Under the patronage of H.E. Dr Hussain Al Haj Hassan, Minister of Industry, a one-day high-level seminar was organised in Beirut on 6 December 2016 to discuss ways and reforms needed to enhance financial inclusion for Lebanese MSMEs.

In a context of pressing needs to stop the migration flow, in particular of its young educated population, and to create sustainable jobs for many thousands of young people, spurring entrepreneurship and SMEs growth is seen as a priority amongst economic development goals in Lebanon, as they are a primary driver for job creation and inclusive growth.

Based on real-life experience of entrepreneurs as well as on the results of the EBESM study entitled “Assessment of Mediterranean countries’ policies to facilitate access to finance for MSMEs”, key players of the MSME ecosystem, such as policy makers (Banque du Liban, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Economy), financial institutions (Kafalat, Banque Audi, Investment, Berytech Fund II, IM Capital, Al Majmoua),  Business support organisations (Berytech, Speed@BDD, AUB Darwazah Center, Tech Hub) as well as entrepreneurs, discussed ways and means to better interact with each other to accompany MSME growth and support value chains.

Drawing on EU policies and good practices on how to support the MSME value chains, in particular the European Commission approach to private sector development and access to finance in the Neighbourhood South, the financing continuum of innovation developed by Bpifrance and the SME support structures in Germany, more than 70 participants debated and came up with operational recommendations on what is needed to blend funding and promotion of MSMEs more effectively in Lebanon.

This seminar was organised back-to-back with the FEMISE-AUB seminar that was held in Beirut on 5 December on “Unlocking the Potential of the Private sector in the South Med countries” to ensure maximum benefit and impact for all actors of the SME sector.

For further reading, please consult the following documents.

Seminar Report A2F for Lebanon EN
Seminar Concept Note EN
Seminar Agenda  EN
EBSEM A2F Key findings Lebanon EN
EU Approach to PSD and A2F in ENP South EN
The Financing Continuum of Innovation by Bpifrance EN
The German approach to support SMEs EN
The C2IME Accelerator EN