Welcome to the EON (entrepreneurship opportunities network) Program’s FAQs⚡️

The EON (Entrepreneurship Opportunities Network) program will bring training and mentorship support to 30 early-stage social enterprises in Lebanon in the Mentorship track and technical, financial, and mentorship support to 10 early-stage social enterprises in the Accelerator track to increase their competitiveness, internationalization, and financial resilience.

The program is almost entirely remote/online and accessible to enterprises across geographies. Participating enterprises will grow their individual and organizational capacities through Bloom’s online platform, training pedagogy, networks of experts, and customized curriculum.

  1. Public Launch and Applications Open on Thursday, April 6
  2. Open house starts on Thursday, April 20
  3. The application deadline is Monday, May 15
  4. Enterprises are notified of selection into the sprint by Monday, May 22
  5. Sprint starts on Monday, May 29
  6. Sprint Demo day is on Tuesday, June 13
  7. Enterprises are notified of selection into Accelerator or Mentorship by Tuesday, June 20
  8. Accelerator and Mentorship Programs start on Monday, June 26
  9. Demo day is on/around Tuesday, October 31.
  • Funding to support an essential aspect of the business could improve growth and sustainability. Each enterprise in the Accelerator will get a $4,000 grant to support their needs and potential impact
  • Training, mentorship, and other support during the four-month accelerator and mentorship program
  • Lifetime access to Bloom’s resources and network of entrepreneurs, including mentors, investors, alums, and staff
  • Demo day exposure and other investor connections

We provide the seed funding to get you going, but you may need more funding to continue your enterprise efforts. Near the end of the program, we’ll organize a Demo Day to help connect you with investors, funders, and organizations that could help you in the following stages of your enterprise journey. We’ll coach you so you’re as effective as possible and do everything we can to help get you follow-on support and funding.

The primary language in verbal and written communications during accelerator activities is English. However, we can also offer support and mentorship in Arabic or French. We may adapt those during the program to respond to the needs of enterprises.
It’s your enterprise, so you’ll be hard at work on your business, the product, marketing, HR, etc. We’ll have between one and two weekly sessions, from formal workshops to informal discussions with our mentors, trainers, and guests. Some of those are “required,” but many are optional, and we expect enterprises to adapt and join the critical sessions for issues they’re dealing with in their enterprise. We’ll also regularly have required check-ins with each enterprise, usually every month.
In general, though, you’ll be working on your enterprise each day, just like all of the other founders in the program. We don’t tell you what to do or when, but we create an environment conducive to helping your enterprise daily. And we’ll ensure you have many experienced mentors around to help you.
We are looking for social enterprises that can positively impact multiple sectors. All are welcome to apply as long as their mission and objectives align with working toward the SDGs’ achievement. We are looking for early-stage enterprises operating for at least three years and generating revenues.

We will use the following criteria to assess eligible applications. These are not all requirements, but preferences and enterprises will be weighed on the different elements:

  1. Impact: What difference your idea will make, for whom, how many jobs you will create, what sort of marginalized communities you will impact, and whether you align with the priority impact areas: culture, mindset, and education.
  2. Capacity: What skills, knowledge, and resources do you have to develop and deliver your idea.
  3. Feasibility: Whether you can realistically deliver your idea by the end of the program and within budget.
  4. Sustainability: Whether your idea has the potential to become financially sustainable and last beyond the lifetime of the funding we provide.
  5. Stage of Enterprise and Product: Whether the enterprise is already generating revenue and the stage of development of the specific product or branch that this program will support.
  6. Inclusion and user testing: Whether the voices of your target clients have been included in the prototype/solution design, and whether your client base is inclusive of different demographics, backgrounds, sexes, etc.
  7. Innovation and growth potential: Whether your idea is new and different, and where or how it can potentially grow.

Your enterprise is eligible if it meets the following criteria:

  • Your enterprise is based in Lebanon.
  • Your enterprise has been operating for at least three years and already generates revenues.
  • Your enterprise has a social element / generates a positive social impact:
    • Alignment with SDGs,
    • Tracking of social impact KPIs along with financial impact,
    • Reinvesting at least half of revenues into social initiative
  • You have the potential to sustain your enterprise without the program’s long-term support.
  • You have more than one person in the team, with at least two members working full-time in the enterprise.
  • No restrictions on sociographic or other parameters regarding the applicants.
  • Female-led enterprises and enterprises with higher diversity (age, sex, socio-economic background, refugee/host communities, location around Lebanon) are particularly encouraged to apply.

We are unable to support:

  • Enterprises of only one individual.
  • Enterprises engaged with other entrepreneurship/innovation programs/accelerators unless there is a clear distinction between the program offerings. Enterprises can demonstrate that they have the time and capacity to join this program and their other program commitments.

Imagine a spectrum of entrepreneurship, from learning about the concept and skills to having a mature enterprise changing the world. Those stages are categorized as follows, and for the sake of this challenge, we will be focusing on supporting enterprises as indicated in blue below:

Enterprise Development Stages

Stages Sub-Stages
0. LEARNING 0.1. Learning without the goal of launching an enterprise
1. IDEATION 1.1. Want to start and looking for/testing ideas
0. LEARNING 0.1. Learning without the goal of launching an enterprise
2. IDEA-STAGE 2.1. Exploring ideas, conducting market/customer research
2.2. Have started developing my idea
3. PROTOTYPE(Pre-Revenue) 3.1. Have an early (low-fidelity/paper) prototype (of product or service)
3.2. Have a functioning (high-fidelity) prototype with early users / early adopters
4. EARLY-STAGE 4.1 Declining revenues and the enterprise is not yet profitable/sustainable
4.2. Revenues are stagnant or growing slowly, but the enterprise is not however profitable/sustainable
4.3. Revenues are growing quickly, but the enterprise is not yet profitable/sustainable
5. GROWTH-STAGE 5.1. Profitable/sustainable business (with stable, growing, or declining revenues)
5.2. Seeking scalability (of impact and/or profits)
5.3. Seeking diversification
5.4. Seeking an exit
5.5. Established national enterprise
5.6. Established multinational enterprise

You will get access to an empowering program that will include monetary prizes, mentoring, access to opportunities, and more:

  1. Open House
    1. Online discussions and “info sessions” with thought leaders to build awareness and momentum around the program,
    2. Selection process.
  2. Sprint
    1. High-intensity two-week-long Sprint with workshops, mentorship, and support for all enterprises,
    2. 1-on-1 follow-ups with the enterprises,
    3. Sprint demo day,
    4. Final Selection.
  3. Track 1: Accelerator
    1. Weekly or bi-weekly workshops adapted to the needs of the cohort and enterprises,
    2. Regular milestone check-ins with all enterprises,
    3. Mentorship coordination,
    4. Grant disbursement and support,
    5. Online or Offline Demo Day, or otherwise optimized for the interests of partners and the needs of the enterprises to help the enterprises continue their growth path.
  4. Track 2: Mentorship
    1. Monthly or twice monthly workshops and speaker series adapted to the cohort’s and enterprises’ needs,
    2. Regular milestone check-ins with all enterprises,
    3. Mentorship coordination.

Take a leap of faith and apply! It could be you. Yes, you!