In 1997, former preschool teacher Hala Zakaria bought an existing daycare, Panda Playschool, in Choueifat, Lebanon. Panda Playschool offers programs in both English and French for children ranging in age from 18 months to six years. Interactive learning is a core component of its academic program, and each classroom boasts a multi-touch interactive board. Outdoor play spaces are important, too. The school has a playground and garden with birds and turtles, where students are served fresh fruits and other healthy snacks. During the summer break, the school offers summer programs and camps.
In 2010, Panda had a staff of 18 and 155 students enrolled in its daycare and KG 1 and 2 programs. The previous year, it had also purchased a piece of land in the Metn area and established Panda Park, an outdoor venue that offers a fully equipped outdoor playground, ten picnic areas, and food and beverages services.Full Story
Beirut, February 17, 2015: ArabNet Beirut, Lebanon’s three-day festival of digital creativity, e-business, development, and entrepreneurship, is back for its 6th edition. More than 80 elite speakers will convene in Beirut on March 17-19 to share international and regional perspectives on e-commerce, digital media, disruptive technology in hardware, and innovation with more than 700 attendees. ArabNet Beirut will tackle the growing role of banks in the entrepreneur ecosystem as led by Banque Du Liban's Circular 331. Other hot topics include what it takes to develop great video content for the web, online customer service, fashion, and entertainment.
Among the enriching activities, ArabNet Beirut 2015 promises to shed light on some of the hottest topics in the digital sector in the region. Check out some of the must-attend sessions:Full Story
Beirut, January 12, 2015: More than $150 million are now available for investment in fast-growing Lebanese startups in the creative and digital sectors. Driven by Banque Du Liban (BDL) Circular 331, announced just one year ago, Lebanon is witnessing the establisment of half a dozen new institutions that support and fund entrepreneurs, including venture capital funds, seed funds, accelerators, and bootcamps. Decision-makers from these new institutions will join top regional investors, executives and promising startups at the 6th edition of ArabNet Beirut – the largest gathering for the digital creative sectors.
ArabNet Beirut 2015 will bring together more than 700 attendees and 80 high-profile regional and international speakers to share their perspectives and insights on digital business. Innovators, entrepreneurs and marketeers will also have the unique opportunity to get exposure through ArabNet’s annual competitions: the Ideathon, for new business concepts; the Startup Demo, for fast-growing young startups; and the Creative Combat, for promising talents in emarketing. The winners will take home $10,000 of cash prizes and a fully-paid 3-month startup program in Silicon Valley. Applications for the competitions are open until February 12th on www.arabnet.me.Full Story
Nada Ghobril spent ten years working in France, Dubai, and Jordan as a telecom and IT professional. Upon her return to Lebanon in 2010, she learned about the entrepreneurship training courses at AMIDEAST and enrolled in the “Growing a Business” workshop. She felt she had sufficient knowledge regarding starting a business, but wanted to learn the most common challenges Lebanese entrepreneurs face as they expand their businesses in the Lebanese market.
Passionate about digital photography, and knowing that digital photo album printing services were available in the U.S. and Europe, Nada was considering starting a business that would offer these services in the Middle East.Full Story
This November, AMIDEAST and Citi Foundation launched the fourth phase of the Arab Women’s Entrepreneurship Project (AWEP), designed to empower women entrepreneurs by providing them with the skills and techniques that will enable them to fully realize their economic potential and to allow them to benefit from networking and mentoring relationships that foster business success. The fourth round of AWEP will be offered in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Morocco, with 20 women selected in each country.
The economic participation of women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is lower than anywhere else in the world. MENA women have limited access to financial and training services, and face far higher unemployment rates than men. Added to this are common perceptions and beliefs that women should not be the financial heads of households.Full Story
DGTL#U Forum to discuss the future of electronic payments in the digital economy era.
The third series of the DGTL#U Forum organized by Al-Iktissad-Wal-Aamal group will take place on the 4th and 5th of December 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut under the patronage of HE Mr. Boutros Harb, Minister of Telecommunications in Lebanon. This yearو the topics will include discussions on transitioning to a cashless economy, how banks and retailers are adopting digital technologies and adapting to digital disruptions in their businesses. The forum will also feature on its second day an open discussion with HE Mr. Boutros Harb.Full Story
During her years of studying mechanical engineering in college, Sabine el Kahi often felt frustrated by not being able to implement the theoretical knowledge she was learning in practical ways. Although the university owned the equipment and machinery that could help students realize their projects, safety issues frequently prevented them from using the equipment and a professional trainer would have to demonstrate their use. When Sabine discovered a complete modular series of small and safe machinery at a fair in Germany that students could use to get hands on experience with actual machines, she was elated and immediately applied to represent the manufacturer in the Middle East. This was the first link in the chain that finally led to where she is today.
The second link was formed upon her college graduation with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Vision from the American University of Beirut. Sabine initially joined the family business, which supplies spare parts for heavy machinery. Always on the lookout for new products and services in the field of engineering, she decided to purchase a 3-D printer to help university students and professionals create prototypes. However, without experience in business and sales, she was unable to successfully market her services. That is, until she enrolled in AMIDEAST Entrepreneur Institute’s Growing a Business and Sales Team Development workshops to gain the practical skills she lacked.Full Story
Stemming from the belief that every person in life has a story that deserves to be told, preserved and shared, Mr. Naji Tueni, grandson of the founder of An-Nahar newspaper, launched Khoolood.com on August 4th 2014, a first of its kind website in the Arab World, dedicated to the memory of those who left the world too soon. To officially launch the website, a press conference was held on October 30th 2014 at the Press Club in Furn el Chebbak, in collaboration with the Vice-President of the non-governmental organization “Kunhadi”, Mrs. Lena Gebrane, who lost her only son Hady at the age of eighteen.
Khoolood.com is a trilingual website, offering an obituary and funeral notification service to the thousands of people who visit the website on a daily basis or who are subscribed to “Khoolood Messenger” and receive those obituaries by email or on their mobile devices. "Khoolood Messenger" also allows you to know about any one of your family or your friends’ families who have passed away. The website is not about crying over the loss of a loved one; it's about perpetuating their memory and introducing the world to the legacy they have left behind and the difference they have made in their community. The website is also aimed at Lebanese expats, in order to facilitate communication between them and their relatives residing in Lebanon.Full Story
The Startup Cup, Bader’s 6 month competition, is reaching the final stages of its 2014 edition. As a reminder, and after receiving hundreds of applications in May 2014, Bader and a team of highly qualified judges carefully chose the 15 most innovative startups to compete for the cup.
These startups went through various sessions of mentorship and training over a period of 4 months to help grow their businesses and their skills, and got the chance to attend many helpful workshops organized by Bader.Full Story
Having grown up in Paris, Nadine Mneimneh returned to Lebanon in 2001 and subsequently obtained her BBA from the American University of Beirut.
Interested in fashion, she attended a fashion and design course at Instituto Marangoni and then pursued a BA in fashion design and pattern making at École Superieure des Arts et Technique de Mode (ESMOD). With six years’ work experience in the fashion industry, she launched her own ready-to-wear label in 2010.Full Story