SUMMARY

The Phoenix project launched under the Livelihoods and Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE) Funded by USAID and implemented by EDF Entrepreneurial Development Foundation came as a response to the depressed economic situation in the country, specifically the North Bekaa—a region that plays an important role in supporting the national economy. The Phoenix Project will target 150 Micro and small businesses in North Bekaa villages: Qaa, Ras Baalbek, Fekeha, Jabboule, Al Ain, Arsal Der El Ahmar, Bechwat, Ainatat, Chlifa, Zrazir, Barqa, Safra, Nabha,…

This initiative will focus on teaching business crisis management skills as well as capturing the positive results that could be derived from facilitating linkages between rural production and the potential demand in urban areas (utilizing Social Media platforms as efficient and effective marketing tools) which together can help mitigate the negative economic impact of the Syrian crisis in neighboring Syria in 2011 and the October 17th, 2019 financial crisis.

It is further anticipated that any economic improvement will help stabilize the region and deter any future conflict stemming from the major siege on August 2nd, 2014 by Syrian militants, often referred to as “the Battle of Arsal”.

Objectives

Recovery effort in the form of quick activities that will allow businesses to survive during this stressed economic and financial situation; elaborated as follows: 

  • Support micro and small businesses survive during this critical phase through improving their management of resources.
  • Capture the positive results that could be derived from the current migration toward rural and peri-urban villages due to inflation in living costs in cities and the increased number of lay-offs. One of the best solutions is to empower micro and small businesses in these rural and peri-urban areas so that new opportunities are available for the returning youth.
  • Improve skills of business owners to utilize Social Media platforms for advanced and more efficient and effective marketing.

 

The project follows the below steps in order to achieve the above listed objectives:

  • Capacity Building to micro and small businesses on (but not limited to): crisis management of business resources, planning and budgeting, quality control, efficient production, customer relations, pricing, market assessment and marketing plan through social media platforms, etc.
  • Support through in-kind grants in the form of machinery and technology that would increase efficiency of production or service rendering; thus, support businesses to remain viable players in the marker in face of unformal foreign competition.

Achievement

EDF implemented crises management and social Media training for 165 trainees out of 150, it targeted micro and small businesses especially the following categories:

  • Service providers and hospitality businesses (restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, beekeepers, etc.)
  • Agriculture/ Agribusiness
  • Handcrafters
  • Homemade food producers and caterers

Access to In-Kind Grants Assistance

EDF will choose 60 out of the 150 businesses (underdeveloped businesses and promising start-ups) to receive in-kind grants with an average amount of $1,500.

The selection criteria will take into consideration the viability of the project, growth potential of the business (possibility of job creation), and commitment of owner.