Lebanon Enterprise Development

Project Background

Lebanon Enterprise Development (LED) is a 3 years project with possible extension for additional 2 years funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project aims to increase jobs for Lebanese citizens. LED applies a market-led approach to engage directly with private enterprises, private sector organizations, associations and syndicates, and other stakeholders, to identify and solve business related problems that are constraining firm and sector level sales and employment growth. LED offers customized technical assistance to help solve identified problems. LED’s interventions are focused on providing business solutions that will result in greater
private investment and job creation for Lebanese citizens

Lebanon is a country in transition, in a region with extremely complex geopolitical challenges. The need for social and economic stability is high. Adding to this challenge is Lebanon’s high unemployment and under-employment, which puts added stress on the country’s prospects for stability and economic growth. Therefore, employment creation activities such as LED are important and timely. According to a recent report, the unemployment rate among Lebanese citizens rose from 11% in 2011 to 33% in 2016, representing 360,000 more unemployed people during the period. The conflict in Syria and the resulting flow of refugees into Lebanon largely explains this increase, as thousands of Lebanese workers have been substituted by Syrian workers in practically all economic activities

Project Objectives

  • Create jobs by increasing Lebanese client firms’ competitiveness and enhancing their growth
  • Improve Lebanon’s business enabling environment
  • Communicate results and project knowledge through outreach to the public and private sectors

Project Approach

One of the major challenges facing the Lebanese economy is job creation, particularly for youth, university graduates, and women. Private sector job opportunities have not kept pace with the growing number of Lebanese citizens looking for work. To generate private sector employment, USAID’s Lebanon Enterprise Development project helps enterprises expand their activities; increase sales; and in turn, create jobs. As the project fosters growth for Lebanese enterprises, these private sector firms will become more competitive, generate greater demand for their products and services, and continue to expand their workforce as they grow. The project is based on the notion that a stronger business environment for private enterprises in Lebanon will help increase employment opportunities for Lebanese citizens.

To achieve the above, LED will apply a problem-solving market-led approach to help Lebanese enterprises increase their sales and hire more Lebanese citizens. LED will assist enterprises, chosen using selection criteria, to identify specific buyer/s and understand their requirements; to diagnose the key enterprise-level constraints that stand in the way of concluding sales contracts with these buyer's; and to find solutions to these problems using tailored firm-specific technical assistance solutions that will be delivered principally by Lebanese business service providers and consultants, or as needed, by international consultants. LED will prioritize support for businesses that produce goods and services for a known buyer or market. LED’s work will be transactional—focused on making deals happen, because sales growth leads to jobs. Over time, LED will also prioritize selected business enabling environment problems and work with the private sector to analyze these issues and propose solutions for them. It is anticipated that as a result of LED support, Lebanese enterprises will have improved their ability to create new job opportunities in multiple growth sectors.

17th January 2019
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