This assessment '' Promising sectors for women micro-entrepreneurship in Akkar in the context of the economic crisis'' is developed by the ''Lebanese Center for Civic Education LCCE'' during the preparation phase for its project ''Training and coaching for economic empowerment of young women in Akkar'' supported by the ''Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie OIF'' through its fund ''La Francophonie avec Elles''. The assessment report is conducted between October and December 2021, and has a specific objective to identify the sectors that present potential growth opportunities with rapid income generation for young women entrepreneurs in Akkar in the current economic crisis. The methodology used by the study team is based on desk research, followed by key informant interviews conducted by LCCE team with 20 professionals working within various organizations in the development sector in Akkar. The assessment report highlights the following findings:1. Promising sectors in the context of the current crisis:
· Agro-food sectors
o There is a big market demand on locally processed foods to substitute imported goods that are becoming expensive in the context of current economic crisis.
o The availability of raw materials and supplies in Akkar represents a competitive advantage.
o Special importance must be given to quality, labeling and attractive packaging.
· Cloth works and tailoring
o Growing trend to up-cycle old cloth and give them a second life, especially that imported garments are becoming expensive
· Soap making
o Growing demand on hygiene products, in the context of COVID-19 pandemic
o Akkari residents prefer natural made products over industrial ones
o Availability of raw materials such as olive oil in Akkar
· Beauty Services
o Despite the economic crisis, there is still a demand on beauty services, as Lebanese women pay special attention for their looks and appearance2. Emerging sectors, that present high potential in the long term:
· ICT sectors
o Software development in Lebanon remains competitive with lower prices and fees in comparison to many other countries
o However, the current fluctuation in internet quality services in Akkar and the power cuts represent main challenges in this field.
o Akkar has very beautiful landscape and has a high potential for eco-tourism activities
o There has been a trend for eco-tourism activities in the country (switch to internal tourism due to restrictions in traveling abroad as a consequence of the pandemic)
o Currently, the main challenge for this business is the uncertainty of the sustainability of market demand to due to the recent drastic increase in gasoil prices in 2021
· Renewable Energy
o Increasing demand on alternative sources of energy and mainly solar energy system in the context of power cuts and drastic increase in diesel prices
o However, this sector necessitates an access to a considerable amount of capital to buy materials and the need of creating partnership between several entrepreneurs.
· Engaging women in these sectors will help to change the stereotype of women roles in traditional jobs.
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