BEIRUT: Despite its diversity and richness, the Lebanese market has always been small, with Lebanese entrepreneurs setting their sights on regional areas such as the GCC and the larger global market. In response to this condition and to the current economic crisis that Lebanon is facing, several unique initiatives have been created to help Lebanese entrepreneurs scale, Endeavor Lebanon being one of them.
As part of its continuous efforts to support Lebanese entrepreneurs to scale their businesses across borders, 20 investors and high impact entrepreneurs from the Endeavor Lebanon network joined forces with DealMakers 2020 in Riyadh, a flagship investor networking event organized by Endeavor Jordan in collaboration with Endeavor Saudi, with additional support from Endeavor global network.
As in its previous rounds, DealMakers 2020 once again created a platform for strategic networking opportunities between key Lebanese, regional, and international investors and the region’s most promising entrepreneurs running high-impact entrepreneurial companies.
The event was sponsored by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), the Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), and the Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF), in partnership with Monshaat and the World Bank Group.
It brought together over 500 investors, entrepreneurs, and key ecosystem enablers, hailing from 25 countries and 32 different nationalities. Over 1,000 touch points were established between investors and entrepreneurs, through one-on-one speed networking sessions during which entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to potential investors.
The event provided an opportunity for Lebanese companies to put forward their ideas and aspirations on a regional platform, bringing prominent investors together with influential entrepreneurs.
Participating countries included the USA, the UK, Bulgaria, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, China, India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and South Africa.
Panel discussions and roundtables were held addressing topics such as “MENA as an Emerging Entrepreneurial Hub," “Funding & Investment Opportunities in Saudi Arabia,” and “Smart Capital Goes Global: Global Trends in Angel Investing and Venture Capital.” Parallel workshops were also held for participating entrepreneurs on scaling beyond borders, and important issues concerning good governance, corporate culture, and the legal implications and liabilities when scaling beyond borders.
“In light of the economic challenges faced by high-impact scaleups in Lebanon, there is an essential need to expand and open up to new regional and global markets, to ensure growth for these companies,” Endeavor Lebanon’s Managing Director Christina Chehade commented. “Endeavor Lebanon’s participation in DealMakers 2020 comes in the context of its firm commitment to developing a supportive entrepreneurial environment for Lebanese scaleups, and to drive transformative scaling opportunities to new markets beyond Lebanon’s borders."
“The rapid change Saudi Arabia has recently undergone has cemented it not just as an economic nucleus, but also as a regional hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship, and hence our decision to hold this edition of DealMakers in Riyadh," Endeavor Jordan's Managing Director Reem Goussous, added.
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