Entrepreneurs win Re-Start-Up Marathon to Reopen Businesses

25 entrepreneurs win the Re-Start-Up Marathon to reopen their businesses in Southern Tripoli and Benghazi

On Monday, 25 entrepreneurs, who participated in the Re-Start-Up marathon received grants of up to US$40,000 from a total of $656,000 (LYD 852,800) to develop their businesses.

The two-day marathon was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funds from the Government of Japan, with the aim of helping entrepreneurs to rebuild their businesses and reunite their communities to achieve economic recovery in Libya.

A panel of experts selected entrepreneurs based in Southern Tripoli and Benghazi that went out of business due to the conflict or the COVID-19 pandemic, in such varied fields as an E-shop for selling recycling clothes, a weddings and event's organizer, a pastry, a car wash establishment, or a barbershop.

During the next months, the 25 entrepreneurs will work with support from UNDP to restart their businesses and on the way, they will create about 200 jobs in Benghazi and Southern Tripoli.

During the Award ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gerardo Noto, stated:

"I would like to congratulate the awardees. I am confident that the skills gained during the marathon will pay off for you in the future. It is time for peace, development, and entrepreneurship in Libya and I am confident the participants of the Re-Start-Up marathon will definitely make a difference to boost jobs creation and reinvigorate the local economy to support the most vulnerable people in some of the most affected areas."

Mr. Mohamed Abdessalam Fathallah, one of the awardees said:

"I feel so happy to have received this grant because it will change a lot my life and the life of others. I suffer from a heart disease, which forces me to pay large sums of money for healthcare. With this grant, I can start my project of car washing again, and pay my treatment bills. I will also be able to hire other people that will be able to secure the health of their families and the education of their children. Through the experience of losing my business due to the conflict I have learned that helping each other's is the most important thing we can do in times of need and I hope to help many people that like me have been economically struggling during the conflict."

On her part, Ms. Bushra Abdullah Al Tajouri, awarded in Benghazi to restart her home-nursing project, said:

"This award will bring a very important change in my professional life. I will be able to pay monthly salaries for the people who work in my business. It will allow me to overcome the economic challenges that I have been suffering for such a long time. This will be a stronger start for me and my staff, and we will work to provide our services to the whole community."

The selected entrepreneurs will be technically and financially supported during the business development process, and the individual or teams' authors of those ideas will have the chance to receive a pre-incubation accelerator program to benefit from training and mentoring for three months.

(Source: UNDP)

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