Friday, June 1, 2012

A “Home Made” Lebanese Startup Employs Veteran Mothers

“Imagine if a domestic worker comes out of our courses and she is able to cook perfect Lebanese cuisine,” suggests El Hage. “She can go ahead then and move out of the household employment to work in a restaurant or to work as a professional au pair. The sky is the limit when you deliver them the training. [Also] they are not going to go home with just the money they have and the scars they have.”

Shighl Beit’s tone and scope are distinctly local. Its mission is deeply rooted in tangible outcomes that intend to impact, and improve, the dynamic in Lebanese homes. Unfortunately, it is precisely its identity as a social venture that presents its biggest obstacle. In today’s market, where technology, mobile applications and social media dominate investor interest, social entrepreneurs like El Hage and Idriss that focus on investing in communities are often overlooked.

“Shighl Beit, being a social venture, does not promise the easy millions that other non-social ventures do, thus building a simultaneously realistic and investor-friendly financial model posed a real challenge,” explains El Hage.

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