AUF’S Badeel Pre-Incubator Program Launches, Benefitting Entrepreneurship In Lebanon

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BADEEL (meaning ‘alternative’ in Arabic), has officially launched. Serving as a pre-incubator support program, part of the AUF Moyen-Orient, BADEEL will provide students from Lebanese universities, the guidance and tools to realize their entrepreneurial ventures. The program will mentor and guide students to develop their ideas, and turn them into structured and viable projects. The program is led by ‘Le Centre d’Employabilité Francophone’ (CEF) of Beirut, in partnership with Forward MENA, at Beirut Digital District.

BADEEL seeks to fulfil numerous objectives through its pre-incubator program, which include to help students refine project ideas and assess their potential, extend entrepreneurial knowledge to students, train students on the basics of business management, expand the professional network, and prepare viable startups to join incubator / accelerator programs.

“The BADEEL program of the CEF is dedicated to developing the entrepreneurial spirit of students and fresh graduates, in order to help them find an alternative to employment and combat the brain drain by creating innovative companies,” shares Sana Hajj, Head of CEF in Beirut.

BADEEL is one of the components of the ‘Development of Student Entrepreneurship in Lebanon’ (DEEL Initiative), launched in 2017, founded to help strengthen the entrepreneurial culture and promote innovation in higher education, in Lebanon. The overarching aim is to promote the emergence of businesses with growth and employment potential. Accordingly, BADEEL will provide student entrepreneurs with interactive and engaging learning opportunities, as well as exposure to networks of professionals and entrepreneurs.

“BADEEL meets students whose projects are still in the early stages, upstream in the incubation chain, and constitutes a springboard allowing them to integrate in an incubator afterwards,” explains Nathalie Bitar, Deputy Regional Director, Projects, AUF.

Mariam Daher, Executive Director of Forward MENA, adds that: “Now, more than ever, investing in education and upskilling is critical to safeguard Lebanon’s future. This is why Forward MENA was launched, an incubator of educational programs that aims to develop the skillset of youth from all backgrounds to fulfill the jobs of today and tomorrow. We look forward to our continued partnership with the AUF to empower the Lebanese young entrepreneurs and to support them in developing the right skills to establish sustainable projects.”

Main activities and benefits of BADEEL

The pre-incubator, over 7 weeks, revolves around three main areas:

  • Workshops with experts, covering numerous topics which include lean canvas, customer validation, market analysis and startup funding
  • Mentoring sessions with team members, to ensure individualized follow-ups for all participating project teams
  • Meetups and exchanges with members of the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem, including seasoned entrepreneurs and experts from various fields

One viable pre-incubated startup may be selected to join an incubator in France, and others will receive grants of 1000 EUR per project. An additional grant of 1000 EUR for the most successful startup during the pre-incubation period will also be awarded.

To date, there are six participating startups, which include:

  • FillFlush – AUL: A project that seeks to manufacture automatic detergent dispensers to reduce the use of plastic containers.
  • HCARE – NDU: An application that helps users find the drugs they need in nearby pharmacies and allows them to follow their treatments properly.
  • PowerBin – USEK: A project that aims to develop dumpsters that treat organic waste and allow the production of biogas.
  • ProGreen – AZM University: A project to produce biofuel from used cooking oil; a cheaper and more environmentally friendly substitute for fossil fuel.
  • Tan-Q – UL: A Q&A platform optimized for Lebanese citizen and foreign students.
  • Twily – USJ: A game that teaches students how to start and run a business in a fun and interactive way.

The program kicked off on April 19, 2022, and will end of June 5, 2022.

To learn more about BADEEL, please visit

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