The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the completion of its five-year $25 million Lebanon Enterprise Development (LED) project. The LED project partnered with enterprises and organizations with promising capabilities in all sectors and regions across Lebanon to boost their sales and investments and create new jobs for Lebanese citizens.

The closing event took place in Beirut in the presence of USAID Mission Director Mary Eileen Devitt, representatives from the US Embassy in Lebanon, CEOs and owners of Lebanese businesses, presidents of business associations, and other stakeholders who benefitted from the project.

With its main partners, Berytech and BIAT, the Business Incubation Association in Tripoli, and other local subcontractors and grantees, LED offered customized support to local businesses from more than 30 sectors to help them identify and solve the problems that were limiting their growth, productivity, and profitability. More than 760 enterprises across Lebanon benefited from LED’s tailormade support to sustain their operations and in some cases even expand even during the several crises confronting Lebanon. These businesses created jobs for more than 4,000 people, one-third of whom are women, and increased domestic and export sales significantly.

"We are here today because you believe, as we do, in the power of the Lebanese private sector and private enterprises as a reliable source of jobs and the pillars of a vibrant economy.  However, we are all aware that the private sector is faced with increased competition from foreign producers, decreased demand for Lebanese goods and services, high production costs, and limited access to finance and investment.  This is what prompted the United States government, through USAID, to support Lebanon’s enterprises and give them the tools to find solutions in response to these challenges for more than 20 years.  Lebanon’s enterprises, together with the capability and entrepreneurial spirit of its people, have the ability to grow this economy and generate jobs.  In fact, today, more than ever, we are counting on the private sector to be the driving force that will put Lebanon on the path of economic recovery." said USAID Mission Director in Lebanon, Mary Eileen Devitt.

“We are delighted to close out a successful project that reaffirms USAID’s commitment to Lebanon’s stability and economic growth. Through direct engagement or in partnership with local grantees and subcontractors, LED has helped businesses across Lebanon to access high-quality consulting and advisory services, by partnering with more than 180 Lebanese professionals, that also boosted the local consulting market. Due to LED’s support, many companies were able to penetrate new markets or to capture business opportunities that helped them sustain or grow their operations, to retain their workforce, and often to hire more people, despite the tremendous difficulties they faced. I would like to thank our partners for their exceptional efforts throughout the past five years. LED’s success wouldn’t be the same without the strong will of Lebanese businesses to grow and the tremendous efforts of consultants to deliver outstanding business support,” said LED’s Managing Director, Mr. Douglas Griffith.

About LED

LED aimed to sustain and increase jobs for Lebanese citizens. LED offers customized technical assistance to local businesses to help them identify and solve the problems that are preventing them from increasing sales, and therefore from needing to hire more Lebanese. LED also worked with stakeholders and partners to identify, analyze, and propose solutions to problems that are affecting the business enabling environment. LED assisted small, medium, or large Lebanese registered businesses in any sector.