A Virtual Marketplace To Unite the Lebanese Diaspora
I lived abroad most of my life, and believe me when I say I went out of my way to meet fellow Lebanese people. There’s nothing like bumping into a compatriot on foreign soil. You may not know a thing about each other, but you’re immediately united by a shared language and culture, which are powerful enough to dissipate those feelings of being a stranger. (And within mere minutes, you discover you are somehow connected—it’s a small world, isn’t it!)
In the early 2000s, I created a profile on the now-defunct leb.org, which at the time operated as a worldwide network meant to link Lebanese in all four corners of the globe. It was rather limited and inefficient, with character-capped fields for descriptions and only location info to help you find others in your area. Crude as it was, it was exhilarating to make contact with Lebanese internationally.
|Photo credit: http://www.dalecarnegiewaymi.com/|
Which is why I wish Lebanon Business Network, the first-ever global Lebanese business community, was around back in the day. LBN provides Lebanese all around the world the opportunity to connect, find the right resources, exchange ideas, and ultimately do business with each other. While the LBN has a distinct business angle to it, aiming to bring together talent and talent-seekers, it builds bridges between the Lebanese diaspora abroad.
Here’s how it works. Interested individuals can sign up for free and follow one another, instant message, post a variety of files, and announce status updates. They can promote their products and services to other members in a virtual marketplace that has no exclusivity or barrier. Additionally, they can search for other members or companies by industry, country, business type, and add date. Transfer of knowledge, growth of business, and even business alliances are all articulated objectives of the LBN.
In truth, LBN dates back to 2000, when it was launched by the Georges N. Frem Foundation as an online business directory. It was only this summer that it transformed into an interactive platform. Membership at present counts some 200 profiles spanning countries as far east as China, Hong Kong and Indonesia and as west as the USA and Canada.
But the LBN is only as valuable as its membership level is high, relying heavily on the network effect. I urge all readers, particularly those beyond the Lebanese frontier, to establish accounts and start browsing the website’s functionalities. Spread the word to your social circles and communities, and let’s create strength in numbers.