Author Archives: Matt Nash

The legal building blocks of the ecosystem

The legal building blocks of the ecosystem

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon is an awful place to start an innovative, new business venture – from a legal perspective, at least. There are a few general rules that apply to startup companies: 1) Around 90 percent are expected to fail; 2) Founders typically have no cash, investing all they have (and all they can raise) into the

Taking stock of the entrepreneurial ecosystem

Reading Time: 3 minutes The month of November is often the most pleasant month to live in Lebanon. The weather is nice, the mood is relaxed (with no holiday shopping stress yet), prices are in low-season mode to invite visitors and National Day is around the corner. It is the perfect month to celebrate entrepreneurship as the most promising

Selling a national oil company

Reading Time: 6 minutes The National Oil and Gas Company of Lebanon. Sounds official. It isn’t. But not for a lack of trying. Many countries with revenue from mining the “Devil’s excrement” (or Satan’s flatulence, to extend the metaphor and fully capture the industry) have a state-owned company participating in oil and gas operations (a working interest, as it’s

Meet the megas

Reading Time: 7 minutes The confidence many developers have in the Lebanese real estate market is certainly not inspired by the numbers. On paper 2015 and 2016 look like the two worst years since 2007, yet this year and last have seen the launch of a handful of large-scale residential projects – one of which is the largest development

Trash and the towns

Reading Time: 5 minutes Lebanon’s garbage crisis predates independence. Case in point, the country’s first sanitary landfill was built in the 1990s even though the technology emerged around the 1920s. Despite repeated policy failures by successive governments, however, the situation could be turning around. Their own devices By law, municipalities in Lebanon have the authority to handle their own

Wasting time

Reading Time: 5 minutes There, blocking the right-hand lane of traffic, was history repeating itself. Four days after the municipality of Bourj Hammoud blocked access to a temporary waste storage facility on August 24, uncollected garbage was spilling onto the Mirna Chalouhi Road in an eastern suburb of Beirut. If the latest pile-up of trash on the ground suggests

Decoding the oil deal

Reading Time: 6 minutes Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri is having trouble making up his mind. Or so it seems. On July 1, Berri and Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil struck an unexpected deal. The agreement was touted as a bulldozer clearing the final barrier that, for over three years, has blocked the conclusion of Lebanon’s first offshore oil and gas

The rocky road from inventor to businessman

Reading Time: 3 minutes Antoine Sayah is learning how to actually build a business. Two years ago, he was an undergraduate studying architecture and working on an assignment for a design class. Students were tasked with building a product that was “useful in your everyday life,” he recalls. A Jounieh native, Sayah loves the beach. He made a foldable

Clearing up the mess

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

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