(The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Lebanon isn't the friendliest environment for businesses of any size, particularly new ones getting off the ground.He has been both held back and supported by the business environment in Lebanon – and inefficient infrastructure, but with good opportunities for financing; a small, competitive and saturated market that has pushed him to expand into largely untapped international markets. He was speaking on the first day of LSME (Lebanon Small and Medium Enterprise), a two-day conference on small and medium private firms at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Hotel, which brought together more than 100 business owners, academics and other experts.The vast majority of businesses in Lebanon – around 95 percent – are SMEs, which is the case for most countries around the world. Speakers detailed the challenges in starting, maintaining and growing a business in Lebanon, where basic laws and infrastructure do not favor entrepreneurship.Additionally, Lebanon lacks regulatory efficiencies, investment in research and development and compliance with international standards, said Najib Choucair, executive director and head of banking at Lebanon's Central Bank, which has in the past several years played an important role in encouraging startups and other SMEs through financing schemes.
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