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SwitchMed discussing Access to Finance for Green Entrepreneurs in the MENA region in the AFED annual conference

Following the publication of the 2018 Annual report of Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), about Access to Finance for Green Entrepreneurs in the MENA region, the AFED 11th annual conference held on 8-9 November 2018 in Beirut, presented and debated the report with multi-stakeholders participants. With its strong and successful experience in this topic, the SwitchMed programme and SCP/RAC held the Access to Finance for Green Entrepreneurs in the MENA region session, to share lessons learned and best practices with the audience. In addition, three Lebanese switchers gave their precious insights and opinions about their own experience.
Published on Jan 18, 2019

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Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries was the topic of the 2018 Annual report of Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED). The report (full version can be downloaded at www.afedonline.org) identifies financing needs, gaps, options and mechanisms, while focusing on sources and addressing enhancement of their roles to achieve the SDGs goals. The report was presented and debated at the AFED 11th annual conference held on 8-9 November 2018 in Beirut.

The conference brought together about 400 delegates from 40 countries, representing governments, international and regional organizations, leaders from public and private sectors, academics, students and civil society. Among the organizing partners, the SwitchMed programme and SCP/RAC held the Access to Finance for Green Entrepreneurs in the MENA region session.

 During the session, the experts from the impact investing and green finance sector : Mr. Julien Le Tellier:  Programme Manager at UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan; Ms. Michelle Mouracade: Alfanar's Country Director for Lebanon, Ms. Tracy El Achkar from Viridis Investment Fund / Fondation Diane, Ms. Claudia Pani from SCP/RAC,  discussed about the challenges and opportunities that green entrepreneurs have to face in the Region to build and grow sustainable companies.

Three Switchers (Ms. Soumaya Merhi, Taqa CEO; Mr. Marc Aoun, Compost Baladi Business Devolper and Mr. Hussam Hanouni - Chief Technology Officer – FabricAid) were also invited to showcase their business offering a better understand about who a green entrepreneur is, which are its main finance needs and the positive environment and social impacts built.

 The session concluded stressing the need of creating innovative finance solutions, such as theSwitchersFund: the impact challenge fund for green start-ups in the Mediterranean, established by the SCP/RAC. “The Switchers Fund” is a tool to provide and facilitate direct finance and business support services to existing and future green entrepreneurs, and to mobilize local investors and enterprise support programmes as well as European resources.

The Switchers Fund relies on the network of Switchers, allowing the fund to have a continuous flow of projects.