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Teaching social entrepreneurship / social innovation

We’re excited to start teaching two courses soon on social entrepreneurship and social innovation as part of the executive-level NGO Management Program at Sagesse University in Lebanon. According to one of the program coordinators, Elie Khayat, the program at Sagesse is looking to strengthen elements of the NGO program that relate to business skills,  entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Combining our work with the new and growing global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship and this coming course at Sagesse University, we look forward to developing new materials, enhancing academic partnerships, and contributing to improved educational resources and opportunities in this field in Lebanon and the WANA (West Asia/North Africa) region. If you’re looking right now, a good place to start is where the Alliance is already starting to post up resources related to social entrepreneurship education.

The courses will be short and intense… only 4 days each, 3 hours each day, and we want them to have the maximum impact possible for the participating students. If you have suggestions of content we should use, activities we could do, or anything else, please let us know! (send an email to dmn (at)

Please keep checking back … we’ll be adding more information, resources, updates, and links as the courses kick off!

By |May 17th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

Seeds of Social Entrepreneurship in the Euro-Med region

I was happily wandering aimlessly in one of the capitals of human heritage, Rome, gathering my thoughts from the 5-day workshop ..

By |February 26th, 2013|Blog|1 Comment

Back from Istanbul, and the global Entrepreneurship Summit

By: David Munir Nabti @dmnabti

I was only in Istanbul a few days, and admittedly I only saw a small part of a small part of the city. The language confused me, the keyboard layout baffled me, the size of the city was astonishing, the politics intricate, and the economy complex. The traffic got as bad as anywhere I’ve seen, the taxis drove me on long detours to make a few extra lira, the clubs were crowded, some streets were so packed at night it was hard to walk around, and there was a subtle (sometimes not so subtle) sense of disorder. After hearing so much about the growing startup and tech scene in Istanbul, I frequently had trouble getting online, and on several occasions random SMS messages I sent never got delivered to the intended recipient. Many things seemed quickly hacked together. Other things seemed long-neglected. Many buildings were empty, and whole blocks looked long-abandoned. Many people complained of corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies. Frequently when things worked out properly, I found myself breathing a sigh of relief.

And I can’t wait to go back.

Despite all those challenges, I met some amazing people, saw an amazing city, and got a glimpse into one of the pivot points that will shape the coming years, decade, and beyond, in our region, and around the world. The city is spectacular, almost out of a fairytale from an earlier era, and reminded me a lot of Damascus, supposedly one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. But while Damascus is big and truly an ancient and modern Arab city, Istanbul is huge, a massive metropolis that has distinct flavors of both “oriental” and “European”. From discussions with several bright […]

By |December 9th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

“Connect! for Creative Entrepreneurs” Evening!

As part of the “Startup to SUCCESS!” Creative Entrepreneurship Workshop Series happening in November @AltCityme and @berytech, the British Council and AltCity are organising the “Connect! for Creative Entrepreneurs” evening.

At the conclusion of 3 intensive 4-day workshops for creative entrepreneurs, join our visiting guests Sarah and Percy to celebrate the work of the 50+ entrepreneurs and startups working on great projects in Lebanon!

Come hear very short pitches from some of the startups in the program, around fashion design, web startups, interior design, graphic design, writing/publishing, media, and other creative business projects. Come hear from these great efforts!

DOUBLE PLUS, if you are part of the creative entrepreneurship ecosystem and have something to OFFER TO these creative startups, you ALSO can give a short 2-minute pitch. Contact Carine at the BC for info (Carine.Rizk (at) lb.britishcouncil (dot) org).

More details about the whole series of 4-day intensive workshops up here.

For more on the event and to RSVP, check out the Facebook event page!

By |November 25th, 2011|Blog|0 Comments

Business for Social Change Mini-Conference Wrap-up

By: Sarah Owermohle

Maybe you’ve seen the fliers. “Lebanon is an excellent place to start a business…and improve our crappy education system!” or another stating “…and stop the f%$*ing power outages!”

AltCity hosted a one-day “Business for Social Change Mini-Conference” to tackle these questions and more. Participants debated topics such as innovative entrepreneurship, creative design, and the key to successful ventures, amongst many others.

The conference kicked off with AltCity co-founder Munir Nabti asking the crowd, “What is entrepreneurship?”

The group of about 50 chimed in with various characteristics of an entrepreneur, including problem solving, creating business solutions, being persistent, taking risks, possessing creativity, innovation, and more.

But what about social entrepreneurship, or social ventures? Nabti presented the idea of a business with an impact beyond the bottom-line profit. With a truly integrated social venture, he said, “if you’re able to make more money, you’re able to make more impact.”

Since legal classification is often a point of confusion when explaining “social entrepreneurship”, Nabti discussed a new venture’s decision to register as a non-governmental organization (NGO) or a company, and the various benefits of each. “In many countries in the Middle East, even if you want to start a nonprofit just to make an impact, even if you purely want to be a non-profit, it’s much easier to register as a company; sometimes that’s the only option,” Nabti said. On the flip side, some massive global non-profit organizations operate pretty much like multinational companies, with huge budgets and high-paying salaries.

Regardless, he pointed out, people can apply entrepreneurial principles to an NGO, such as seeking efficiency, and constantly innovating to provide better services to clients. “You can choose to be a profit-maximizing social venture, or you can be an impact-maximizing venture,” Nabti […]

By |November 23rd, 2011|Blog|0 Comments