Celebrating The Success Of Lebanese Entrepreneurs Locally & Globally – Part 2
Lebanese entrepreneurs are making headlines on a global
scale. The country, despite the challenges, does breed exceptional talent, who
are risk-takers and visionaries. The unwavering spirit of Lebanese
entrepreneurs has empowered them to grow their businesses and scale beyond
The adaptability of the Lebanese people is one key driver
contributing to their success. Another key factor is the notion of
perseverance, despite the numerous challenges stacked against them. Hundreds of
Lebanese entrepreneurs have made it big globally, growing their businesses
beyond borders, changing lives and making headlines.
Let’s take a look at some of the Lebanese entrepreneurial
success stories, in part 2 (check out part 1, here) of this series:
- Stephano Fallaha, Podeo: Podeo was founded in 2019 in
Beirut, offering Arabic and English podcasts on its mobile app. Podeo has its
own podcast shows, and one of the largest catalos of exclusive Arabic podcasts.
Recently, the company raised funding in a seed round, led by Razor Capital,
along with Globivest VC and professionals in technology and media companies. What Fallaha did right: He identified a market need for
Arabic content and created an exceptional technology driven platform. This is
his second venture (the first was called Fallound).
- Marc Atiyeh, Pawp: Pawp is Marc’s first venture, after a
lengthy career in the financial industry. Pawp is the first digital health
clinic, where people can gain access to licensed vets around the clock. It also
offers a USD 3,000 pet emergency fund. Prior to founding Pawp, he served as the
CSO of Clarity Money, which was acquired by Goldman Sachs, and worked with
Paribus. In both roles, he was responsible for the growth of the companies. What Marc did right: He steadily built his credentials,
through both his education and in the expansive roles he took on. He then used
the skills of what he does best, found a niche market segment, in the pet and
vet industry, and tapped into it.
- Sam Darwish, IHS Towers: Sam’s university years were marred
during the Lebanese civil war, having to navigate through war, instability and
violence. He shares that these experiences taught him “pragmatism” which today,
he channels into his company, IHS Towers. IHS Towers tapped into a unique segment
in the telecom industry. The company both builds and buys mobile towers from
telecom companies and then leases them to operators. What Sam did right: He did not let the challenges he faced
while growing up deter him, rather he learnt from them. He continued to
specialize in the field of telecommunications, and ventured into untapped
markets, building his business from the ground up. Dubbed the ‘accidental
engineer’, he sought opportunities that could be capitalized on.
- Rania Hoteit, ID4A Technologies: An award-winning serial
entrepreneur, Rania founded ID4A Technologies, which is now a global technology company. The
company has been recognized as one of the best entrepreneurial companies in
America, and by the White House, for its contribution to 'Fostering The
Development of Advanced Manufacturing in the US as The World', amongst other
awards and recognition. What Rania did right: She invested her time and energy in an
area that she is passionate about, turning many technologies into successful
startups. She also sees the potential in future entrepreneurs and works to
facilitate investments to fund their ventures.
- Omar Ghazzaoui, OTTOGEE Inc: As the co-founder and CEO of
OTTOGEE Inc., a Techstars backed technology startup, Omar has been working to
transform labor-intensive industries on a global scale. The company identified
and tackles the biggest challenges in labor-intensive industries, to improve
the working environments for employees. Alongside this venture, Omar also co-founded
AlertTrace by VOS Systems, which he also serves as the CEO of. What Omar did
right: He took it upon himself to create solutions for a global issue to
improve the lives of working men and women around the world.
Entrepreneurs need to identify the opportunities, despite
the challenges and power through. This is what every Lebanese entrepreneur has
done, and continues to do, whether in their home country or beyond borders.
Stay tuned for part 3, of inspiring Lebanese entrepreneurial
stories, from Lebanon and around the world.
Women in Business
on June 10, 2021
by Beirut Digital District