The technological entrepreneurial ecosystem has, without a doubt, grown exponentially over the past two decades in Lebanon. However, one organization that has been spearheading the high-impact entrepreneur movement sought to gauge the true impact of these movers and shakers in technology, with a focus on the connections between these companies. Working to build a culture that encourages successful entrepreneurs to reinvest in their local networks to multiply their impact, Endeavor Lebanon found that when some of the earliest pioneers scale and begin to support others, an ecosystem is born.
Accordingly, Endeavor Lebanon, in collaboration with Endeavor Insight and the World Bank, took on the initiative to reach out to 120 entrepreneurs, of which, 85 shared their stories and were included on the map. Those who agreed to participate were surveyed in early 2017, to understand their direct impact on the ecosystem, how each of their companies are connected to one another, and specifically, if and how they have given back to other companies. All the entrepreneurs surveyed are part of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.
As the responses were gathered, patterns began to emerge and were marked on a map, which led to the visualization of the Multiplier Effect. Each time a tech founder was cited as an influencer, by inspiring, creating employment ties, investing, or mentoring, their bubble grew in the web of connections. The Multiplier Effect for Lebanon focuses on a few key elements that connect entrepreneurs, namely the ability of successful entrepreneurs to multiply their impact through the pillars of inspiration, investment, and mentorship.
As the data was analyzed, the map started to form, with connections among entrepreneurs leading local tech companies marked and the size of the circle reflecting the number of outgoing connections of entrepreneurs at each company. The connections further highlight the notion of giving back, demonstrated by the willingness of tech entrepreneurs to support the growth of the ecosystem, which has achieved rapid growth in the past five years.
Globally, Endeavor was established over 20 years ago in 1997. It is a global non-profit economic development organization that transforms growth economies by supporting high-impact entrepreneurship. Endeavor screens countries for high-impact entrepreneurs, helps in breaking down a society’s barriers to success, offers world-class strategic advice, and opens doors to capital. To fulfill its mission, Endeavor relies on a global network of professionals who lend their business insights to our local entrepreneurs. Endeavor has screened more than 50,000 entrepreneurs and selected more than 1,600 individuals, which in turn has lead to the creation of over 1,000 high-growth companies.
Lebanon is Endeavor’s 11th country and fourth in the MENA region. Since its launch in 2011, the Endeavor Lebanon office has selected 35 high-impact entrepreneurs from 28 companies. Following selection, these entrepreneurs have been given access to global mentors, decision makers, and best-of-kind support programs. One way in which Endeavor’s impact is demonstrated is by showcasing Endeavor entrepreneurs as role models who inspire others to take risks, innovate, and give back.