A closing press conference was held on Monday, July 18, 2016, at Bank Audi Plaza, Bab Idriss, to announce the winning team of the fifth edition of the “Grow My Business” (GMB) competition, an initiative launched in 2011 by the Beirut Traders Association (BTA), in collaboration with the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region and in partnership with Bank Audi sal.
The top winning company of this year’s GMB competition is Smarke SAL, the members of which won a LBP 50,000,000 prize courtesy of Bank Audi.
This reward is the crowning achievement of a five-month competition which consisted in having a selection of Lebanese small and medium companies develop plans for their businesses to grow and submit these to a jury composed of prominent figures from the economic and industrial scene. The top 15 candidates then attended a workshop organised by university professors and experts from various fields, and focusing on how to develop a successful business plan. After that, all 15 business plans were submitted to a qualified jury who chose the 5 best candidates and assessed them through final oral presentations, which in turn resulted in the final vote.
Mr. Marc Audi, General Manager Lebanon – Bank Audi sal, reiterated “the Bank’s commitment to investing in young talents who are living proof that competence is the key to success.” He also highlighted “Bank Audi’s attachment to initiatives involving SMEs, which are the engine of the Lebanese economy”, and its sensitivity to this issue which has “led the Bank to create a new SME business line, and to develop special programs which target these companies and are in the process of being launched soon.” He concluded: “Our participation in such initiatives is an additional testimony of our dedication to make every necessary effort for the development of Lebanese businesses which play a major role in the blooming of the national economy.”
Mr. Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association, seized the opportunity to stress that, since its launch “the purpose of this competition is to give a tangible added value to small and medium-sized companies, to uplift the professional standards of the commercial sector as a whole, and to contribute to the sustainable development of the national economy.” He also pointed out that, “like in the previous years, this year’s applications continued to reflect very interesting profiles of emerging young companies and entrepreneurs in Lebanon coming from a wide array of sectors”, and that “the quality of the business plans received translated the excellent results of the high calibre workshop that was offered to semi-finalists.”
Mrs. Salam Yamout, Board member of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region, who represented Mrs. Hala Fadel (Chair) at the event, added: “We are closing on five years of successful collaboration between BTA, MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region and Bank Audi, to scale Lebanese companies regionally and sometimes globally, at a time when they are facing many challenges on the local market.”