The role of NGO actors in promoting and enabling environmental friendly practices for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has received increasing attention, not only in Lebanon but worldwide.
Little is known about the roles, impacts and successes of NGOs in stimulating the transition of MSMEs toward sustainability, especially in developing countries.
On this occasion, the Ministry of Economy and Trade in Lebanon launched the Lebanese Conference on Small and Medium Enterprises (LSMEC – 2017), organized by “Synergies Event” and in collaboration with the Central Bank and the Lebanese Federation of Chambers, which was held for two days at the Hilton Metropolitan Palace in Beirut, and attracted more than 300 participants among scores of economic, political, and diplomatic figures.
In its second day, the conference highlighted on creating the proper environment for a small or medium sized business to excel and grow. Makhzoumi Foundation (MF), a private non-profit Lebanese organization with a mission to help individuals contribute better to their economical and environmental growth, and encourage the continuous development of their level of education, information technologies, entrepreneurship and awareness, had the opportunity to participate in the panel discussion “Beyond Financial Support – Services and Initiatives for Growth” to focus on the importance of NGOs especially MF’s role in supporting MSMEs by providing them with resources, knowledge and technology, to develop co-operative relationships and create the necessary conditions to improve their environmental performance through its Micro-Credit Program.
“Micro Credit was initiated to provide financial services to those who are unable or unwilling to get these services from the banks, giving them the chance to increase their incomes and save themselves from the poverty circle covering more than a third of the world’s population,” Mr Samer El Safah, General Manager at Makhzoumi Foundation said.
“We offer financial and non-financial services such as entrepreneurial coaching, mentoring and empowerment,” he added. “Our aim is to bridge the gap between both services to enhance MSME’s success.”
Positive Planet, which assists Makhzoumi Foundation in building the capacity of the MF trainers and mentors (mainly loan analyzers from the Program) to give the soft skills, entrepreneurship skills and marketing skills training and mentorship, participated also in the conference.