Sustainability Buzz: Sustainable Entrepreneurship at NDU
Opportunity is the crown jewel of entrepreneurship ! True! The Aha moment and the Eureka Eureka are sought after..very true
Entrepreneurship is on fire as never before and is the panacea for many young people many of whom are here today..
For opportunities to be exercised fully, a fertile ground has to be there, an ecosystem needs to exist! Otherwise young Lebanese would look for opportunities abroad! Can we handle that? Well, I doubt.. but have we asked ourselves why do Lebanese succeed abroad more than they do in their home country? Let’s reflect on that.
Ecosystem might be about the ties between its components which operate in conjunction and interact in a system..actually it is a culture, it is OUR culture, in our DNA..it is part of our social fabric..what I fear of is the fact that the stitches of this Fabric need to be well knit which is not the case.
At this Entrepreneurial university, NDU…We and for the first time, are trying to put the stitches together in a harmonious way while emphasizing on Sustainability which NDU Believes in and considers our North Star and probably the prerequisite for any entrepreneurial endeavor. That’s how we were nurtured at NDU and that’s what we put on the table for our learners.
Have you thought of how many times “historically” we were conquered, and how our geography was a curse! Thanks god that we have the Mediterranean Sea on our west!
لا التاريخ ولا الجغرافيا لصالحنا
HOWEVER, due to this fact we were able to develop one of the main characteristics of entrepreneurship! Tenacity and perseverance and we had to innovate to survive! Innovation is built in everyone of us!
The first Sustainability Buzz event at NDU was an innovative mix of panel debate, case study, and game show. A highly interactive event, the format brings together the various elements in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. A round table discussion along with various student case studies was held during the two-hour event.
Many prominent figures were present; the academic pillars Dr. Mira Thoumy (Assistant Professor, Department of Management & Marketing, NDU); the incubator/accelerator pillar, Ramy M. Boujawdeh (Deputy General Manager, Berytech); Yasmina El Khoury Raphael (Head of Business Environment and innovation, Office of the President of the Council Ministers) addressed funding; Maurice Matta (Economic Media Expert – Business News Producer – Financial Analyst, MTV Lebanon/Head of Economy Department, Annahar) covered media; Associations & NGOs with May Makhzoumi (Chair of the Makhzoumi foundation, and wife of founder Lebanese MP Dr. Fouad Makhzoumi); legislation was covered by Dr. Cedar Mansour (Dean, Faculty of Law and Political Science, NDU); Economics were handled by His Excellency Minister Raed Khoury (Founder of Cedrus Invest Bank and Cedrus Bank/ Former Minister of Economy and Trade); the societal aspect was addressed by H.E. Minster Pierre BooAssi (Former Minster of Social Affairs) and MP Prof. Dima Jamali (President of Global Compact Network Lebanon – UNGC Lebanon Chapter/Full time professor, AUB); Lea Kai Abou Jaoude (Project Manager, UNDP Climate Change Projects) handled discussion on environmental impacts.
I orchestrated the whole event and had an opening talk.
A round table discussion between the speakers and myself was on Entrepreneurship Ecosystem and Sustainability Pillars before three different Student case studies.
This event put into the spotlight on many issues, most importantly on how the NDU is spreading the spirit of sustainability amongst its students and faculty, how profit should complement sustainability, which helps achieve ultimate prosperity.
Academia was presented as the brain of entrepreneurship, with students placing a great deal of emphasis on leaving a positive impact on the world. In class incubations and accelerations help the NDU students take their ideas and start working on their execution plan as fast as possible. “Sustainability is not an option anymore, it’s a necessity.” An entrepreneur should make money, but should also take into consideration sustainability and the environment around them. The need for consideration of future generations and the ability to work accordingly were heavily emphasized.