Cisco to invest in Lebanon fund
Lebanon Growth Capital Fund to develop SMEs in the country
Cisco has announced its investment in a new fund to boost the SME sector in Lebanon.
The $50m Lebanon Growth Capital Fund was announced, under the patronage of the Lebanese Prime Minister, His Excellency Najib Mikati, with involvement from Cisco, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Riyada Enterprise Development (RED), a member of the Abraaj group.
The fund, which will be administered by RED, will look to invest in 13-15 SMEs in the country, across all sectors, with a brief to invest in companies that are "expected to achieve a transformational quantum of growth with the potential to expand into new regional and international markets," according to a statement.
Cisco will invest $7m in the fund as part of its ‘Partnership for Lebanon' programme; while EIB has invested $6.75m.
Speaking at the launch, His Excellency Nicolas Nahas, Minister of Economy and Trade said': "The Ministry of Economy and Trade, as well as the Lebanese Government as a whole, consider SMEs to be a crucial part of the economy and a vital catalyst to growth and development. By developing a structured approach to support SMEs through multiple initiatives, the Lebanese Government is playing an important role in the growth and development of SMEs.
"We welcome the launch of the Lebanon Growth Capital Fund which is a clear demonstration of the commitment from the private sector to foster innovation and long-term economic development in the country," he added.
"Cisco's investment in the Lebanon Growth Capital Fund demonstrates our tangible support of the SME sector and contribution to help create sustainable economic development by stimulating innovation and job creation in Lebanon," said Fadi Moubarak, general manager, Cisco Levant. "This new effort builds upon our earlier Partnership for Lebanon multi-year commitment, which addressed ICT infrastructure, education, internships, and micro finance for ICT."