In Lebanon ILO PROSPECTS organizes a business plan competition to select social and solidarity economy entities that will benefit from technical and financial assistance

The business plan competition took place on 19-21 June 2023 with the participation of 37 SSE projects that aim to create decent jobs for vulnerable host communities and Syrian refugees to bring about changes in their communities.

Actualité | 26 juin 2023
Under PROSPECTS Lebanon, the ILO, in partnership with makesense, COSV and RPS MENA, is implementing a social and solidarity economy (SSE) development programme. It focuses on community-driven social entrepreneurship, to tackle the country’s widespread unemployment and address urgent local socio-economic needs of vulnerable Syrian refugees and host community members.

The programme builds on an intervention implemented in 2020 that helped establish SSE entities in the agriculture and agro-food sector. The original intervention was implemented with the support of local steering committees, to help farmers and food processors face multidimensional crises in Lebanon, retain and create decent jobs, and address food security challenges.

Following an inception phase that looked at assessing local community needs and existing capacities of SSE entities, conducting wide outreach to SSE ecosystem actors, and a thorough initial selection of SSE projects, the ILO organized on 19-20-21 June 2023 a business plan competition to evaluate selected SSE entities that would benefit from technical and financial assistance.

37 SSE projects from Lebanon pitched their business plans and operate across multiple sectors, including agriculture, green jobs, arts, education, services, and digital technology. A select group of 16 will receive coaching and a grant that will help them expand their operations, create decent jobs for vulnerable host communities and Syrian refugees and bring about changes in their communities.

A jury composed of ILO PROSECTS, makesense, COSV, and RPS MENA representatives as well as ILO social entrepreneurship expert. They reviewed the business plans and assessed pitches based on criteria related to projects social/environmental aim, sustainability, and ability to create decent jobs and support community livelihoods.

Pitching results will be revealed to projects owners in the coming weeks, followed by an intensive coaching period of 4-6 months, as well as opportunities to participate in networking events and in-country study tours.