UNICEF partnered with Lebanon’s Souk El Tayeb to launch AHLAN, a new community-based social enterprise aiming to create local businesses and provide new opportunities for the youth, women, and families to meet the demands of agro-tourism.
With the funding from the Canadian and Australian governments, both parties will support the establishment of 10 social enterprises while also employing Lebanese and non-Lebanese youth.
The social enterprise will include 4 small restaurants, Ahlan bel Matbakh; 2 guesthouses, Ahlan bel Beit; and 4 farmers’ shops, Ahlan bel Deken.
Since 2017, UNICEF has supported members of the country’s youth in setting up 1,982 social enterprises. 33% of those were in the food and agriculture sector, whereas 7% were in the hospitality and tourism sector.
AHLAN, which means welcome, will also create tourism opportunities. Families who can afford internal tourism can eat in a small-scale restaurant, buy agricultural produces, or enjoy a getaway at a local guesthouse.
According to the state-owned Nationals News Agency (NNA), more than 150 young men and women across Lebanon will benefit from technical training and be employed in the enterprises.