Economic Development

Indirect Economic Impacts

We sustained our support to the Association for the Development of Rural Capacities (ADR) by contributing to its programs of microfinance loans extended to the underprivileged at significantly reduced interest rates. ADR is a Lebanese non-profit organisation established in 1998 with a mission to empower and integrate marginalised people through sustainable economic and social development by facilitating access to financial training, tools and services, and by supporting income-generating projects. Beneficiaries are fishermen, farmers, small entrepreneurs, women and the youth from the most impoverished areas in Lebanon.

In 2016, our program outreach was at 37% for women entrepreneurs, with 193 beneficiaries who received loans for an amount of USD 429,552, and 49% of our total borrowers aged between 18 to 35 years old and who received loans for USD 505,456.

Bader is a cofounder of Speed@BDD, alongside venture capital funds MEVP/Impact and Berytech, as well as the Lebanon For Entrepreneurs (LFE) initiative. Speed@BDD is a cutting-edge startup accelerator that was launched in August 2015, filling a crucial need in the ecosystem to provide support for idea-stage tech startups by providing significant cash and in-kind services to new entrepreneurs. Speed@BDD aims at attracting and nurturing the next top tech companies in the MENA region.

Moreover, and with a view to helping the youth develop technical skills that are increasingly required by the job market, Bader co-founded SE Factory in mid-2015, an intensive coding bootcamp to train young programmers on necessary technical, practical and soft skills needed to become professional software engineers. With a target launch in Q1 2016, SE Factory aims at helping alleviate the strong shortage of such skillset witnessed by local tech companies.
A fifth edition of this initiative was rolled out in 2016, in collaboration with the Beirut Traders Association and the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan Arab region and in partnership with Bank Audi. In 2016, the number of participating entrepreneurs reached 50.

The winner, Smarke SAL, was awarded a LBP 50,000,000 (approximately USD 33,000) prize courtesy of Bank selection of Lebanese small and medium companies develop plans for their businesses to grow and submit them to a jury composed of prominent figures from the economic and industrial scene.

The top 15 candidates then attended a workshop organised by academics and experts from various fields, and focusing on how to develop a successful business plan. After that, all 15 business plans were submitted to a qualified jury who chose the 5 best candidates and assessed them through final oral presentations, which in turn resulted in the final vote.

Mr. Marc Audi, Country Manager Lebanon, reiterated “the Bank’s commitment to investing in young talents who are living proof that competence is the key to success.” He also highlighted “Bank Audi’s attachment to initiatives involving SMEs, which are the engine of the Lebanese economy,” and its sensitivity to this issue which has “led the Bank to create a new SME business line, and to develop special programs which target these companies and are in the process of being launched soon.” He concluded: “Our participation in such initiatives is an additional testimony of our dedication to make every necessary effort for the development of Lebanese businesses which play a major role in the blooming of the national economy.”

Mr. Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association, seized the opportunity to stress that, since its launch, “the purpose of this competition is to give a tangible added value to small and medium-sized companies, to uplift the professional standards of the commercial sector as a whole, and to contribute to the sustainable development of the national economy.” He also pointed out that, “like in the previous years, this year’s applications continued to reflect very interesting profiles of emerging young companies and entrepreneurs in Lebanon coming from a wide array of sectors”, and that “the quality of the business plans received translated the excellent results of the high calibre workshop that was offered to semi-finalists.” Mrs. Salam Yamout, Board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region, who represented Mrs. Hala Fadel (Chair) at the event, added: “We are closing on five years of successful collaboration between BTA, MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region and Bank Audi, to scale Lebanese companies regionally and sometimes globally, at a time when they are facing many challenges on the local market.”

Smarke is a hardware software concept that allows people to lock, unlock and open their door locks using their mobile phones. The hardware is plugged in on existing cylinder based locks and is administered by Smarke mobile app.

Grow My Business Winner ‘Smarke SAL’.
We likewise extended our support to Association Maak (NGO), which benefitted 39 families by microfinancing across various economic sectors including farming, cattle and agriculture, tailoring, snacks, beauty services, and even scholarships (school and university), which went hand in hand with extending moral, technical and spiritual support to the various beneficiary households.