A closing press conference was held on October 22, 2013, at Bank Audi Plaza, Bab Idriss, to announce the winning team of the third edition of the “Grow My Business” (GMB) competition, an initiative launched in February 2011 by the Beirut Traders Association (BTA), in collaboration with the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region and in partnership with Bank Audi sal - Audi Saradar Group.
The competition consists in having a selection of Lebanese companies develop plans for their businesses to grow and submit these to a jury composed of prominent figures of the BTA, of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region, and of Bank Audi. The top 25 candidates underwent a workshop organised by experts in the field and university professors, and focusing on how to develop a successful business plan. All 25 business plans were then submitted to a qualified jury who chose the 12 best candidates and assessed them through final oral presentations.
In light of these sessions, the jury ultimately voted for the top winning company of this year’s GMB competition: Dawtec, the members of which won a LBP 50,000,000 prize courtesy of Bank Audi.
Mr. Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association, seized the opportunity to highlight that “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 noted that, “like in the last two years, this year’s applications continued to reflect very interesting profiles of emerging young companies and entrepreneurs in Lebanon, and the quality of the business plans received translated the excellent results of the high caliber workshop that was offered to semifinalists”. Chammas also pointed out that, like the previous years, the GMB competition attracted applications from companies coming from a wide array of sectors, from IT to Art and Design, Technology Applications, Food, Construction, Consulting, Education, Tourism, and many others.
Mrs. Hala Fadel, Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum – Pan Arab Region, added: “For the third consecutive year, we are happy to have helped the entrepreneurs with training, matched them with mentors, and provided them with networking opportunities with key players in the ecosystem.” With regards to the winner, Fadel commented: "We are extremely proud of Dawtec as their business touches on the four pillars of this program: innovation, scalability, positive social impact, and job creation."
As for H.E. Mr. Raymond Audi, Chairman - General Manager of Bank Audi sal - Audi Saradar Group, he underlined that “despite the challenging situation the country had to face this year, the Bank’s dedication to SMEs remains unchanged.” He added: “We are solidly convinced that SMEs are at the heart of a healthy economy, which is why we plan to launch new products which aim at catering to the needs of Lebanese small and medium enterprises and at giving them the opportunity to Grow Beyond Their Potential.”