Beirut Digital District's building is pictured in downtown Lebanon January 4, 2017. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi
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In Lebanon, witnessing businesses and start-ups open and close over the course of a year is akin to the constant regeneration of Beirut's ever-changing cityscape. In recent years, there has been a boom of entrepreneurial ecosystems supported by the central bank's Circular 331 that opened up millions in funding mechanisms and backed support programs such as the Beirut Digital District, Berytech and U.K. Lebanon Tech Hub. Together they have created an appearance that Lebanon has made entrepreneurship and business accessible to inexperienced individuals. But experts and entrepreneurs themselves admit that Lebanon's longstanding lack of data is perhaps one of the most frustrating challenges that can ultimately transform a good idea into a flop in a matter of months. Unsurprisingly, such data are not readily available and conducting the research to gather information can be too costly for young entrepreneurs, Achkar added.Dr. Walid Marrouch, associate professor of economy at the Lebanese American University, warned that Lebanon's insufficient database compounded with the naive optimism found amongst entrepreneurs globally was a poisonous mix in Lebanon.
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