The Olive Grove co-working space for entrepreneurs officially launched in Hamra, Lebanon on November 18, 2017.
Lebanon-based industrial manufacturing group, INDEVCO, has funded the establishment of The Olive Grove, a co-working space for Lebanese start-ups and small businesses. The space provides office and meeting rooms, equipment, and mentorship.
Located in Hamra within close proximity to the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Lebanese American University (LAU) Beirut Campus, the space intends to fuel creativity, productivity, and sense of community among aspiring young Lebanese entrepreneurs.
Countering Lebanon’s Brain Drain
Co-founder Anna Medearis describes: “We share a similar philosophy and values with INDEVCO, such as entrepreneurial drive, hard work, and servant leadership. We want to encourage economic growth to counter the problem of brain drain, because we believe in the great potential in Lebanon.”
The IMF 2017 country report on Lebanon(1) cites brain drain – migration of top talent – as significant. The report found that, as of 2014, only 45% of AUB’s entire alumni population could be traced to living in Lebanon. In parallel, an Endeavor survey of entrepreneurial firms in Lebanon pinpointed scarcity of experienced candidates, shortage of knowledgeable candidates, and talent retention as key recruitment challenges.
Job creation is a core social responsibility focus for INDEVCO(2). The group supports initiatives that help youth remain in Lebanon, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal SDG 8, “to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. (3)
Accessing The Olive Grove Services
Interested start-ups, entrepreneurs, and freelancers should apply on The Olive Grove website at www.togbeirut.com/become-a-
Three types of memberships provide 24/7 access:
• Private Office Membership for access to a dedicated office space
• Hot Desk Membership for access to a common working area
• Day Use Membership for access to the lounge and cafe
Office hours are 9 am – 5 pm from Monday through Friday.
Manager Angela Arnaout explains, “We want to ensure a positive experience for all our members. We do not have a rigid application process, as we want The Olive Grove to be accessible to more people who are looking for a place to test out an idea or grow their business. Right now, we’re considered a co-working space, but we’re working on our mentorship program and curriculum to transform into an incubator as well.”
Interested parties may attend workshops and community events organized by The Olive Grove. Information about ongoing events may be found on The Olive Grove’s Facebook Page.
(1) International Monetary Fund (2017, January). Lebanon: Selected Issues. IMF Country Report No. 17/20. Washington, DC: IMF Publication Services.
(2) INDEVCO (2017). Social Responsibility: Industry-University Relations in Lebanon.
(3) United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (2017). Sustainable Development Goal 8.
Headquartered in Ajaltoun, Lebanon, INDEVCO employs over 10,400 people in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the US at 60 operations, including manufacturing plants and commercial companies. Since 1956, INDEVCO has grown into an industrial manufacturing group producing corrugated, paper, and plastic raw materials and packaging; jumbo tissue rolls; consumer and away-from-home disposables; renewable energy solutions; and hygiene converting machinery. The group supplies a wide array of industries in over 100 countries.
About The Olive Grove
The Olive Grove was established to provide necessary start-up support and mentorship to Lebanese entrepreneurs. The co-working space partners with players in the Beirut startup ecosystem to foster national and regional growth and innovation. The Olive Grove aims to bridge the gap between Lebanon’s needs and what local talent has to offer.
For more information, contact:
Anna Medearis, Co-Founder
The Olive Grove
Jeanne D’Arc Street
West House 3 Building, 2nd Floor