The 12th edition of FORWARD and the 2nd edition of BUSINESS took place at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Center, “Biel”, in Beirut from the 26th till the 29th of April 2012 under the patronage of His Excellency Labor Minister Salim Jreissati.

Speeches were given by Mrs. Tania Eid, Managing Partner of CAREERS and E Square as well as member of the Board of Directors of the Beirut and Mount Lebanon Chamber of Commerce, H.E Minister Salim Jreissati and Mr. Mohamad Choucair, Chairman of the Federation of the Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture in Lebanon.

The Forums’ ocial inauguration featured widespread media coverage from television, newsprint, radio and social media outlets.

76% of the exhibitors have already confirmed their next year’s participation.

FORWARD & BUSINESS 2012 featured more participating local, regional and multinational companies than ever before. Nearly 209 exhibitors including leading multinational, regional and local companies from all elds were present in full force, putting forward their company’s
products, services or employment needs to the 54,700 visitors.

In the Recruitment Area, more than 6000 all levels jobs were offered!

90% of the visitors stated that they found what they were looking for.
6,000 between the age of 17 and 20
21,100 between the age of 21 and 26
17,400 between the age of 27 and 35
10,200 above the age of 35

37% females and 63% males

7,600 High School & University students
10,900 Fresh Graduates & Unemployed
28,800 All level Employees & Managers
7,400 Entrepreneurs & Business owners

30,600 looking for job opportunities
7,700 looking for education, training, and/or internship
16,400 looking for products & services to develop their own business

FORWARD & BUSINESS 2012’s visitors signicant turnout provided the participating companies with the opportunity to grasp a thorough idea of the market while recruiting the qualified Lebanese talent they were looking for.

All visitors stated that they would advise their relatives and friends to visit FORWARD & BUSINESS. 23% of visitors expressed their wish to have more companies and educational institutions exhibiting at FORWARD & BUSINESS 2012.

A majority of visitors advised to have more than one edition per year especially during the holidays’ season (December & August) in order to attract Lebanese job seekers living abroad.

Job Openings

Over 6,000 job offers and internships in Lebanon and the region were available in different fields and for all career levels. The participating companies found the fair to be a great initiation of their annual recruitment process with results continuing long after the forum ends.

On the other hand, job seekers, alongside their direct contact with the exhibiting companies, were able to benefit from Careers Middle East all year-round local and regional services & job opportunities.

Jobs Avenue

As in previous FORWARD’s editions, many companies that had job openings but couldn’t be actually present were able to post their vacancies on the Jobs Avenue, designed especially for this purpose. 100s of job openings in different fields were posted.

Thus, the Jobs Avenue enabled visitors to check and apply to hundreds of job openings in Lebanon and abroad as well as provided them with further means for finding a good match.

FORWARD 2012 Highlights

To make out of the job seekers’ visit an ultimate satisfactory experience, many services were further added or improved at FORWARD 2012. The developed features were as below:

Career Services Pavilion
CAREERS’ specialists assisted job seekers in enhancing their search through career development tools specially integrated in the Pavilion to help candidates find a matching career. Job Seekers were given tips that guided them towards the right occupation and received advice on ways to achieve self-awareness and ultimately enhance their career opportunities.

Self-Assessment Tests
CAREERS’ psychologists applied scientific methods to draw conclusions about human behavior providing candidates and exhibitors with an opportunity to better understand how an individual behaves, reacts and interacts in various situations, inside as well as outside the workplace. Moreover, the proposed tests allowed candidates to form a better idea on the kind of company and job that will best suit their personality.

Career Counseling
CAREERS’ counselors provided visitors with consultations aimed at exposing them to more career possibilities than what the candidates had originally anticipated. Counselors worked on fostering the candidates’ potential and generating options determining their professional vocation.

Professional Resume Assessment Center
CAREERS HR specialists offered FORWARD’s visitors a unique opportunity to improve their resume during personalized sessions. Visitors interested in the service were able to get advice on how to better present their CV and mark themselves as attractive candidates to potential employers.

Video CV
An exclusive feature FORWARD’s visitors enjoyed was the option to record a video CV and present it to potential employers, allowing them to better display their personality and people skills in a manner that a paper CV cannot fully capture.

BUSINESS 2012 Highlights

Entrepreneurs, business owners, SME managers interested in starting, developing or expanding their business were offered numerous opportunities.

The Visionary Entrepreneur Panels
BUSINESS, in its very first edition in 2011, met the challenge of launching this first of its kind event in Lebanon. These unique panels, as in 2011, were of tremendous success as they hosted over the four days forum 4 ministers and 12 outstanding Lebanese entrepreneurs. Each speaker shared his impressive success story with
the fair’s professional audience & gave guidance and inspiration to new starters. This event was attended by more than 3000 Entrepreneurs and Businessmen and amazingly covered by most of the regional media.

High-Impact Entrepreneurship Panel by Endeavor Lebanon
Three Endeavor Entrepreneurs shared the story of their entrepreneurial success to date focusing on the skills and strategies used to overcome competition and the support found in their ecosystems.

Berytech Pitch Fest
Berytech conducted live voting from the audience which resulted in the selection of 3 winners of the Seedup your Startup Berytech program who will benefit from immediate funding, up to 25,000$ as well as from 6 months incubation services and mentoring from Berytech.

Grow my Business
A joint initiative by MIT Enterprise Forum-Pan Arab Region, Beirut Traders Association & Bank Audi supporting Lebanese SMEs with prize money up to 80,000,000 L.L. to take their business to the next level.

Closing of JCI Lebanon Innovation and Entrepreneurship Workshop
An award distribution closing ceremony that was followed by a private cocktail attended by international organizations and the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.

The “Entrepreneurs Clinic Sessions” with Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program, Lebanon
These sessions were of great impact as they provided an exclusive opportunity for many young entrepreneurs to meet with different fields experts who answered, on one to one meetings, their questions on technical, administrative and business issues.

The “Business Meeting Lounge”
An elegant get-together area that presented a vital professional networking hub where many promising business opportunities were discussed and new business deals were concluded.


A gala dinner celebrating the closing of FORWARD & BUSINESS 2012’s edition as well as “The Visionary Entrepreneur Award Ceremony” was held at Music Hall and attended by various ministers, deputies, prominent political, diplomatic, economical and media figures as well as by both forums’ exhibiting companies’ owners and top management.

Mrs. Tania Eid , Managing Partner of Careers & President of E Square, started the evening by an invigorating welcome speech emphasizing on how the determination and collective action can together stimulate the Lebanese economy, bring back our young people and restore Lebanon’s leading role in the region as well as investors’ confidence in Lebanon. The speech was followed by a small projection featuring FORWARD’s 12 years sturdy journey and ever growing achievements despite the ongoing challenges and crisis Lebanon as well as the region were facing in addition to a glimpse on BUSINESS successful launching in 2011.

Afterwards, the 2012 “Visionary Entrepreneur Award Ceremony” was initiated by this year‘s Panels moderator, Mr. Wissam Breidy. The 2012 Visionary Entrepreneur Panels speakers were honored for exceptional achievement in their field and valuable contribution in the support of the entrepreneurial community in Lebanon. These outstanding Lebanese business gures were: Mr. Mohammad Choucair, Mr. Jacques Sarraf, Mr. Roger Edde, Mr. Charles Arbid, Mr. Jihad El Murr, Mr. Samer Chehlaoui, Mr. Georges Chakra, Mr. Stephan Der Bedrossian, Mr. Antonio Vincenti, Mr. Eli Khoury, Mr. Marwan Hayek and Mrs. Christine Aswad Sfeir.

The presence of H.E Minister Walid Daouk, H.E Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui and H.E Minister Vrej Sabounjian who have been among the Panels’ 2012 honored guests as well as the presence of H.E Minister Gebran Bassil, Mr. Philippe Ska, Mr. Salah Osseiran, Mr. Jean Claude Ghosn and Mr. Michel Elefteriades who were among the Panels’ 2011 honored speakers and their active heartfelt involvement in the trophies distribution have greatly contributed in making this evening a memorable one.

In conclusion, FORWARD & BUSINESS 2012 have greatly achieved their main objective of strengthening our trust in Lebanon and belief in a promising tomorrow by revealing the job as well as the overall business market, providing the biggest platform to seize great career growth opportunities in addition to encouraging investment thus the creation of new companies and more employment opportunities.

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