In late 2020, we opened the Capacity Development Lab (CDL) and the Diaspora Professionals 4 Development (DP4D) mechanism for business, inviting diaspora organisations, public authorities and regional organisations from our partner regions to submit innovative ideas on how to harness diaspora human, intellectual and social capital for the development of countries of heritage. We received an impressive number of diverse and interesting ideas, making selection a challenge. Following a rigorous review process with our partners, we are delighted to announce that our first action is taking off!
The first action to launch is a collaboration with the Association Franco-Libanaise des Professionnels de l’Informatique (AFPI), a not-for-profit diaspora organisation for Lebanese IT professionals in France, and Berytech Foundation, a Lebanon-based incubator and accelerator. CDL is tapping the potential of Lebanon’s dynamic diaspora in France, equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to create new business opportunities and support the development of local tech companies in Lebanon.
Recounting local challenges
In recent years, Lebanon has witnessed a deteriorating financial sector, record rates of business shutdowns, hyperinflation, and increasing waves of emigration of its skilled youth. On top of these, the Beirut port explosion in 2020 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have made it even more difficult for any Lebanese company to stay afloat.
The challenges in Lebanon continue to inspire unwavering commitment and compassion from the Lebanese diaspora, who are mobilising their time, energy and resources to help their homeland get back on its feet. One sector receiving growing diaspora support is the tech sector – a priority of Lebanese governments over the past years. Local tech companies rely heavily on the Lebanese diaspora to gain access to international and viable markets, and there is untapped potential in various markets to make more of this sector and the potential of diaspora to contribute to it.
Empowering the Lebanese diaspora in France
Banking on the massive potential of Lebanese tech and the power of diaspora engagement, EUDiF is therefore proud to launch the first action under the CDL with AFPI and Berytech.
The action aims to develop of the capacities of AFPI and Berytech to export local tech services into France and leverage the French-Lebanese diaspora’s comprehensive knowledge, extensive experience, far-reaching networks and easy access to French – and later on EU – market.
Within this initiative, EUDiF support has the following specific objectives:
- To assist AFPI in the creation of a ‘French Market Acceleration Program’, which will provide Lebanese tech companies with a comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of the French market;
- To train AFPI members to effectively teach the French Market Acceleration Program to Lebanese tech companies in Berytech’s network;
- To develop guidelines for the Cedars Tech Label, which will help strengthen the credibility of the Lebanese tech sector;
- To create a communications plan to increase the visibility of Lebanese companies within the French market; and
- To design monitoring and evaluation tools to help AFPI and Berytech sustain the action’s activities post-EUDiF support.
Our intended impact
Through the CDL support, we equip APFI and Berytech with the knowledge, tools, frameworks and procedures they need to enhance their role as a bridge between Lebanon and France. Our action complements several existing initiatives that support the entry of Lebanese companies into foreign markets, but this is the first one targeted at the Lebanese tech sector with the direct support of the diaspora in France. The Cedars Tech Label, which was launched by AFPI, Berytech and their partners to make a solid branding for the quality of Lebanese tech, is also the first of its kind for Lebanon, marking an innovative step forward for the local tech community.
By developing the capacity of AFPI and Berytech to work with each other, EUDiF seeks to help strengthen the links between Lebanon and its diaspora in France.
For more details about EUDiF’s support role, see our step-by-step methodology:
There are more actions lined up under the CDL and via the DP4D mechanism, so stay tuned!