With the announcement of the creation of SolidereInternational, Lebanese entrepreneurship can once again holdits head high. Again, it has proved its credentials anddemonstrated that it can grow well beyond its borders evenwhen it is burdened by internal crises and politicalinstability. For international investors know that Lebanesebusiness acumen is resilient and operates outside mainstreamMiddle East rhythms and their commitment to investment inLebanese ventures has remained undimmed.
Solidere International is part of a more vibrant, robust andforward looking Middle East, a Middle East fuelled not byconflict and hate, but by a dynamic corporate vision and thehunger to compete at the highest level, to create newcorporate entities and deliver wealth, prestige, innovationand prosperity. Nowhere has this new spirit been moreevident, nowhere has demonstrated more the maturity and thediversity of the region or highlighted its remarkablecorporate development better than the Dubai InternationalFinance Center (DIFC), the Qatar Financial Center and thesoon-to-be built King Abdullah Financial District.
All are responding to a new wave of private equityinvestors, who are forging ahead in a regional bid todiversify what was a vulnerable, one sided, oil-basedregional economy. These hubs are responding to a newappetite. With wise public sector support and clearlydemarcated policy, they can complement one another and evenoffer opportunities for other similar hubs to spring upacross the GCC and across the Middle East.
And finally, into this new zeitgeist comes a new andexciting player, the Arab woman executive. More and more, weencounter senior team members and team leaders, not tomention CEOs, CTOs and CFOs, who are Arab women and who areexcelling in their position. And let’s not forget those Arabwomen who have made it as entrepreneurs, who have shed theapron for the two-piece and are taking their companies tothe forefront of regional and even global business.
They have all cut their teeth in a male-dominated world, inthis most male-dominated culture. They have shown thehighest level of professionalism, impressive business savvyand the desire to succeed in an environment in which toooften the male ego has been the driving force. They havecome in and shown us that a level head, an efficientattitude, determination and an analytical mind are more thana match for the often testosterone-fuelled bluster of theirmale colleagues.
Not only do we accept them, respect them and learn fromthem, they also make us rich!