One of the participants and awardees at the Re-Start-Up Award Ceremony in Sebha. Photo: ©UNDP Libya/Ali Alshareef

Sebha, 11/December/2020 – As part of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) “Strengthening Local Capacities for Resilience and Recovery’ (SLCRR) project funded by the European Union (EU), six entrepreneurs and small business owners based in Sebha have been awarded grants of up to US$40,000 to further develop and implement their businesses.

The awards are part of the Re-Start-Up marathon that UNDP is being carried out in several cities across Libya. Aimed at promoting local economic recovery in Libya through helping entrepreneurs rebuild their businesses that were affected by conflict and COVID-19, Re-Start-Up hosted 12 entrepreneurs in Sebha during two days in which they gained skills to restart their businesses.

During the next months and with support from UNDP, the six awardees will be working in varied fields including farming, clothes manufacturing, car repair, food, and beauty industries. They will be technically and financially supported during the business development process, and they will benefit from a training and mentoring programme for three months. With their initiatives, they will create around 45 jobs in Sebha.

At the award ceremony, a Member of Sebha Municipal Council, Mr. Abu Baker Jamaa on behalf of the Mayor said: “The Sebha Municipal Council extends its appreciation to UNDP for this creative and wonderful initiative. This region is thirsty for such positive interventions that contribute to creating sustainable development and recovery from the crises that have brought chaos and instability to our country”.

EU representative, Sandra Goffin, Head of Operations, EU Delegation to Libya declared: “The European Union is committed to support entrepreneurship in Libya, as a key and sustainable source of job creation. This event demonstrated the creativity and the desire of people of Sebha to contribute to their community with their innovative business idea, and this gives us hope for the future of Libya’’.

On behalf of UNDP, SLCRR Programme Manager, Ms. Paola Piccione, stated: “I would like to congratulate the awardees. I strongly believe that the skills gained during the marathon will pay off in the future. It is time for peace, development, and entrepreneurship in Libya and I am confident the participants of the Re-Start-Up marathon will make a difference to boost jobs creation in Sebha and reinvigorate the local economy to support the most vulnerable people.”

Ms. Aisha Rajab, one of the awardees who plans to recover her tailor shop, said: “These grants will give us the opportunity to continue working on our businesses after the negative impact of COVID-19. It will contribute to achieving economic development and will enable us to overcome the difficulties that we face from the lack of finances and the impact of the deteriorating security situation on our businesses”.

The EU-funded “Strengthening Local Capacities for Resilience and Recovery” project aims to support local authorities to restore essential services delivery, community security and livelihoods opportunities. The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Governance, in Tripoli, Sabratha, Sebha, Murzuq, Benghazi, Ajdabiya and Al Kufra municipalities.

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This project is implemented in the framework of the programme "Managing mixed migration flows in Libya through expanding protection space and supporting local socioeconomic development" financed by the North of Africa Window of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The main objective of this programme is to comprehensively reinforce protection and resilience of migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya while supporting an improved migration management along the migration routes in the country.

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