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Surviving

Lebanon has had to meet internal and external challenges throughout its recent history. Yet the country continues as a significant hub in the global economy. In order to survive and thrive, Lebanon continues to adopt modern business methods, thereby integrating itself more firmly in the global economy. This applies to the nation’s economy, in general, and to Lebanese enterprises, in particular. In this regard, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon (FCCIAL) and the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) have played leading roles in providing economic and technical solutions to address the diverse needs of Lebanese SMEs.

 

Striving for Synergies

In response to the ever-growing demands of Lebanese SMEs for affordable and specialized business services, FCCIAL decided to launch a vital initiative for the sustainable development of local enterprises: The SME Center. But in order to broaden the choice of services to SMEs, FCCIAL entered into a partnership with IRI and the Euro-Lebanese Center for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM), in order to create an efficient and effective SME Center. The services of the Food Advisory Unit (an ELCIM initiative) as well as LibanPack, will also be available through the SME Center. The Center aspires to become a key “one-stop-shop” destination for dynamic, growth-oriented SMEs, providing them with all the technical services that they need to accomplish their growth plans. 

Leading, Guiding and Assisting

Given the scarcity of affordable professional business services, the SME Center’s role becomes even more important for the following reasons:

    • Improving the capability of SMEs to compete more efficiently on domestic, regional, and global markets, as well as expanding their share of trade;
    • Increasing the competitiveness of the Lebanese economy, and increasing employment through the resulting stimulation of productivity;
    • Enhancing the capabilities of SMEs for product development to reach new clients and new markets;
    • Building up the innovation capacities in SMEs.
  • Furthermore, the SME Center’s staff will bring a vital ingredient in business consulting: A deep understanding of SMEs, their priorities and challenges, as well as a commitment to help them professionally and ethically.

Thriving

The SME Center will endeavor to make a difference to its clients and enable them to succeed. Its methods are clearly outlined and customized to suit companies’ requirements. This can involve:

  • Assisting SMEs in the improvement of their food processes and final quality of their food products in order to facilitate access to international markets;
  • Providing financial assistance services and access to financial institutions and loans;
  • Assisting SMEs in the capacity building of their human resource based on business requirements and company demand;
  • Maintaining existing Quality Management Systems by offering Advisory and coaching activities to the SMEs to keep them compliant with the international standards they have acquired; and Helping SMEs in upgrading their products through improving their compliance with international standards and regulations on packaging and labeling as well as the quality and design of their packaging.

Advancing Towards a Brighter Future

The SME Center wants your business to prosper, your work-force to develop, and your future prospects to be enhanced. Therefore, the Federation and its partners are committed to directing the SME Center towards achieving a prominent position among local business centers…a position that is worthy of FCCIAL’s stature as a key economic player in Lebanon.

SME Center Partners

The Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon

FCCIAL was established in 1997 as the national umbrella of the four regional Chambers in Lebanon: The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Beirut and Mount Lebanon; The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Tripoli and the North; The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Saida and the South; The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Zahle and the Bekaa. The Industrial Research Institute
IRI has developed many areas of expertise and core competencies over the last decade. Its expanding range of services has been delivered in Lebanon and other Arab countries. IRI is recognized as a solid partner and a competent institution which is able to design and deliver high quality services. Equally, numerous IRI labs are accredited by international bodies. ELCIM
ELCIM provides specialized services for manufacturing enterprises, enabling them to develop through the improved quality of products, increased competitiveness and modern managerial skills. This involves the provision of expertise; access to technical and financial resources; awareness of human and corporate responsiveness to the challenges of work and the creation of wealth. The Food Advisory Unit FAU aspires to link local technical resources with agro-food businesses, particularly with the purpose of improving the products and processes of Lebanese SMEs operating in the food industry. Its importance is in the fact that it capitalizes on the strengths of different organizations and institutions in Lebanon and deepens the synergy among them, thereby providing its customers with a wide range of services and activities. LibanPack
A not-for-profit association, LibanPack represents stakeholders from the food and packaging sectors in Lebanon. It is a focal point for all enterprises concerned with improving packaging. The main objective of this center is to address key issues across the packaging value chain. It works on improving the packaging and labeling process and thus increasing the competitiveness of Lebanese products on export markets and ensuring their conformity with international standards.

Specialized Services

A Wide-Range of Specialized Services

According to the report on “Business Development Services in Lebanon: Field Survey for Needs Assessment, November -December 2008”, that was undertaken by the Federation and GTZ, the following services were identified as priority areas for many Lebanese SMEs. 

Production Services

  • Organization of production process
  • Information about modern technology
  • Access to modern technology/use of technology level
  • Maintenance of machines
  • Flexibility to respond to changing environment / demand
  • Product development and design
  • Product quality
  • Quality management system
  • Safety & health

Management and Finance

  • Business diagnosis
  • Business planning
  • Knowledge of modern management tools
  • Administration of personnel and human resources
  • Ability to maintain quality of staff
  • Assistance to get qualified labor
  • Information about financing schemes
  • Access to credits

Marketing

  • Information about customers
  • Access to customers
  • Information about suppliers
  • Access to suppliers
  • Sales and distribution structure
  • Product promotion cooperation

 

SME CENTER New Services

The SME Center, a vital initiative of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Lebanon aiming at the sustainable development of local enterprises, has expanded its service offering to include export related and food related services. 

Export Related Services
The center now facilitates market access to Turkey through:

  • Visit Programs
    Detailed visit programs are scheduled to potential partners, customers, governmental agencies, associations and various authorities according to the client’s needs accompanied by an expert from the Center.
  • Market Survey
    Specific and up-to-date market surveys allowing for sound knowledge of the local market and a solid market entry: information on market size, structure, competition, demand, prices, distribution, legislation, and other crucial factors.
  • Partner Identification
    Provide international companies with access to new strategic partners by defining a partner profile and then researching companies and potential customers fitting to the selected profile.

Food Related Services

  • Product Adaptation for US & other International Markets Giving Lebanese products a new identity making them consumer friendly and marketable in foreign markets.
  • Culinary Concepts and Menu Design Creating food ideas through unique menu design to better compete with other existing restaurants locally and internationally.
  • Food And Beverage Training and Consulting Services Providing training and consulting services in various topics based on demand; among which are: Business development, food safety and hygiene standards, establishing Standard Operating procedures, and other services.

For more information about the Center’s new services,
Please visit the Federation’s SME Center to enquire about our services.
Location: CCIABML Bldg, 12th Floor, Sanayeh – Beirut Lebanon
Or call on: 00961 1 349614 - 00961 1 744702, or send an Email to: sme@cci-fed.org.lb