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French corporate support to Lebanese SMEs


The French container transportation and shipping company, CMA CGM group, founded by French-Lebanese businessman Jack Saadeh, concluded a partnership yesterday with SMART ESA affiliated with l’Ecole Superieure des Affaires (ESA) to support Lebanese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) incubated by SMART through the Merit Venture investment fund. Accordingly, each startup will receive a cash grant of USD 25,000 to USD 30,000 in return for 8.5% of its profits. SMART ESA managing director, Jihad Bitar, said the cooperation will accompany startups in the most difficult phase to help them reach the funds required to launch their businesses, and will, as well, back entrepreneurs on the long term to facilitate their access to external markets. SMART ESA has supported some 30 startups in 2017, and is expected to support 30 enterprises shortlisted for this year as of this coming March. For his part, the head of the French Regional Economic Missions, Jacques de Lajugie, said this partnership is another step forward in the French companies’ commitment to the development of entrepreneurship and creation of jobs in Lebanon.  (L’Orient Le Jour, February 8, 2018)


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