Celebrating The Success Of Lebanese Entrepreneurs Locally & Globally – Part 3
Hundreds of Lebanese entrepreneurs have been making
headlines globally over the past few years. One success after another, their
stories come to light, positioning the small nation as one that births hope. As
we explore the stories of the entrepreneurs that built innovative companies
from scratch, tapping into unchartered waters and thriving despite the odds, we
take pride in sharing their stories.
This three part series explores the success stories of
Lebanese entrepreneurs, both in Lebanon and globally (check out parts 1 & 2
- Charlie El Khoury & Nicolas Zaatar, NAR: NAR is the first of its kind
automated drone data management solution on a tablet-based app, offering cost
and time efficiencies. Charlie, Nicolas and their team created a pioneering application
that enables “image labelling, organization, packaging, and sharing on the fly
and in offline mode”. What’s more, is that NAR’s platform provides data
analysis and reporting, with each flight inspection. Its users can now log in and
catalogue images in real time. NAR was acquired by US-based B3Bar, which led to
the team’s relocation to the US – catapulting their growth as a company. What
Charlie and Nicolas did right: They set up NAR in Lebanon and worked tirelessly to innovate,
resulting in an exceptional App that caught the attention of B3Bar, which led
to the next spur of growth.
- Carl Wazen, Yoco: Carl founded Yoco in 2015, little did he
know the success the company would achieve in a short period of time. Today,
Yoco is the leading payments platform in South Africa, catering to small
businesses. The platform offers small businesses a convenient way to accept
card payments, both in-person or online. At present, the platform supports over
100,000 small businesses, of which, 80% had never accepted card payments
before. Yoco has raised over USD 50 million in VC funding since it was founded.
What Carl did right: He focused on an untapped market segment that was
generally underserved, and addressed the needs of small businesses by offering
convenient online payment solutions.
- Tamim Khalfa & Nael Halwani, Toters: When Tamim and Nael founded Toters in 2017 in
Lebanon, it was the first company to provide such an offering, delivering
convenience to consumers based on what they desire, need and want. The biggest
pivotal shift, from a users’ perspective, happened during the pandemic, when
Toters expanded its offerings to fully service every need that a consumer may
have. Think late night ice cream cravings, to fun gadgets, toys for the kids,
and beauty and wellness products. Complementing the expansive range of products
and aligned with their mission “to make people’s live simpler,” Toters added a
Butler service (think of your own personal driver), a points system that keeps
you coming back for more, and an exceptionally responsive customer service team
that always leave you happier. What Tamim and Nael did right: They focused on innovation,
continually improving the customer experience on the App, and nurtured a solid
customer service team, that puts the client first.
- Cherif Massoud, Basma: An orthodontist by practice and an
innovator at heart, the key recipe that lead Cherif to create Basma, an
invisible aligners company. As an alternative to braces, Basma’s invisible
aligners are both designed and monitored by orthodontists. The at-home
treatment promises straighter slides in an average of 6 months. The successes
are both in the results achieved, as well as the funding the company has
received. Basma recently closed a seed funding round of USD 1.2 million. What
Cherif did right: He found a way to innovate in his field of expertise,
offering clients exactly what they were looking for – straighter smiles, in
less time and at a lower cost.
- Khaled Yafi, The Berry Company: The Berry Company was
founded in 2007 in the UK, after Khaled was inspired by superfoods and their
nutritional benefits. Since its founding, The Berry Company’s juice range grew
to have different flavors, infused with vitamins and minerals for a healthy
body. They can be found on shelves around the world, and the brand’s Blueberry
juice even won an award. What Khaled did right: He tapped into an industry with
vast potential from early on and grew the business steadily. As the company
gained market share and a solid reputation globally, he diversified his
- Daniel Daou, Daou Mountain: Daniel always dreamt of becoming
a winemaker. However, his aspirations were dampened, being a young man living
in France – his goals seemed out of reach. But his dream never really went
away, so he nurtured it by collecting wines and studying the art of winemaking.
The dedication to fulfill his dreams soon paid off, and Daou Mountain was
founded, a wine brand that fuses ecological elements. His wines have been
awarded many times, with his Cabernet wine being the highest rates on the
Central Coast. What Daniel did right: He followed his dreams and realized his
deep-seated passion. Today, he is on a never ending quest for the perfect wine,
which he continues to make in his vineyard.
At BDD, we believe in the vast potential of Lebanese
entrepreneurs. Our entire ecosystem seeks to provide a digitized space where
talent can network and grow, both in Lebanon and beyond borders. Part 4 of this
series will be coming soon. There are just too many exceptional stories of
Lebanese entrepreneurs to fit into one post!
If you have an inspiring journey to share, a personal
experience on how you continue to thrive as a Lebanese entrepreneur, or how you
overcome the challenges, get in touch with us to share your story.