose solutions to problems affecting the business enabling environment.

“Lebanon’s small- and medium-sized enterprises, together with the capability and entrepreneurial spirit of its people, have the ability to grow this economy and generate more jobs--often with just a little push or a helping hand to achieve more.  USAID’s partnership with the private sector has gone a long way to supporting resilience, enhancing growth, and expanding opportunities for the Lebanese,” said Dr. Patterson during the event.

Maroun Chammas, Chair and CEO of Berytech, expressed “I am delighted at participating in the launch of an entrepreneurship initiative that reaffirms our commitment to Lebanon’s stability and economic growth.”  He continued that, “Berytech was chosen as the Business Promotion Partner for three regions, and we couldn’t be happier to be part of such a great undertaking for Lebanon with the generous funding of USAID.  Our shared objectives with LED include, above all, preventing brain drain from Lebanon by supporting job creation.