Enlarged Advisory Board Strengthens Support for Entrepreneurship in Lebanon

Washington, DC, and Beirut, December 15, 2011—AMIDEAST is pleased to welcome five new members to the AMIDEAST/Lebanon Advisory Board (ALAB) of prominent Lebanese business and civic leaders. The board’s expansion comes within months of the ALAB’s second annual meeting in September 2011, when it pledged to provide $100,000 to support AMIDEAST/Lebanon’s efforts during the coming year in two key areas: scholarship assistance for deserving youth and entrepreneurship training.

Funding from the ALAB will expand AMIDEAST’s work in assisting promising young Lebanese men and women to compete for scholarships to enable them to pursue their undergraduate studies in the United States. To date, nearly 20 high school graduates from Lebanon have benefited from this effort.

The ALAB contributions will also support aspiring Lebanese entrepreneurs with workshops, individual support, mentorship programs, and networking activities offered by the entrepreneurship training program that AMIDEAST launched with Cisco Entrepreneur Institute (CEI) in spring 2010. The program’s effectiveness was recognized recently when the Central Bank of Lebanon recognized it as one of five organizations that is developing Lebanon’s new national entrepreneurship initiative, “entrepreneurslebanon.com. “ The CEI was also a key partner of Global Entrepreneurship Week Lebanon that took place in November.

The new members are:

  • Raphael Debbane, chairman of DESCO Holding SAL

  • Habib Debs, president and CEO of Advanced Technology Systems Co.

  • Eva Kotite Farha of Houston, Texas

  • Harry Nadjarian, chairman and CEO of Industrial Motor Power Corporation

  • Rami El Nimer, chairman and general manager of First National Bank

A full list of ALAB members can be found here.