BLC Bank recognizes achievements and rewards success with a $30,000 cash prize (each) to the Business of the Year and the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. Over the past few years, the small and medium enterprise sector has been on the rise having turned into a basic and important tributary of national output, and ensuring the employment of a large labor force. Official statistics in Lebanon show that the number of small and medium enterprises represents more than 90 percent of the total private sector institutions and provides coverage for more than 80 percent of jobs outside the public sector. In parallel, Lebanese women have recorded remarkable success in various areas of business such as engineering, medicine, technology, high-end fashion, crafts and others and have proven the ability to maintain senior managerial positions in companies being highly competent and successful. BLC Bank acknowledges the importance of women’s participation in all sectors and their entrepreneurial role in society influencing the economic sector, and is dedicated to supporting their growth and development and extending funding opportunities in order to strengthen their economic role as strategic partners representing half of the society. Mr. Maurice Sehnaoui confirmed in his speech at the launch of the We Initiative Program that “the initiative launched by BLC Bank qualifies it to become the financial and banking reference for small and medium businesses in the Middle East, especially those owned by women” while emphasizing that it is not a secret that providing such financing opportunities is the key to higher living standards and stronger economies. As part of its involvement in
the development in these sectors, BLC Bank has launched the first Lebanese banking awards for the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year as well as for the Business of the Year with prizes amounting to $60 thousand dollars distributed equally ($30 thousand dollars for each winner). The Bank is giving the opportunity for Lebanese small and medium companies and businesswomen who own more than 51% of the shares of their company with an annual turnover less than $5 million, to compete in this award within a period extending to the middle of the month of October 2012. Each business will be evaluated based on several criteria such as creativity, financial performance, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, under the supervision of a professional jury panel composed of Ms. Dima Dabbous-Sensenig - Director of the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW) at the Lebanese American University in Beirut, Mr. Wassim Daher - Chairman & Founder Azadea Group Holding, Mr. Thomas Jacobs - Senior Country Officer at IFC, Ms. Tania Moussallem - Assistant General Manager at BLC Bank, Ms. Hanane Saab - Founder of Pharmamed, Ms. Yolla Sarieddine - Head of Credit at Kafalat, and Mr. Fouad Zmokhol - General Manager at Zimco Group. BLC Bank branches remain available to support all candidates wishing to participate in the awards, and to accept their applications which can be found on the Bank’s website www.blcbank.com as well as the We-initiative website www.we-initiative.com. This step comes within a series of initiatives launched by the Bank in recognition and honoring of entrepreneurs, men and women, who have demonstrated excellence and success in their business field.