Economic Studies

Market Assessment of Asset-Based Lending (ABL) with focus on Supply Chain Finance (SCF)

Assessment for IFC of Asset-Based Lending (ABL) products in Lebanon with a focus on the SCF market. The study provided: 1) Review and quantification of the overall potential of SCF, demand for SCF, supply, and uncovered gaps across major industries, 2) Recommendations about possible actions for financial institutions in Lebanon to tap into the SCF opportunity, 3) List of the SCF technology platforms with their related key features and characteristics. Methodology: Desk research, Key Informant Interviews, Focus Group discussions, and surveys with MSMEs.

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Needs of Small Businesses

A three-fold study for SANAD TAF on MSMEs and their needs for future financial and non-financial support: Assess the situation of small businesses and their challenges, to identify topics needing capacity building, and identify well-positioned local institutions able to provide financial and other support to MSMEs. Methodology: Desk research, Key Informant Interviews, and a survey with MSMEs in Greater Beirut and Tripoli.

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Digital financial services and the digitization of agricultural value chains

IFC aimed to increase access to financial services in Lebanon by providing financial institutions with Investment and Advisory Services. IFC appointed PPI and InfoPro to carry out an opportunity sizing/mapping of the financial services sector. An additional focus of the study was to identify opportunities (such as digitalization) for stakeholders within value chains, particularly with regard to supporting financial inclusion of small holder crop farmers. Methodology: Quantitative survey with 1,380 farmers, households, and MSMEs.

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Baseline Surveys for Several Value Chains Under The Lebanon Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) Activity

The Lebanon Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) Activity implemented by Chemonics aims to equip the agribusiness sector and rural communities with the technical and financial resources to generate increased productivity, sales, and exports, improving producer income. InfoPro was commissioned to monitor ARE’s activities in order to identify the success of its program and to inform future activities. The sectors assessed included 1) the dairy value chain 2) Fresh and Processed Vegetables value chain 3) Herbs value chain 4) Grapes, Stone Fruits, and Citrus and 5) Potatoes, Alliums, and Fodder. Methodology: Desk research, a quantitative survey with 1,000 farmers, and in-depth interviews with 150 retailers, wholesalers, cooperatives, MSMEs.

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Building Resilient Communities in Lebanon: An Integrated Approach to Livelihoods and Income Generation for Vulnerable Populations

A study for ACTED to evaluate their multi-sector program. The main objective of the program was to Address Root Causes (ARC) of conflict and instability in Lebanon by creating for vulnerable individuals’ sustainable income-generating and livelihood opportunities. The program was implemented in Akkar, Tripoli, Mount Lebanon, Beirut, and Saida. 1,500 individuals, 19 SDCs, 3 TVET Institutes, 1 Vocational Training Center, 22 Artisans and 75 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were targeted across Lebanon. The aim of the study was to assess the extent to which the project has met its objectives and to provide an external opinion on the relevance and performance of the project, as compared to the original plan. Methodology: 18 key informant interviews, 15 in-depth interviews and CATI surveys with 350 beneficiaries.

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Impact of the 2019 Crisis on Private Enterprises in Lebanon

The study was commissioned by the World Bank Group. It aims to measure the impact of the crisis on key components of the private sector including sales, profitability, employment, finances, and expectations of the future. Two surveys at different intervals with the same panel of firms were planned to better understand the implications of the crisis, coping mechanisms utilized, and recovery path. Methodology: A quantitative survey with 532 firms.

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Final Performance Evaluation of the LIFE Project

A final evaluation was conducted of the Livelihood and Inclusive Financial Expansion (LIFE) project, administered by Palladium and financed by USAID. Methodology: Desk Research, focus groups, and an analytical report on the financial needs of microenterprises and alternative ways of local micro-financing.

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MIT Enterprise Forum Impact Survey

A study for the MIT Enterprise Forum (MITEF) of the Pan Arab region, a promoter of entrepreneurship and innovation. The forum, in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, organizes on a yearly basis an MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition. The Competition brings in a total of 2,000 to 4,000 applications on a yearly basis. The survey measured the impact the Arab Start-Up Competition Quantify a set of key performance indicators related to the competition semi-finalists. The indicators developed assessed the following: Number of ideas turned into startups as a result of the Competition, Number of startups that are still in business to date, Number of Full-Time vs. Part-Time jobs created, Number of clients acquired, Market Size, Average annual revenue, Profile of people on the team, Percentage of females with a leading role, Number of startups that are no longer in business, Benefit from the Competition: trainings, business coaching, media exposure, prize money, networking, connections, MIT brand helped them raise (additional) capital, win other competitions, get incubation, get acceleration, media coverage, etc. Methodology: Interview a pool of semi-finalists and applicants to the MIT EF Arab Startup Competition.
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Business Survey of War Losses, Damages, and Needs for Recovery

A study for the World Bank. The aim of the study was to identify the indirect and direct damages incurred by individuals and the private sector post the July 2006 war and to prioritize their current needs so as to be able to formulate a recovery and rehabilitation plan. The study assessed the impact on businesses and included in-depth interviews with the owners of the biggest businesses that were directly targeted during the war, in-depth interviews with a sample of small enterprises located in war-affected area, and in-depth interviews with a panel of companies selected from the Productivity and Investment Climate Assessment survey. Assessed the economic impact of the war on businesses belonging to a variety of sectors and their current and future needs. It included in-depth interviews with key business leaders in a variety of organizations and sectors, in addition to a compilation of common needs across various sectors. Assessment of the needs of households and the displaced. Methodology: interviews with 400 SME’s, 2,000 individuals, and 50 in-depth interviews with large businesses.
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Productivity and Investment Climate Assessment Survey

Two studies for the World Bank. The objective is to understand conditions in the investment climate and their effect on firm-level productivity for the private sector. The goal of the studies was to advise the Lebanese government on ways to change policies that are hindering the growth of the private sector and develop new policies that support productivity growth. Interviews were conducted 953company managers. The sectors covered for this study were the following: Food and beverage, furniture, textile, trade, services, construction, and hotels. The studies delved into the following: Evaluation of productivity level of businesses, Assess investment climate constraints to the company, Identify investment in capacity, innovation and learning, Identify obstacles with respect to infrastructure and services, Evaluate relations between businesses and the government, Evaluate the labor status of businesses.
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Business Registration Simplification Study

A study for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). A representative sample of companies in the areas of Beirut and Mount Lebanon were surveyed, to support the government in its efforts to simplify the country’s business start-up regulations by improving and streamlining the registration procedures. Assess and evaluate the processes in place and arrive at workable recommendations that would ultimately modernize, upgrade and introduce best practices. Identify measure to streamline, simplify and automate the business registration process through the Commercial Registry (CR). Interviews were conducted with lawyers and business owners who had registered their own companies. Determining the obstacles faced by the private sector in start-up business registration and daily procedures, assisted in gauging overall satisfaction with government processes, and helped pinpoint areas that required reform to be implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Trade (MoET). Site assessment of all Commercial Registries. Assessment of the current set-up of the Commercial Registries by interviewing the general director, Head Judge of the Commercial Registry, and the chief clerk across the various Mohafaza’s, in addition to more than 20 lawyers in order to map the registration process and recommend a more streamlined process.
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Overview of the SME Market

A study for Ernst & Young. Provide an overview of the SME market and available financing solutions. Mapping players who provide financing to SMEs and categorized by criteria such as number of employees, geographic coverage, specializations, types of financial services provided, client profile, and sectors covered. InfoPro then conducted in-depth interviews with several of the players in order to obtain more detailed insights of the financing solutions available to SMEs, in addition to information on the conditions, interest rates, commissions and charges, limits and durations of the debt instruments available. In-depth interviews with 150 SMEs.
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Informal Enterprise Survey

A study for The World Bank. Assess informal enterprises and constraints to their growth. The study investigated the effect of the influx of the Syrian refugees on these businesses and the economy in general. Methodology: 1,000 interviews with informal businesses in Administrative Beirut, Tripoli, Zahle, and Saida. The owners of the informal businesses were Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, and Iraqi. The interviews investigated the location of informal businesses, their infrastructure, whether they have faced security issues or had to pay for protection, their sales activity and how it has been affected by the presence of Syrian entrepreneurs / business owners, their financial status and assets, their labor force and the percentage consisting of Syrian refugees, and whether they would consider registering their businesses. The data gathered assisted the World Bank with developing policies and programs that would enhance employment and economic growth. It also helped in populating indicators provided by the World Bank which would assist in comparison to other countries.
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Enterprise Survey

A survey for Gallup covering a broad range of business environment topics including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, crime, competition, and performance measures. The study consisted of a nationwide corporate survey with 570 enterprises and provided statistically significant investment climate indicators that are comparable across countries. Assess the constraints to private sector growth and job creation. Build a panel of establishment-level data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time. Collect in-depth information concerning the labor market situation of young people and quantify the relative ease of labor market entry. Identify critical issues in the youth employment challenge and understand blockages. Identify areas for policy and program additions or revisions.
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Administrative Corruption

A study for the Lebanese Transparency Association. Survey of 700 companies to address corruption in the public sector. Identification of private sectors view of corruption, Perception of the legal system, Challenges in procurement with private and public sector entities, Evaluate the effect of bureaucracy and state intervention in the firm, Perception of the private sector of their influence on lobbying.
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Survey of the Lebanese Franchising Industry

A study with EU-financed TRANSTEC/EQUINOCCIO consortium in partnership with the Lebanese Franchising Association (LFA). Provide an overview of franchising in the country. Survey of the franchising industry and gather information on franchisors and local and international franchisees and estimate the contribution of franchising to the Lebanese economy, including 1,200 companies. The sectoral assessment included gathering information on employment, revenue and profitability, international expansion, financial conditions and constraints, franchisor-franchisee relationships, and outlook for the future. The study also assessed the barriers hampering growth and development in order to develop informed decisions on strategies that can grow this sector.
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Enterprise Survey

A survey for the World Bank covering business environment topics including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, crime, competition, and performance measures. Methodology: Nationwide corporate survey with 532 enterprises. The study provided statistically significant investment climate indicators that are comparable across countries. It assessed constraints to private sector growth and job creation. The findings were also used to help policy makers better understand the business environment and identify, prioritize and implement reforms of policies and institutions that support efficient private economic activity.
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The World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey (EOS)

Since 2015, InfoPro has conducted an annual survey of company leaders for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) ‘Global Competitiveness Report’ assessing the competitive landscape of economies worldwide and providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. A major component of the report is the Executive Opinion Survey (EOS) which measures a nation’s economic environment and its ability to achieve sustained growth. The Survey measures appetite for entrepreneurship, skill gaps, and corruption. The Survey also helps calculate the WEF Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), and other indices.
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