Social Innovation Hub - FCT Tripoli

Introduction

In 2015 four Tripoli residents and activists got together and founded a community centre in Qobbeh, one of the former frontlines of the sectarian clashes that took place in Tripoli, Lebanon between 2008-2014. Through discussions with local residents that suffered from armed conflict, the founders of SHiFT saw an urgent need for people to find ways to sustain themselves without having to rely on benefits from persons or groups affiliated with the clashes. Project emphasis emphasis on improving the livelihoods of people living in the area. SHiFT is a social innovation hub leading the transformation of post-conflict and/or marginalised zones towards peaceful and prosperous communities. It brings people together and bridges differences through building capacities, raising awareness, creating opportunities, promoting success models and mentoring.

Beneficiaries of this projects are existing, struggling businesses in Qobbeh, Jabal Mohsen and Bab al-Tabbeneh. 30 producers who are ready to put their product on the e-commerce.

Lebanon is passing through a critical socio-economic situation which triggered the October 17th uprising across Lebanon. Tripoli has played a major role in this uprising but the city is also severely impacted by the situation. With the currency devaluation of over 40% along with capital controls from the bank on both individual and business depositors, and a 30% inflation in prices, shops started closing down, small producers are suffering and the overall purchasing power is dwindling. However, one major positive aspect of the uprising is a renewed sense of citizenship and solidarity among the Lebanese including the diaspora. Like mentioned in the ‘major achievements’ section earlier, SHiFT has been supporting NMSEs to enhance their business knowledge and skills and to boost their production. Alarmingly we are seeing that the low purchasing power is starting to affect them and as well as other businesses in the area.
 
To continue supporting the businesses in the most marginalised areas of Tripoli, and to benefit from the renewed sense of solidarity, we believe that this can be a good opportunity to provide access to new markets for local businesses and to enhance the economic development and sustainability in North Lebanon.

Aims

  1. To promote inclusive economic growth by supporting the access to markets for existing, struggling micro, nano and small businesses from vulnerable communities in Tripoli
  2. To contribute to reviving part of the economic cycle in post-conflict areas building towards long term peace-building efforts
  3. To develop SHiFTs business development model by adding a missing link, the facilitation of market access and additional support in product promotion, marketing and networking, to comprehensively address the obstacles that prevent businesses from growing

Goals

  1. An e-commerce platform is designed and implemented, allowing at least 30 participants to sell their products around Lebanon and abroad, thus increasing their income
  2. To support 30 participants to improve their branding and product description, improving thus their chances to get new customers
  3. Designing and implementing a sustainability plan for the e-commerce to ensure that operations can continues smoothly beyond the project time frame