Welcome to the Lebanese Growth Accelerator and Lebanese University Centre Mine Program to support 5 high-potential enterprises! ⚡️
During our 3-month accelerator program, we will help grow your business with our project-based learning methodology, fresh funds, and world-class support.
What is the Lebanon Growth Accelerators x Lebanese University Centre Mine program?
The program is an enterprise support program to help businesses adapt to the changing circumstances in Lebanon, the region, and the world, and to improve job opportunities in Lebanon. The program is almost entirely remote/online and so accessible to companies across Lebanon.
What benefits do I receive from the program?
- Up to $10,000 (in fresh funds), to specifically support an essential aspect of your business that could improve growth and hiring in Lebanon in the near-term
- Training, mentorship, and other support during the 3-month accelerator program
- Lifetime access to Bloom’s resources and network of entrepreneurs including mentors, investors, alumni and staff
- Demo day exposure and other investors connections
How can we get funded after the program ends?
We provide the seed funding to get you going, but you may well need more funding to make it. Near the end of the four-month program, we’ll organize a Demo Day to help connect you with investors and organizations that could potentially help you out in the next stages of your enterprise journey. We’ll coach you, so you’re as effective as possible, and do everything we can to help get you follow-on support and funding.
Do I have to be in Lebanon for the entire three-month acceleration program?
The purpose of the program is to help enterprise development and job creation inside Lebanon, but we know that a lot of enterprises have team members outside Lebanon, especially at this tumultuous time in the country. Thus there is no requirement that all team members of the enterprise or participants in the accelerator be located in Lebanon to participate in the acceleration program as all of our trainings, workshops, and mentorship sessions are held online through Zoom and the Bloom tool, but enterprises will need to demonstrate that their core focus is growing their team inside of Lebanon.
What language is content delivered in for the program?
The primary language that we use in verbal and written communications during accelerator activities is in English, though we can also offer support and mentorship in Arabic or French as needed. We may adapt those during the program to respond to the needs of enterprises.
What is a typical day and week like for a team in the program?
It’s your company, so you’ll be hard at work on your company, the product, marketing, HR, and so on. At different stages of the program, we’ll have between 1 and three sessions per week, ranging from formal workshops to informal discussions with our mentors, trainers, and guests. Some of those are “required”, many are optional, and we expect teams to adapt and join the sessions that are critical for issues that they’re dealing with in their enterprise. We’ll also have required check-ins with each team on a regular basis, usually every other week (two-week cycles) or every month.
In general, though, you’ll be working on your product each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment that is conducive to helping your enterprise every day. And we’ll make sure you have lots of experienced mentors around to help you.
How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?
Our selection process is competitive and fair. Once the applications are submitted, we will use the following criteria to assess eligible candidates. These are not all requirements, but preferences and enterprises will be weighed on the different elements:
- Impact and Inclusion: What difference your idea will make, and for whom, how many jobs you will create, what sort of marginalized communities you will impact, if the jobs created and enterprises supported have potential for durable impact if the employees or founders leave Lebanon, and do you align with the economic priorities areas.
- Capacity: The skills, knowledge, and resources you have to develop and deliver your idea.
- Feasibility: Whether you can realistically deliver your idea by the end of the program, and within budget.
- Sustainability: Whether your idea has the potential to become financially sustainable and last beyond the lifetime of the fund.
- Stage of Enterprise and Product: Whether the enterprise is already generating revenue and stage of development, as well as the stage of development of the specific product or branch that this program will support.
- Innovation and Growth Potential: Whether your idea is new and different, and where it can potentially grow.
What kind of enterprises is eligible for the program?
Project eligibility criteria are as follow:
- The enterprise already has a track-record of revenues or user traction.
- Enterprise is working to expand their team in Lebanon. Through the whole set of enterprises in the program, we will work to have balanced job creation opportunities for people in different parts of the country, gender, and for people from different backgrounds, including vulnerable or marginalized communities, and refugees.
- The enterprise is designed to be economically viable – without the program’s long-term support.
- Optional but encouraged: The enterprise has a social element / generates a positive social impact.
Is the program sector-specific?
Applications are open to all sectors, however, there are sectors we are particularly interested in due to their greater potential impact on the economy or because of their potential to succeed in the Lebanese context:
- Manufacturing: Enterprises that manufacture, or plan to manufacture, in Lebanon
- Agro-food: Businesses that produce, process, prepare and package food products
- Creative Industries: Projects that leverage Lebanon’s creative skills and talent (including design, branding, architecture, marketing agencies)
- Outsourcing: Enterprises that offer consulting, tech development, and business support services to clients abroad
- Digital and Technology: Knowledge economy businesses able to compete regionally or globally (particularly in high-growth, high-impact fields – ie: HealthTech, EdTech
- eCommerce and eCommerce enablers: Enterprises selling online as well as enterprises that enable companies to sell online (logistics, supply chain, delivery)
- Infrastructure and Environment: Projects tackling sustainable infrastructure and environmental challenges such as water, waste and recycling, or the circular economy
What are the requirements for the teams to be accepted into the program?
Team eligibility criteria are as follow:
- More than one person, with at least two team members working full-time in the enterprise.
- Located in Lebanon, yet there is flexibility around locations of additional team members if based abroad.
- Already legally incorporated in Lebanon, though could also have companion entities outside of Lebanon. Although there is a strong preference for businesses that are already registered in Lebanon, exceptions can be made for companies that plan to grow their presence in Lebanon. For such cases, the funds ($10,000) will only be disbursed to register the company or after the company is registered.
- No restriction regarding the form of the company (e.g. a private company, cooperative, offshore, etc.).
- No restrictions on sociographic or other parameters regarding the applicants
- Female-led teams and teams with higher diversity (age, sex, socio-economic background, refugee/host communities, location around Lebanon, etc.) are particularly encouraged to apply.
We are unable to support:
- Teams of only one individual.
- Teams that are only looking to hire outside Lebanon
- Teams that are engaged with other entrepreneurship/innovation programs/accelerators, unless there is clear distinction between the program offerings, and teams can demonstrate that they have time and capacity to join LGA in addition to their other program commitments.
- Teams that have no intention of formally registering their enterprise.
- Teams that are not based in Lebanon.
What stage of companies is eligible for the program?
Imagine a spectrum of entrepreneurship running from learning about the concept and skills to having a mature enterprise that is changing the world. Those stages are categorized as follows, and for the sake of this challenge, we will be focusing on supporting teams as indicated in yellow below:
|Enterprise Development Stages|
|0. LEARNING||0.1. Learning without the goal of launching an enterprise|
|1. IDEATION||1.1. Want to start and looking for/testing ideas|
|2. IDEA-STAGE||2.1. Exploring ideas, conducting market/customer research |
2.2. Have started developing my idea
|3. PROTOTYPE||3.1. Have an early (low-fidelity/paper) prototype (of product or service)|
3.2. Have a functioning (high-fidelity) prototype with early users / early adopters
|4. EARLY-STAGE||4.1. Declining revenues, and the enterprise is not yet profitable/sustainable|
4.2. Revenues are stagnant or growing slowly, but the enterprise is not however profitable/sustainable
4.3. Revenues are growing quickly, but the enterprise is not yet profitable/sustainable
|5. GROWTH-STAGE||5.1. Profitable/sustainable business (with stable, growing, or declining revenues)|
5.2. Seeking scalability (of impact and/or profits)
5.3. Seeking diversification
5.4. Seeking an exit
5.5. Established national enterprise
5.6. Established multinational enterprise
Do I have to work at my company full-time?
To be eligible, you must have at least two team members working full-time on the project.
I’m a single founder, can I get accepted in the program, or do you only look at teams?
For this cycle of the Lebanon Growth Accelerator program, we prefer to have teams of at least two team members. It is possible, however, to join the open house and connect with like-minded peers to form a team for your own enterprise development efforts and to potentially be eligible for future cycles.
When is the deadline to apply?
April 30, 2022
Let’s make 2022 a year of growth through learning and work together to contribute to Lebanon’s recovery. Take a leap of faith and apply! It could be you. Yes, you!