The Michel Daher Foundation recently organized the second REAF Ideathon, a remarkable event that brought together 17 dedicated teams focused on tackling the challenges faced in agrifood, eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture, and circular economy within rural communities. As a proud community stakeholder in the REAF program, the foundation aims to foster an environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and growth.
Throughout the extensive agenda, participants engaged in workshops, training sessions, mentoring, and discussions with successful entrepreneurs. These activities helped the teams to enhance their skills, transform their ideas into actionable projects, and eventually pitch their proposals to a jury.
The Rural Entrepreneurs in Agri-Food (REAF) program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with Berytech, as part of the Strengthening Agriculture, Local Communities, and Small and Medium Enterprises (ACE) project.
Announcing the Winners
The top five winning startups will continue refining their ideas and participate in the second phase of the program at Berytech, where they will receive a grant of up to $2,000 and both technical and business support to validate their products and business models. At the end of this phase, a jury will select eight startups to advance to the next phase of the REAF program. The five winning teams are as follows:
1st Place Winner: Bloomery
A sustainable mushroom product line comprised of spawn, compost substrate, and organic compost, all made in Lebanon.
2nd Place Winner: Hexagone Bee
A flourishing beekeeping business with hives in three different locations, where bees fly freely in cultivated lands free from pesticides or chemicals, producing all-natural honey from multiple flower sources.
3rd Place Winner: Woodywood Pellets
A proposed solution for collecting pruning scraps, sorting them, reducing their volume, modifying them, and packaging them for sale. This supply chain is sustainable, generates revenue, identifies import substitutes, has a positive environmental impact, and promotes the circular economy.
4th Place Winner: Vinorganic
A startup producing all-natural liqueurs made from walnuts and grapes, grown organically on their own land and crafted according to French and Argentine traditions.
5th Place Winner: Cicada
A project aimed at rehabilitating a camping site by planting trees, using alternative electrical sources, and constructing prefabricated wooden houses to make them suitable for camping.
The Michel Daher Foundation is committed to supporting these promising startups, as they continue to develop solutions for the challenges faced by rural communities in the fields of agrifood, eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture, and circular economy.
The second REAF Ideathon has further demonstrated the Michel Daher Foundation’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation in rural communities. By supporting the development of groundbreaking solutions in agrifood, eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture, and circular economy, the foundation is playing a pivotal role in driving positive change for both the environment and the economy.