An award ceremony took place on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, at Villa Audi, Sofil, to announce the winning teams of the sixth 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.
Solidly convinced of the vital role played by small and medium companies in Lebanon and of their substantial contribution to the country’s economy, Bank Audi decided to reward three teams this year, instead of merely one. “We have decided to give bigger opportunities and open more horizons to participants this year, which is yet another indicator that we spare no efforts to reward solid ideas and give them the chance to materialise and bloom”, said Mr. Marc Audi, General Manager Lebanon – Bank Audi sal.
These rewards are the crowning achievement of a six-month competition which consists in having a selection of Lebanese SMEs 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 25 candidates then attended workshops led by Silicon Valley experts and focusing on how to develop a successful business plan. After that, 10 teams out of the selected 25 were assessed by a qualified jury through a series of oral presentations, which in turn resulted in the final vote.
The three winning companies of this year’s GMB competition are Augmental, Bildits and Sympaticus who respectively won prizes of LBP 50,000,000, LBP 30,000,000 and LBP 15,000,000 courtesy of Bank Audi.
Mr. Marc Audi seized the opportunity to reiterate “the Bank’s belief in young talents who are living proof that competence is the key to success.” He also highlighted “Bank Audi’s SME business line which reflects its attachment to those companies and has led it to develop special programs targeting them, in an effort to develop Lebanese businesses which play a major role in the blooming of the national economy.”
Mr. Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association, stressed that, like in previous years, “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 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”. Chammas praised the high calibre workshops made available to semi-finalists and lauded the amazing communication campaign laid out by Bank Audi this year to widen the competition’s audience and give it more impact with regards to innovation and out-of-the box thinking.
Mrs. Hala Fadel, Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region, added: “Now in its 6th edition, MITEF Pan Arab is pleased with the growth this competition is achieving year over year. With the help of our partners, Bank Audi and BTA, as well as with the support of the Lebanese ecosystem, we are ensuring that these teams become Lebanon's success stories.
We believe in our entrepreneurs and their innovation, and we are here to guide them and support them along their journey.”