Economic Empowerment Program

Dareb project

DAREB project, funded by The Asfari Foundation is the result of collaboration between four organisations: Young Men's Christian Association LebanonEntrepreneurial Development Foundation, MakeSense Lebanon and Adie Association. Working collectively on building a sustainable and comprehensive ecosystem to support young entrepreneurship in the Bekaa. 



Our vision is:


- To build a society in which opportunities for development are available and equal for everybody, no matter the background, past experiences and origin.


- To improve synergy between NGOs and stakeholders for a better impact: Consolidation and collaboration brings quality and sustainability to the impact, so we all aim to build partnerships between the various actors of the ecosystem in order to deliver a holistic map of services and comprehensive support to start-ups.


- To focus on the mindset development of Youth - our programs are community-led, we encourage volunteering and design bottom-up approaches. We dream of a Lebanese youth movement, driven by an open and creative spirit, actively involving young people in serving their communities, playing an active role in today’s global and local realities.



During the year 2021, DAREB project build the capacity of young Lebanese and Syrians who want to develop their impactful microbusiness through capacity building, training and mentoring, while being connected to an ecosystem of local public and private partners.

The design of Dareb project was based on a philosophy with two approaches: Connectivity and Capacity, to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem and act as a "vehicle for innovation".

The collaboration between the consortium members: YMCA, EDF Adie and MakeSense was based on a complimentary chain of competencies, knowledge and management style that can deliver the outcomes of the project successfully considering the cascading crisis in Lebanon, specifically, the ones that actually disintegrated the elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem (universities, infrastructure, the density of businesses in focused areas, stability…)

“If you really want to work for impact, you need to be flexible enough to change the plans!


adaptation is the key. In a country like Lebanon, where the situation keeps constantly changing, you need to expect to adapt your activities to the many challenges that are going to come your way: roadblocks, gas shortage, devaluation, Brain drain, etc. Many times, we had to be creative and adapt to the situation that was given to us.”

Celine Coudron, Director of Makesense Lebanon.



39 micro-entrepreneurs have followed a training program on entrepreneurial skills, market study and marketing, personal economic model, financial studies, digital communication and crisis management. The training workshops were executed in collaboration with local stakeholders in Bekaa such as: Montada el Moka’adine organization- Zahle, Majdel Anjar and Deir el Ghazal municipalities. After completing the training, the young micro-entrepreneurs were followed by 9 coaches that delivered 130 coaching sessions.


Coaches provided individual and collective sessions:

- During individual coaching, coaches customized the tools and approach based on the entrepreneur's level of knowledge & experience and the business challenges & vision.

- During collective coaching, coaches focused on creating a safe space of exchange between entrepreneurs and on developing a value chain between the business.


And to get an encouraging boost, the micro-entrepreneurs received a 150 USD grant to support their business in times of crisis and put in practice the ideas they developed during the DAREB program.


Capitalizing on Dareb project, YMCA team is now using DAREB philosophy with a project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Finland. the project title is: " Promoting resilience and enhanced livelihoods of vulnerable youth and Syrian refugees in Lebanon". Using the DAREB project tool kit, the project will introduce social entrepreneurship and build the capacity of young people in Bekaa to become agents for social innovation and entrepreneurial ventures.