What is the iSME Programme?

The iSME Programme is a US$ 30 million initiative funded by the Government of Lebanon through a loan from the World Bank.

The programme aims to encourage the equity investment market to increase early stage investment finance for financially viable, new, and existing innovative firms.

Two types of financing will be provided:

  • Concept Development Grants (CDGs)
    CDGs are intended for entrepreneurs offering new ideas and can be used to:
    • Develop innovative ideas and proof of concept
    • Attract external investment by addressing key risks
  • Equity co-investments
    Equity co-investments will be made in an enterprise alongside another institutional investor as VC funds, holding companies, formal business angel groups and investment banks. To qualify for the equity investment, the entrepreneur needs a commitment from an institutional investor to invest in the firm. Then the partner investor or the entrepreneur can approach the Kafalat iSME Programme.