The rise of the Lebanese entrepreneurs
Lebanon - not the first amongst its neighbouring Arab countries - has been attempting to set up its own Silicon Valley. In fact, the Lebanese government is making available millions of dollars worth of money towards lebanese startups, mostly in the tech industry. Who would have thought? Serious money is spurting in all directions, innovation is everywhere and startups are popping up like mushrooms. Intermediaries in the form of funds such as Berytech (approximately $30M) and MEVP (approximately $50M), but also venture capitalists and Banks (as new Angel Investors for tech startups ) have been put in place to make these investments possible.
Mine, yours, ours: The loom of a new sharing economy
From leasing residences, to sharing rides, to clubbing together to finance creative projects, sharing has become increasingly popular in today's economies worldwide and has recently been used to spur innovative business models and generate considerable amounts of revenue. A research done by Roland Berger strategy consultants suggests that this specific sharing economy is going to further preside throughout the upcoming years.
The challenges of women entrepreneurs
Out of the main support structure that I have had access to was an incubator in the United Arab Emirates that I was a part of throughout my experience with my previous startup. This incubator provided me with a lot of advice, assistance and hand-holding when it came to legal matters. It also sometimes gave me a little bit of access to some VCs or angel investors. Specifically, I benefitted from a coworking space, a mentors' network, some legal advice, an entrepreneurs ecosystem, event hosting, bank/financial advice, IP advice, and access to funding. Unfortunately, out of most support services I used, none targeted women specifically. In fact, I’d say that the communication of services to startups in the Middle Eastern entrepreneurship ecosystem and its capacity to target and reach out particularly to women is very weak. Furthermore, the time schedule of most proposed services to entrepreneurs in terms of work life balance was very inadequate with regards to women.
How to calculate the expected value of a startup vs. a small business
When you think about the 1% that is the success rate of most startups (at least in the United States but generally worldwide), you wonder how people calculate the expected return and assess their profitibality with regards to such an endaveour.