One of Greeners’ fertilizers on display

The idea

The concept can strike some as contradictory, almost surrealist. However, Greeners, a company founded by the dental students Lina Zahayka, Noor Daraghmeh, Haytham Sharabati, and the Multimedia student Tasneem Khamayseh, is creating a product that turns CO2 emmitted by factories into an eco-friendly clean fertilizer farmers can use without damaging their soil.

The founders of Greeners are, like all young people today, worried about the nefast effects climate change will have on our livelihoods. They joined the Hult Prize program, which tasks student entrepreneurs with solving a specific problem. The Hult Prize provides entrepreneurs with invaluable advice, mentorship…

An ambitious bet

Yazan Sehwail was raised in Ramallah before attending Hamilton College in the United States for his bachelors degree. This is a familiar path for many young, talented and educated Palestinians. After finishing his education, Yazan decided he would move back to Palestine and try his luck at what he was trained in: software and product development. After starting and failing what he describes as a “Groupon” style app, Yazan would become, in his own words, “addicted” to entrepreneurship.

In 2013, he created and led his first truly successful business, InnerChip. InnerChip developed enterprise web software for companies…

Amal’s founder, Rowan Alawi

AmalWork عمل was founded by Rowan Alawi, a graduate from Birzeit University, who identified a clear problem in her native West Bank. She noticed that there was a severe disconnect between unemployed Palestinian construction workers looking for jobs, and construction companies looking for such workers. Scores of unemployed workers would sit on sidewalks each day, waiting for a quick, daily construction gig. On the other hand, construction companies complained about having difficulties finding available labor.

The platform she created, AmalWork, aims to bridge that gap. She started the company with her father, a contractor, and has attracted hundreds of workers…

Sami Abu Heiba, the CEO and founder of GIL

An innovative approach

GIL, which stands for Grow Up in Language, is a Palestinian start-up founded by Sami Abu Heiba, an Arabic teacher. Building off his experience, Sami identified the best and most efficient way for students to learn languages: full-immersion. However, he was also aware that encouraging learners to join real-world conversations could enduce anxiety and reduce students’ performance. That’s why he set out to build GIL.

The idea behind GIL is to build an Arabic VR app to help international, travelers, students, and business learn Arabic by using interactive realistic scenarios based on 360 videos. One of GIL’s…

Fadi Ghandour at the 2018 Arabian Business Award

A successful entrepreneur

Few people have impacted the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem like Fadi Ghandour has. Stemming from a Jordanian-Lebanese background and educated at George Washington University in the US, Ghandour is the founder and chairman of Aramex, a Dubai -based courier company that went on to be the first Arab company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange. If you want to hear the full story about how that unfolded, check out Ghandour’s interview with NPR here. In the entrepreneurial world, he gained respect not only through the success of Aramex, but also through his particular vision of business. Indeed, Ghandour…

SWB Logo

Start-Ups Without Borders, SWB for short, is an organization founded by Valentina Primo, an Italian journalist-turned-entrepreneur, who wishes to fundamentally reshape the narrative surrounding refugees by including them in the start-up ecosystem. Valentina moved to Egypt almost a decade ago and started reporting on positive stories of Egyptian innovation. Working for Cairo Scene and Start Up Scene ME, she realized the incredible yet hidden potential refugee entrepreneurs had. From that point on, she embarked on a quest: connecting refugee and migrant entrepreneurs with relevant business opportunities, resources and network. That unrelentless quest led to the birth of SWB.

Connecting Palestinian entrepreneurs to the world

Invest Palestine is a fantastic initiative started by members of the Palestinian diaspora in Chile, Latin America. Their goal is simple: allow Palestinians abroad to invest in Palestinian entrepreneurs, therefore boosting the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Their teams are based both in Chile and Palestine, enabling smooth lines of communications between investors and local entrepreneurs. Although based in Latin America, Invest Palestine provides their services to all Palestinians living in the diaspora. The Invest Palestine team works hard to present investors with curated business opportunities.

Through “Invest Palestine”, an investor will be giving the chance to Palestinian entrepreneurs to develop local…

Shifting away from aid dependency

Palestine faces challenges, but it is also full on local changemakers taking initiatives to make people’s lives’ better on the ground. Build Palestine was built on the premise of gathering support for those local changemakers: by creating the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to supporting local Palestinian initatives, Build Palestine is one of the most impactful organizations on the ground. The crowdfunding model is extremely powerful, as it allows a multitude of projects to be supported simultaneously.

Crowdfunding is a powerful tool to decentralize the traditional donor model. It allows a large number of people to contribute small amounts of funds…

Image by djedj from Pixabay

Lebanon’s diverse and successful diaspora is a real asset for the country itself. Lebanese people are proud and eager to help their home country in one way or another. The strong mobilisation following the Beirut blast is a case in point. However, diasporas are often confused by the abundant number of ways to help back home. This information can be overwhelming, and diasporas often don’t know where to start.

In this article, we shine the spotlight on three Lebanese diaspora organizations that you can get involved with. This is a non-exhaustive list; we’ve just curated a couple of great ones…

Image by djedj from Pixabay

Lebanon is a unique place; despite its small size, the country is a formidable mosaïc of cultures, religions and influences. Its food is often considered the best in the world. Its people are resilient, proud and united by the very diversity that makes Lebanon so great. Lebanon is one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the MENA region, and Beirut’s cosmopolitanism makes it home to events, incubators and a plethora of promising start-ups.

Lebanon has also undoubtebly had its fair share of obstacles in the past decades. The recent Beirut explosion was, for lack of a better expression, “the cherry…


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