Fondation Diane, The EcoSwitch Coalition and Cewas Organized the “2nd Annual EcoSwitch Festival” to Support Eco-Entrepreneurs & Green Start-ups
Following the success of the 1st Ecoswitch Festival, “Fondation Diane”, the “EcoSwitch Coalition” and “Cewas” launched the 2nd edition of the annual EcoSwitch Festival for eco-entrepreneurs and green start-ups in Lebanon. The 3 day event was held with two online afternoon programs on the first 2 days, followed by a physical gathering of eco-entrepreneurs, green start-ups and supporting organizations on the 3rd day at Beirut Digital District. This event is supported by SwitchMed, an EU funded program, and the Asfari Foundation, under the YLEAP Program (Youth Learning, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program).
The festival consisted of a world café with the coalitions’ partners, knowledge-sharing discussions, expert panel sessions, speed dating and networking activities; and it welcomed over 150 online participants and 120 people at the networking event!
One of the highlights of the event was a keynote opening speech by the Founder and President of “Fondation Diane” Mrs. Diana Fadel in the 1st day of the event. In her motivational speech, Mrs. Fadel shed the light on eco-sustainable development which is embedded in the mission of the foundation. She then emphasized on the major role of Fondation Diane in boosting green entrepreneurship in Lebanon and its commitment to supporting creative-innovative minds & green start-ups who are actively engaged in making a change via the 17 SDGs. She continued by giving a boost of positivity to the young eco-entrepreneurs, the engine of change, the leaders of tomorrow!
Then, inspirational talks were addressed by four successful Lebanese green entrepreneurs: Nadim Inaty from Flixpy, Hanan Ismail from Garbalizer, Ziad Hussami from Mruna, and Soumaya Merhi from Taqa Bakery, who explained about the major challenges they encountered throughout their entrepreneurial journey, and provided the participants with motivational insights and sustainable solutions. The 2nd day featured animated and exciting discussion panels, with moderators, experts and eco-entrepreneurs, on different topics, entitled: “The Benefits of Clustering between Enterprises”, “Behavioral NeuroScience and Going Green”, and “Solve the Banana Waste Challenge”.
The physical event consisted of an inspirational talk by AbdelRahman Al Halawani from the “Asfrai Foundation”, as well as welcome notes from Fondation Diane, MedWaves and the coalition’s partners. In addition to green announcements, fun and entertaining activities, this day also included collaboration, speed dating, and networking opportunities that were initiated for the entrepreneurs to get to meet other sustainable like-minded people and EcoSwitch Coalition partners.
The overall objective was to introduce the green entrepreneurs to the “EcoSwitch Coalition”; a partnership of well-established institutions, NGOs and businesses that are passionate about growing the green ecosystem in Lebanon and the region. The EcoSwitch Coalition was created in 2020 to strengthen the support to eco-entrepreneurs in Lebanon, extend and multiply their positive impact through targeted assistance, in order to accelerate the transition towards social innovation and the green circular entrepreneurship in the region. The coalition currently encompasses 25 partners, and its aim is to offer eco-entrepreneurs knowledge sharing events, capacity building activities, access to expertise, as well as technical and financial support.
The EcoSwitch Coalition partners are: Asher Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (ACIE), AUB Nature Conservation Center, Agence Francaise de la Francophonie (AUF), Beirut Digital District (BDD), Berytech, Beyond Group, Bloom, Centre MINE, Cewas, Circular Hub, Changelabs, EcoConsulting, Eedama, Farah Social Foundation, Flat6Labs, Fondation Diane (implementing partner of SwitchMed in Lebanon), Injaz Lebanon, LAU Innovation Center, Make Sense, Michel Daher Foundation, Nucleus Ventures, Proquale, SmartESA, Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club and Waterlution.