(Getty Images)

Finding the funding for big tech dreams

Aasim Saied has some unorthodox ideas about how technology entrepreneurs should fundraise and how best to structure a board of directors. Saied founded Akyumen, a self-described “digital products company committed to opening the door to innovation and advancing access to education through state of the art niche products that bring technology directly to your hands.”

An 'informal tented settlement' in Lebanon's Bekaa valley UK Department for International Development
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Four years and no longer counting

It is another anniversary. Four years ago this month the Syrian uprising of 2011 escalated into the civil war phase, with internal conflict officially declared in July 2012 by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Around this time, the outflow of refugees swelled to unprecedented numbers: from thousands and tens of thousands in mid-2012


Pushing for a little more equality

Titled Capital in the 21st Century, the book by French economic historian Thomas Piketty is a versatile and useful tome. Author Thomas Piketty came to pay his inaugural visit to Beirut and a repeat visit to Cairo last month as part of a promotional tour for his book’s Arabic translation, available in soft cover but

Over 100 municipalities did not clean up their waste crisis dumps (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Clearing up the mess

This article has been updated from the print edition to reflect news developments.  There’s a landfill in Lebanon people usually forget about. It’s around 15 kilometers northeast of Beirut in a town called Bsalim. It draws no ire. Nearby residents do not burn tires to demand its closure. Unlike the now-shuttered Naameh sanitary landfill southwest

Lebanon’s waste management problems are worse now than when they began decades ago (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Wasted opportunities

The lack of transparency in finding a way out of the July 2015 garbage crisis is appalling. Last August, the private sector put forward offers that would have seen modern waste solutions put in place all over the country. The volume of Lebanon’s waste being sent to landfill would have dramatically fallen (see policy story).

(Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Municipality matters

May 2016 was municipal council election time in Lebanon and so, every Sunday of that month, many Lebanese headed to their area of origin and cast their vote for who would essentially be in charge of their native town’s internal affairs for the following six years. While most voters were probably primarily concerned with issues

When cities do get money they can only afford beautification projects like fountains (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Broken financing

From wellness to cherries, at hospitality clusters and beach resorts, Lebanon’s event organizers and business owners outside the capital agree on one thing: municipalities should do more to bolster their economies. While article 49 of law 118/1977 on municipalities says they can plan roads and other public works – projects like playgrounds, hospitals, sewage and

Projects outside of Beirut have been vital to keeping the Lebanese hospitality industry alive (Photo: Greg Demarque | Executive)

Hanging on

In May 2016, a collective online call to action, under the hashtag #lawshumasar (whatever happens), was issued by key figures in the creative and productive sector to keep working in Lebanon no matter what happens. It seems the Food and Beverage (F&B) subsector in Lebanon has heeded this call as its productivity continues to grow

Byblos port (Photo: D Karanouh)

What’s on the tourism menu?

Whether it’s summer resort towns like Bhamdoun, Aley, Zahle or Dhour Choueir which began to flourish in the 1940s – and were frequented by both local Lebanese escaping the heat of Beirut and international tourists from Egypt or Arab Gulf countries following the oil boom – or the coastal city of Beirut, which became a


A strategy, please

Lebanon’s tourism stakeholders have learned the hard way that an over-reliance on one type or one nationality of tourists is akin to shooting yourself in the foot. One need only take a look at cities such as Bhamdoun or Aley – and even Beirut, to some extent, which saw a drastic drop in footfall once

A trader from ETX Capital points to a Bloomberg terminal showing the FTSE 100 index following a speech by Finance minister George Osborne in central london on June 27, 2016. (Getty images)

A post-Brexit world

After 43 years of – often rocky – togetherness, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. What sounds like a run-of-the-mill divorce is much more. It is an economic step that will have ramifications for many countries, including Lebanon, at least as far as tourists and traders, importers, investors, migrants and financial workers are

Illustration by Ivan Debs

Banking on our self-reliance

The first rule of business ethics is: if you’re not proud enough of your work to talk publicly about it, something must be wrong. That the government once again cancelled a waste management contract without even naming the winner proves something dirty is going on. Worse than the implementation, of course, is the actual plan.

(Photo credit: Greg Demarque)

Your dream of the stadium, Fly-Foot assists you there

It was over their mutual love of football that Rayan Ismail, Georges Batrouni and Firas Arab hatched their plan to create Fly-Foot, the first football game travel company in the region. Football (or soccer) is the world’s most popular sport with an estimated fan-following of 3.5 billion people. The 2014 FIFA World Cup held in

Illustration: Joseph Kai

Investment decisions

Investing in a venture capital (VC) fund is a bit like betting on a horse. The gambler can choose a horse carefully, looking at the animal’s past performance and even evaluating the jockey, but once the race starts and the money’s laid down, all the gambler can do is sit back, watch the race and