From 27th to 29th June 2012, the CP/RAC (Cleaner Production Regional Activity Center, an inter-governmental agency within UNEP‘s Mediterranean Action Plan or MAP) organized a hands-on workshop within “Green Entrepreneurship & Eco-Design Training Programme” in the facilities of the American University on Beirut. The objectives of the workshop were to inform, prepare and empower senior or master degree students from Beirut on the art of green entrepreneurship through a variety of tools and applied technical methodologies from the Green economy initiative. Emprendae participated both as facilitator of the green entrepreneurship sessions at the workshop and adviser in green business plan development.
This free workshop was designed to provide a maximum of 30 pre-registered participants with a training package comprising pre-event preparations, a 3-day on-site workshop and a 1-week follow-up advising service. It was focused on theoretical and practical tools for the development of green ideas around three main areas all inherently linked to sustainability: strategy, business model development and sustainability management as well as to key concepts and ideas related to eco-design and eco-innovation.
As of the pedagogical methodology used, 5 entrepreneurial projects were selected and teams of 4-6 people were created among them. Besides the preparative material submitted to the participats before the workshop, CP/RAC and its collaborators (Emprendae among them) provided a 1-week post-event advising service to those teams, obtaining quality green business plans.
Of particular interest was the presentation of successful green business stories both from Lebanese entrepreneurs and other Mediterranean countries. As the participants admitted, this database of Mediterranean green businesses represents a great source of knowledge and inspiration for them, as well as a wide pool of potential contacts and collaborators.
Lastly, as a fitting finale several multi-stakeholder roundtables were held with the aim of brainstorming on possible action lines to promote green entrepreneurship in Lebanon. Representatives from the different social agents that play a role in this realm were present (ministries, civil society organizations, businessmen and women, green entrepreneurs, etc.), laying the ground for enriching debates and potentially transformational initiatives to see the light of day.
The feedback obtained shows a very positive impact, with many participants willing to pursue further training programs on the matter and even be part of the Mediterranean network of green entrepreneurs that CP/RAC is currently designing and to which Emprendae is also contributing. Besides, the local partners that co-organized the event also expressed their positive vibes from the event as well as their openness for an on-going collaboration to take place. The seeds of the network are well planted and growing in Green Lebanon.