• EU funds a new advisory programme focused on SME knowledge building and innovation
  • EBRD and EU celebrate a milestone of supporting SMEs in the country


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD) and the European Union (the EU) are bolstering their support for Lebanon’s private sector with a new advisory programme that aims to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) innovate, grow and become more competitive.

The Bank will deploy EU funds to help SMEs and start-ups connect with research and development institutions and innovate their products and processes.

The new five-year programme will focus on innovation as a key lever for growth, helping SMEs compete on the international stage, increase their market share, create more jobs and support Lebanon’s economic recovery.

The programme builds on the success of the first phase of the EU-supported Advice for Small Businesses programme in Lebanon which was launched in 2018. To date, it has helped almost 180 SMEs access the critical know-how they need to address market challenges and support their productivity and turnover.

Local and international consultants specializing in a broad range of areas from strategy and marketing, to energy efficiency, operations, quality and financial management helped SMEs enhance their green, digital and inclusive business practices. Upon project completion, 54 per cent of beneficiary SMEs reported an increase in their labour force, and 41 per cent noted a rise in their turnover and exports.

Furthermore, local consultants have also benefited from a variety of capacity-building activities, which aim to strengthen their skillset and help them deliver tailored business advice for SMEs.

Over 150 representatives from the business community, the EU Ambassador to Lebanon, Ralph Tarraf, small and medium-sized enterprises, business associations, NGOs, consultants and the media attended the ceremony at the InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut.

Richard Jones, EBRD Director for SME F&D’s Regional Network said: “SMEs play an essential role in supporting a sustainable and competitive private sector in Lebanon, and we are proud that our partnership with the EU has helped small businesses adapt and grow, especially in such challenging market conditions. We look forward to continuing to help Lebanese SMEs deliver unique value and impact, building a stronger, and more inclusive and competitive economy.”

Ambassador Tarraf, added: “The EU is committed to facilitating and supporting SMEs’ adoption and development of innovation, hoping that, in turn, it will bring much-needed added-value to the country, boosting local economy and, hopefully, contributing to Lebanon’s economic recovery.”

The Bank has 25 years of experience in engaging with SMEs across its regions and supporting their growth and development with access to expertise and financing.

To date, the Bank has invested more than €880 million in Lebanon with a focus on supporting private sector competitiveness, promoting a sustainable energy supply and enhancing the quality and efficiency of public service delivery.


The EBRD is a multilateral bank that promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiative in 38 economies across three continents. The Bank is owned by 71 countries as well as the EU and the European Investment Bank (EIB). EBRD investments are aimed at making the economies in its regions competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, and integrated.