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Lebanonís fast-growing start-up ecosystem

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Lebanonís fast-growing start-up ecosystem

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The start-up scene in Lebanon is thriving quickly and Beirut is becoming the Middle Eastís tech hub.

Lebanon has all the key elements needed to achieve such results: an ambitious entrepreneurial culture, highly educated population, a number of incubators and accelerators, venture capitals and a favourable government policy.

In August 2014 Banque du Liban (BDL) introduced Circular 331 with the aim of injecting 400 million dollars into the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem. The main objective of circular 331 was to encourage banks to invest in start-ups, incubators and accelerators. 75% of these investments is guaranteed by BDL.

Evidently, Circular 331 has boosted the Lebanese start-up scene, as there is rise in the number of start-ups, accelerators, venture capital firms etc. According to Arabnetís Business Intelligence Investment Report, in 2017, 58 tech start-ups were established with a total funding value reaching USD 53 million, which is a more than a six-fold increase compared to the numbers of 2013, of 11 start-ups and USD 7 million.

The number of tech investors is growing steadily as well. Between 2017 and today seven new funds and accelerators were established, which further enhances the environment for tech start-ups.

Looking at the number of deals, Lebanon along with Tunisia have exhibited the fastest rates of growth in increasing the number of investments deals by more than 50%. In 2016 Lebanon conducted 104 deals whereas in 2017 they conducted 162 deals.

According to Arabnetís report, Lebanon remained second, behind the United Arab Emirates among the MENA countries in the number and value of investments.

As gender diversity is a hot topic especially in technology start-up, the report analyses the gender distribution among founders in the MENA region as well. According to the report MENA governments aim to increase female participation in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. According to the report the Levant continues to have the highest number of female entrepreneurs, Lebanon with 18%.

According to the findings of the report, Lebanon has grown its investor share from 7% to 13% from 2013 to 2017.

Shanda Consult is specialised in consultancy regarding project-based investments and as a partner in bringing together investors and investment projects.
Shanda Consult is advising on numerous investments, ranging from Energy/Telecom/IT to industry, technology, tourism and agriculture investments.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to be guided with your Lebanon-related projects and business.

Source: Arabnet Business Intelligence Report, 3rd Edition: The State of Digital Investments in Mena 2013-2017

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