Central Bank supports startup boot camps. To transform innovative ideas into business - Lebanon

Central Bank supports startup boot camps
To transform innovative ideas into business
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The Central Bank (BDL) granted Al-Mawarid Bank and BLC Invest the approval to organize ‘boot camps’, which are training sessions to teach entrepreneurs special business techniques.

This is the first approval to banks, by the BDL. “We have a third boot camp in the pipeline,” said Marianne Hoayek, Head of the Executive Office at the BDL.

The BDL announced its intention to launch a “Startup Boot Camp Program’, an initiative in cooperation with banks to support startups, mainly the ones active in the field of knowledge economy, through training sessions for entrepreneurs.

The new program will train entrepreneurs in preparing business plans, creating designs and in programming, to transform their innovative ideas into a business.

Banks are receiving proposals from startup hubs (accelerators, and incubators) for training sessions, according to Hoayek. Banks study these requests and submit them to the BDL for approval. “Al-Mawarid Bank is working with AltCity to provide training spaces for entrepreneurs, while BLC Invest is focusing on introducing entrepreneurs to international markets,” she said.

AltCity is a local accelerator, which offers startup funding, mentorship and exposure. “Our purpose is to support entrepreneurs and put Lebanon on the knowledge economy map,” said Samer Azar, Co-Founder. “We have not yet decided about the place to give the training sessions,” he said.

The initiative comes in line with BDL’s Circular 331, which allows the bank to guarantee $400 million at 75 percent for banks to make equity investments in startups, accelerators, incubators, and entrepreneurship funds.

“Through boot camps, BDL’s guarantee for banks will be 100 percent,” said Hoayek. “BDL’s purpose is to create deal flows in the market and help startups get support in the initial stages of their establishment, where the risks of failure are the highest,” she said.

The duration of a boot camp is three years.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
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Date Posted: Oct 24, 2014