About the Program

The Nawaya Network has been implementing UNICEF’s Generation of Innovation Leaders (GIL) entrepreneurship program in Beirut, Mount Lebanon, the South, and Nabatieh since 2016, reaching 7,089 youth.

The program aims to develop the income-generating opportunities for marginalized Lebanese and refugee youth through innovation, entrepreneurship and business development training.

The training is followed by an incubation phase through which successful youth-led projects receive further business coaching and seed-funding to help launch their small businesses.

The program also includes post-incubation support through mentorship, short educational online sessions, referrals to local, regional, and international competitions, as well as other opportunities within the country.

Youth Trained (2016-2023)
Youth Incubated (2016-2023)
Enterprises launched of supported (2016-2023)
0 %
Enterprises launched or supported are female-led (2017-2022)
0 %
Enterprises were generating revenue 6 months post-program (2017-2021)
Revenue generated by 608 enterprises (2017-2022)
0 %
Of 553 enterprises hired new staff (2018-2021)
0 %
Of 679 enterprises expanded their businesses (2018-2022)

GIL Stages

  • Stage 1

    This 4-day design thinking training offers youth the opportunity to learn how to generate, develop, and plan for profitable business ideas that solve a problem in their communities. They conduct field research, determine the building blocks and viability of their solutions, build prototypes and learn how to pitch in front of a jury.

  • Stage 2

    This 8-day business development training enables youth to dive into the finances of their projects by creating realistic projections, a solid financial plan, and a refined business model to back up their ideas. This stage is the final qualifier for incubation, with a second round of pitching, and a more solid plan.  

  • Stage 3

    Successful youth who move on to the Incubation stage will receive seed-funding to launch their business, and will get the chance to work with a coach, hone their business skills, develop a prototype and cover other business topics related to their projects. Incubation takes 2 to 3 months and follows a methodical approach for optimal…Read More

  • Stage 4

    Post incubation, youth will receive additional support through short-term mentorship by professionals related to key topics, referrals to local, regional, and international competitions, as well as other opportunities within the country, including GIL’s flagship events, Hakaya GIL and Jawa2ez GIL.

Hakaya GIL

Hakaya GIL is an inspirational storytelling event series held online, in monthly episodes featuring up to four speakers from various GIL tracks and partners.

Speakers participating in Hakaya GIL share their journeys through the program, and how they navigate the various business and personal challenges. They also share the ways they are coping with the ongoing crises in Lebanon.  

The talks are in Arabic language and are streamed on Nawaya’s Facebook channel.

Hakaya GIL aims to inspire and motivate youth in Lebanon by giving a voice to the voiceless, shedding light on the challenges youth face, and more importantly showcasing the perseverance and achievements of these inspiring young leaders.

Hakaya GIL is organized by The Nawaya Network.

Program Partners

The Generation of Innovation Leaders program is powered by UNICEF Lebanon, funded by the Government of the Netherlands and The Andan Foundation.