On Friday December 4, 2015 the “Tripoli Youth Entrepreneurs” Competition was launched under the patronage and presence of HE the Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Rachid Derbas and the presence of the president of Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and the North Mr. Toufic Dabboussi, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Mr. Luca Renda, Business Incubation Association in Tripoli (BIAT) Director Mr. Fawaz Hamidi, the working group at the Ministry of Social Affairs, and representatives from relevant ministries, the UNDP and BIAT.

The “Tripoli Youth Entrepreneurs” Competition hopes to support young entrepreneurs in developing innovative ideas in launching their start-ups which will be creating job opportunities in the most vulnerable communities. The project will include training the youth on entrepreneurship and business planning where a technical jury will choose 4 groups who will win a grant of maximum 15000 USD.

The event started with a welcome to all those present from the CCIAT president, Mr. Dabboussi.

Followed by a word from BIAT’s Director Mr. Fawaz Hamidi who stated that BIAT implemented more than 20 projects since 2006 in the areas of entrepreneurship, sustainable energy support, women economic empowerment, support for young people to access the labor market, etc.

He emphasized on the importance of the cooperation with United Nations Development Programs and MOSA and praised Minister Rashid Derbas efforts in support of Tripoli and the North.

Afterward, UNDP country director Mr. Luca Renda declared: “We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that young Lebanese can find in their country the right opportunity to fulfil their dreams and aspiration, be good citizens and contribute to national peace and prosperity. Initiatives like the one we present today go in the right direction. We wish to thank our partners for their support, and request that they continue to work with us and be part of these efforts”.

Subsequently, HE Mr. Derbas was happy that he’s seeing that the city of Tripoli had started shaking off the fear to get back its vitality after the end of repeated cycles of violence.

He also stated that it was basically the innovators who lead successful projects with the support of course of associations such as the UNDP, BIAT, the CCIAT and the Ministry of Social Affairs collaboration. If proved successful in its beginnings, Minister Derbas pledged on behalf of the ministry and of Mr. Rinda to double the amount allocated for that project.

The event was concluded with a technical presentation on how to take part in the competition and its conditions.