LEE stands for Libya Economic Empowerment project.
The goal of the project was to grow the Libyan non-oil private sector by providing women and youth with opportunities to create and operate successful enterprises.
The project partnered with 3,503 women and youth entrepreneurs to facilitate sustainable job opportunities.
In Libya, there are weak business support networks for entrepreneurs, especially youth entrepreneurs. As a result, promising entrepreneurs that need mentoring, access to finance, and improved general business knowledge are failing to commercialize sound business ideas and develop job-creating businesses. This is during a time of heightened economic fragility in the country. Other significant barriers include lack of encouragement, substandard infrastructure, and cultural restrictions on women and youth. As a result, women and youth in particular face barriers to access to credit and market systems.
MEDA, in partnership with USAID, established an SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) development program that provided youth with the capacity building training they need to create and grow their businesses. Women and youth SME owners developed and expanded their businesses through training, coaching/mentorship, networking, and buyer engagement opportunities. A matching grants fund also supported the most promising businesses with a pathway towards growth and job creation. The project also partnered with and helped build growing Libyan civil society organizations.