Lebanon has been undergoing an economic crisis for the past year that has left many of its youth struggling. The need for new skills and businesses is imminent. In the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, I have decided to launch LebWox in order to support Lebanese women to develop their skills, shape their business ideas, and take their ventures forward.
LebWox is a talent incubator - we value the 'person' and equip them with the business know-how. In contrast to standard talent incubators, we do also empower attendees to develop their interpersonal skills. I strongly believe that if we equip the brightest people with the right set of skills, they are going to set up their companies and excel – and this is something I’ve come to learn!
I'm very grateful to RisingWISE for equipping me with the right set of skills and mindset to start my venture. I've learned a lot about leadership, pitching, and negotiation. I have come to realise how privileged I am to have access to all these amazing workshops via RisingWISE and at Oxford. Therefore, I want to contribute back to society by providing similar opportunities to other parts of the world. The impact RisingWISE has had on me goes beyond the individual level and extends to the whole community of LebWox and to our future cohorts. In RisingWISE, I have connected with amazing women who are doing astonishing things with their life. I came to realise how supportive women could be of other women in business. There's a strong cohort of brilliant women to learn from and to lean on in the process of learning! I wish to bring this feeling to the LebWox community.
In future, I see LebWox developing in incubating companies and in crossing the borders of Lebanon into the Arab word. I would like to support Arab women to develop their ventures. It is shocking to know that only 1.4% of all founders that raised money in Europe in 2019 identified as Middle Eastern or North African. On top of that, women founders get 23% less funding than male-led companies. There is obviously a lower representation of the Arab population and women specifically in the entrepreneurial sphere.
I want to make a positive impact by driving social change and by bringing more diversity and inclusion to entrepreneurship. I want to see this incubator turning into an 'investing' incubator, by having investors who share similar values, who want to diversify their portfolios and make a wider social impact by investing in companies in underrepresented areas or in those that are led by underrepresented communities in the Western world. I'm confident empowering diversity will lead to the next big ventures! These are the unexplored spaces.
Founder of Critical Skills Circle
Junior Research Fellow at Kellogg College and an MPLS Enterprise Fellow