Christina Chehade, Manager Director at startup accelerator Endeavor in Lebanon, describes our country as a digital hub, with companies on the rise to conquer the Arab region and the world. She encourages us to just take the leap and go into any entrepreneurship area we are passionate about, because the local ecosystem is young and all sectors are valid to grow into. She also points out that it is a must to become tech-enabled in order to survive and scale, and that making sure that us and our team remain true to our corporate culture is key for optimal performance.

Entrepreneurship in Lebanon

Lebanon has always been an entrepreneurial hub. During the past 6 or 7 years, there have been a rise in tech entrepreneurs. Lebanon can be a successful digital hub, mainly for the region, because we have a lot of talent, companies that already raised funds outside Lebanon and that have scaled, opened in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, etc., and are now scaling to conquer the world.   

Digital transformation

if you are not tech-enabled in any way, you don’t have a competitive edge, and obviously you are not scalable. With the Covid crisis, most of the traditional companies realized that if they weren’t tech-enabled, they wouldn’t have been able to survive. So you saw that even traditional companies wanted to go into digital transformation. The amount of technology that was put into these businesses during Covid is massive.

Areas of development

The regional ecosystem is very young, so entrepreneurs can tap into different sectors, and we have a lot of know-how in education, healthcare, etc. Even e-commerce is new in the region, so it’s a very nascent ecosystem. All sectors are valid to grow into. We are not talking about sophisticated ecosystems like Europe or the US where you really need to be very specific in what you are doing.

Leadership skills

When I want to hire people the most important thing for me is the culture, the way they deal with people, their learning capacity. It’s their soft skills more than their hard skills. People can learn any skill, and I think that employers today are looking more for people who can adapt to different situations, who can learn very quickly and take advantage of situations. I think we are going into an era of soft skills.


Sometimes we have had doubts about people fitting into our culture, partners fitting into our line of thought, entrepreneurs not really adhering to our mission. I think culture is key. One of the biggest mistakes I have made is probably hiring people that are not true to Endeavor’s culture. It ends up being a waste of time and getting you more into trouble than you actually thought.          

Wise decisions

One of the wisest decisions is to always keep your options open, venture into new things that are of interest to you, and follow your passion. Even if it is challenging and complicated, just venture into it. The road is going to always be difficult, so hang on in there, specially in these very tough economic times, because once you rise above the challenge this is where you are going to succeed.

The form you have selected does not exist.