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ESA for incubation, startups
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École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) will renovate the old consulate building and dedicate it for the activities of the ‘Smart ESA’ program. The building will be used for incubating and accelerating startups from different sectors including digital innovation, environment, and women empowerment.

Smart ESA is a strategic initiative of the Central Bank (BDL), the French Embassy, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris and Ile-de-France. The program will provide services under BDL Circular 331, which support startups in the innovative and knowledge sector.

The building, measuring 2,000 square meters, will have the capacity to house around 200 startups. It will be equipped with the required infrastructure. The institute will provide startups with technical assistance including training, development, and international expertise.

Smart ESA will build networks with financiers, investors, banks, business angels, and venture capital funds. It will also provide access to the European market via France, as the Lebanese market is small.

Renovation works will be finalized late 2017.

BankMed will finance the project. The building will be named Rafic Hariri, one of the founders of the institute.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: Jun 17, 2016