Author Archives: Yasser Akkaoui

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.”

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.

In need of a new national economic strategy

Our economy is seriously underperforming. While this isn’t a surprise, it still bothers me every single day. I love our banks, but they are only part of the equation for real economic success. We need functioning capital markets, and we needed them yesterday. I love our central bank, but it simply cannot continue being the

Enough brand confusion

I’m confused. Every time we write about the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, our researchers and fact checkers conduct extensive investigations in an attempt to once and for all classify central bank circular 331 in the right policy framework. They always come to the same conclusion: it’s an equity guarantee. The whole purpose of this policy instrument

The Uni-leader

When Lebanon-based Fattal Holding, agents and distributors for numerous global brands in six countries of the Middle East and North Africa region, celebrated the 80th anniversary of their partnership with consumer goods multinational Unilever, the occasion was auspicious enough to bring Unilever Chief Executive Officer Paul Polman to Beirut. Executive used the rare opportunity to

The good old days

Love him or hate him, Rafik Hariri had a skill set that worked for Lebanon. He was good at amalgamating the competing interests of Lebanon’s various groups and defending this country on the international stage with a unified vision of what Lebanon was and where it was heading. He also had foreign connections he could

Inside a corporate nation

Three of the world’s top five companies by market value – Apple, Microsoft and Google – today run like nations unto themselves. Each has a utopian headquarters – home base for an army of employees with global reach and influence. Their aim is wealth creation both for employees and shareholders, but their products also help

The blue appeal

For many Lebanese travelers, Air France is not just any airline but an institution of memories. When times were tough, flying from Beirut to Paris represented a lifeline connection to personal safety, not to mention savoir vivre and commerce. Today, the links between Lebanon and Europe are numerous and airlines have to win over travelers

Worse than weapons

The war years in Lebanon were particularly ugly near the end. I was 16 years old when the bottom fell out from under the lira, and the currency collapse changed everything. People lost their jobs. Wealth vanished. Desperation reigned. We were used to being terrorized by bombs, bullets and ever-accurate mortar shells. Financial terrorism proved

Top