Marianne Hoayek, the executive officer of the Central Bank governor’s office. (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Four years ago, Lebanon's central bank launched a $400m programme to support tech start-ups.According to Ms Hoayek, since the inception of 331 the sector has grown 8 per cent a year, creating 9,000 jobs, and is on track to reach a target of 25,000 jobs by 2025 .In launching it, the Banque du Liban was acting beyond the common remit of such an institution, and encouraging banks to behave in ways unusual for a banking regulator.The move allowed banks to invest up to 3 per cent of their shareholder equity in start-up companies and in incubators and accelerators, with a maximum of 10 per cent of that equity going to any single company.The central bank guarantees 75 per cent of every investment, in exchange for half of any profits.The start-up ecosystem also includes international partnerships, such as with the UK government in the UK Lebanon Tech Hub – which has supported more than 500 companies since it was formed in 2015 – and with France-backed Beirut business school Ecole Superieure des Affaires to form accelerator Smart ESA last year.
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE