Fransabank’s recent study on Lebanon’s business eco-system highlighted something rather remarkable. According to its findings, as much as 90% of all local businesses in the Middle Eastern country are startup projects and small-to-medium enterprises (SME).
That’s another way to say big global companies are outnumbered 9-to-1 by startups and SMEs as they enter Lebanon. Among other things, the study shows that these smaller entities form the backbone of the country’s domestic economic and social development.
As for the challenges faced by emerging homegrown businesses, Fransabank noted that the government should proactively enhance the business ecosystem in the country and make it more enabling. This is achievable with increasing exposure to finance, state-of-the-art technologies, as well as an exposure to business incubators and accelerators.
It pointed out that for any startup and SME to succeed in the long run, it requires “diversified financial resources during its general life cycle, in the seed period, infant period, growth period, maturing period and post-incubation period.”
The study also underlined the importance of business incubators and accelerators in making sure that the startup and SME ecosystem in the country remains thriving and self-sustaining.
Elaborating on the role of incubators and accelerators, Fransabank stated that these play a key role in providing new and upcoming businesses with the bulk of the resources and support services they need at early stages.
“These resources and services include: rent-a-desk and state-of-the-art laboratories, mentoring and coaching in entrepreneurship, technical support, legal and management advice and consulting, development of marketable products, access to markets and finance as well as service providers, practical training, HR development and others. As such, business incubators and accelerators constitute an economic and social development tool designed to diversify the national economy, create jobs, and build wealth,” the study said.