STAND Up!: Fashion entrepreneurs join the EcoSwitch Festival, the first annual event for green enterprises in Lebanon
The first annual EcoSwitch Festival for eco-entrepreneurs in Lebanon welcomed over 65 online participants and 80 people at the physical networking event, the Beirut Digital District, where they got the chance to meet and exchange collaboration proposals. Organised by the EcoSwitch Coalition, from which our Lebanese partner Berytech is member, the event had the participation of one eco-innovator trained by STAND Up!: Marc Metni, cofounder of the new company behind Waste Studio.
The EcoSwitch Coalition is a partnership of well-established institutions, NGOs and businesses that has been created in 2020 to strengthen the support to eco-entrepreneurs in Lebanon also involving Berytech The coalition extend and multiply the positive impact of the associated partners through targeted assistance. with the aim of collectively empowering eco-entrepreneurs to develop innovative ideas. The event was divided into three days (online days: 23rd, 24th and physical event: 25th of November).
Waste Studio, a new company trained by STAND Up! that joined the sessions
The festival included different knowledge-sharing discussions, expert panel sessions, speed dating and networking activities. One of the highlights of the event was the inspirational talks from four successful Lebanese green entrepreneurs: Batoul Hakim from SAVVY ELEMENT, Marc Aoun from Compost Baladi SAL, Vanessa Zuabi from Mint Basil Market, and Ralph Sbeih from Plastclab.
“The event was very fruitful. We had the opportunity to meet other startups, hear what they are working on, feel the community sense and really be able to empower other startups that were in the audience,” explains Marc Aoun, Founder of Compost Baladi.
Furthermore, four animated discussion panels with moderators, experts and eco-entrepreneurs ran on the topics of: Local Sourcing & Local Manufacturing; Export & Access to International Markets; Pricing Products in Times of Crisis; Access to Investment: Current Outlook - Donors & Investors; with the aim of enabling start-ups to take informed decisions given the current local climate.
Waste Studio, a new company that received training sessions under the Switchmed methodology developed by the Regional Activity Center for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC), joined the panel on export & acces to international markets. This start-up is bringing together designers and artisan tailors in a collaborative environment, where they create and manufacture bags, accessories and furniture out of advertising banners.
Marc’s background in geo-environmental consulting and management, plus his passion for sustainable growth, constantly shape his decisions in building the new brand business. Apart from Waste Studio, other fashion and textile entrepreneurs joined the event as attendants and could exchange synergies and make collaboration contacts.
About EcoSwitch Festival
EcoSwitch is supported by the Asfari Foundation and was enabled through SwitchMed, a program funded by the European Union and managed between different organisations among which the SCP/RAC, which aim is to accelerate the transition towards social innovation and green circular entrepreneurship in the region.
The coalition aim is to offer eco-entrepreneurs knowledge sharing events, capacity building activities, access to expertise and technical support, and other assistance through events like the Festival and Entrepreneurship Labs. Another important objective is to help build a community of like-minded people, with space for networking and collaboration between local sustainable enterprises.
The EcoSwitch Coalition currently encompasses 17 Partners, all providing different types of support to entrepreneurs in general, and some more specifically to green entrepreneurs: Beirut Digital District, Berytech, Beyond Group, Bloom EMEA, cewas Middle East, The Circular Hub, Changelabs, EcoConsulting - UK & Lebanon, Fondation Diane (implementing partner of SwitchMed in Lebanon), INJAZ Lebanon (Junior Achievement Worldwide), LAU FMIC, makesense, Proquale, Smart ESA ,Nucleus Ventures,TEC- Tripoli Entrepreneurs Club,and Waterlution Canada.