Third edition of the " Prix Bechara et Carmen Obegi pour la créativité et l’innovation”


Third edition of the " Prix Bechara et Carmen Obegi pour la créativité et l’innovation”

For the third consecutive year, the Competencies and Entrepreneurship Center (EC2), the Faculty of Economics (FSE) and “Fondation USJ” of Saint Joseph University of Beirut (USJ), organized the award ceremony of the "Prix Bechara et Carmen Obegi pour la créativité et l’innovation", on Monday, April 25, 2023 at the François S. Bassil Auditorium, at the Campus of Innovation and Sports, Damascus Street. In the presence of Mrs. Mia Tamaz, representative of Dr. Riad Obegi, President of BEMO Bank, Prof. Salim Daccache s.j, Rector of USJ, the Dean of the Faculty of Economics (FSE), Prof. Joseph Gemayel, the President of the FSE Alumni Association, Mrs. Joumana Hobeika, the nine competing teams and a crowd of students and friends of USJ. The theme this year was social entrepreneurship.

"Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a business. It's about turning your dreams into reality, creating solutions to problems and contributing to the growth and progress of society. It's about being innovative, persistent and courageous in the face of challenges," says the director of the Competencies and Entrepreneurship Center (EC2), Dr. Ursula El Hage, in her opening remarks. "Today's obstacles are now catalysts for innovation, encouraging us to think outside the box and present innovative solutions to make the world a better place," adds El Hage, “as entrepreneurs, you have shown courage and creativity to face these challenges head-on, and I am proud to celebrate your achievements today."

The Dean of the FSE, Prof. Joseph Gemayel, considered that "such a commitment of the Obegi group towards our institution and its students, reveals its great belief in our youth in these difficult times. Our youth, worried about its future, expects from us - institution, professionals, academics and others - initiatives that would constitute as many glimmers of hope, and the commitment today of the Obegi group is one of them."

The director of “Fondation USJ”, Ms. Cynthia-Maria Ghobril Andrea recalled that an Achievement Scholarship Fund was made possible thanks to Dr. Obegi, a friend and faithful partner of the Foundation and the University. She added that "We have gathered today to celebrate academic excellence and honor the winners of the competition", thanking the partners: Prof. Joseph Gemayel, Ms. Joumana Hobeika, the FSE faculty, the members of the jury, and Dr. Ursula El Hage for their continuous dynamism and support. "Your determination, hard work, and passion for your field of study deserve to be known. You are an example to all students at our university and we are proud to have you as part of our community," added the “Fondation USJ” director, addressing the winners of the competition.

"This ceremony is repeated because it has become, in its third edition, a beautiful tradition,” says Prof. Salim Daccache. “We know that it is an act in our memory that feeds our present. This tradition is a continuous transmission, a cultural content through history since a founding event of an immemorial past. It can constitute a vector of the human community identity, an element being able to contribute to its history as a nation, as people, as communities ".

« The goal of this competition is to allow young people of all classes and of all economic and social fields, to do their best to show their talent.

We are well inspired to continue this best projects competition to promote entrepreneurship. It is not enough to say that we understand what entrepreneurship is, but it is necessary to translate it into projects, practical and concrete ideas that speak to the youth of today", concludes the rector of the USJ.

In her speech on behalf of the President of BEMO Bank Dr. Riad Obegi, Mrs. Mia Tamaz recalled that her brother-in-law Bechara Obegi "always believed in the outcome of effort and work, and dared to go forward trying to overcome all obstacles and braving difficulties. His wife Carmen supported him throughout his journey, who with her wisdom, knew how to advise and encourage him in his undertakings.

They both appreciated the innovative and persevering spirit,” continues Mrs. Tamaz, “for them, the human being was the basis of their thinking. The machine is simply a means to propagate the innovative ideas created by humans. Thank you all, and good luck in your future.”

At the end of the ceremony, and based on the criteria of innovation, market potential and growth, technical feasibility and team capacity and financial viability and sustainability of the project, the jury, composed of Ms. Maria Hraoui, Mr. Charbel Gemayel, Prof. Georges Moussa, and Mr. Jean-Louis Moussa. Charbel Gemayel, Prof. Georges Andréa, Prof. Dina Sidani, Mr. Adam Sleiman and Prof. Nada Ghostine, awarded the first place of the "Prix Bechara et Carmen Obegi pour la créativité et l’innovation" to iolokis, the second place to 3a tari2ak and the third to Synapse.