You might be the most passionate and driven person in Lebanon. You might even have the next big thing: an innovative and scalable business idea that will take the region and the world by storm. You’ve got what it takes but no matter where you are in your business planning, at some point, you’re going to need money to make it happen.
This is where most people decide that starting their own business isn’t a good idea, especially in Lebanon. This is a huge misconception.
There is money in Lebanon for startups, but like the business plan, the search for the right investment opportunities should be studied carefully. Once your idea or early-stage startup is carefully thought-out, you’ll need to find the right investor for you.
Here are 6 ways you can get the funds you need to startup your own business. Yes, 16. Right here in Lebanon.
Banque du Liban invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Lebanon. They disperse the funds into education, directly to entrepreneurs and to accelerators who fund projects. Here are the top funding accelerators in Lebanon:
Seed stage: $30,000 - $50,000 for variable equity
Idea-stage: $100,000 - $500,000
Flat6Labs is in Cairo, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and has recently launched in Beirut. Their track record is impressive – 100+ companies, 50% have gotten investor funding, 700+ jobs created and if that’s not enough, when you apply to their seed stage program, you get between 30-50k to get on your feet. Startups continue in a 16-week, mentorship-driven program to prepare for outside investment.
Idea & Early Stage funding: $30,000 for 10% equity
Speed@BDD accepts applications for startups at the idea and early stage mostly in software, digital and Web/mobile industries. Along with in-kind services like office space and mentorship, the 20 startups they accept receive 30k and commit into their 3-month acceleration program. Top teams receive follow-on immersion into Silicon Valley.
Idea & Seed Stage funding: $20,000
This is Lebanon’s first social impact accelerator. If you have an idea for a business or NGO that gives back to the community, this is for you, and you need to apply.
Sectors include (but are not limited to):
Healthcare & Nutrition
High Quality Education
Clean Water, Sanitation, Environment
Protection from exploitation, abuse or violence
Basic Protection: Warmth and Financial Stability
Life & Social Skills: Happiness
Idea & Early Stage funding: $40,000
Lebanon’s first and only Agri-Food Innovation Hub, a program jointly funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands and Berytech. It focuses on Agri-tech, this means if you have an idea around the Agriculture sector and your idea includes technology either in its implementation and sustainability or at its core, this is the fund for you. It’s literally made for you.
There are many types of investors, sometimes Angel Investors and sometimes, part of venture capital firms. When you look for an investor, be prepared with your business plan, but also, do your homework about the investors themselves. You can start here: