Middle East and North Africa Regional Innovation Hub

Scaling Water-Energy-Food Innovations in MENA

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is subject to many challenges including water scarcity, environmental degradation, unemployment, conflicts and increased migration. Tackling issues in the water-energy-food nexus is imperative to achieve political and social stability, gender equality and inclusion, food security, and sustainable development.

Although the region’s water-energy-food challenges are severe, they present an opportunity for local innovators to find solutions for the most pressing water and energy issues in food production and agriculture.

The MENA Regional Innovation Hub (MENA RIH) supports innovators that work in the region and produce more food while using less water and energy. Together with investors and partners, the MENA RIH works to scale mid-to-later stage enterprises that have an environmental and social impact in the water-energy-food nexus.

Through WE4F, innovators from the MENA region can now access the financial support, technical support, and investment matching necessary to make food production and farming more sustainable, productive, and bountiful. Supported projects must fulfill strict environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria, have positive effects on the environment, strive for gender equality and inclusion, and ensure secure access to food for all.

Where We Work

We currently work in nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The Regional Innovation Hub for MENA has its headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon. There are further country coordination offices in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Palestinian Territories and we have partners all across the region.

Innovators operating in the following countries are eligible to receive support from the WE4F MENA Hub:

Algeria               Morocco
Egypt                 The Palestinian Territories
Jordan               Tunisia
Iraq                     Sudan
Lebanon             Yemen

What We Offer

For Local Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Are you an innovator with a proven solution tackling water and/or energy issues in urban or rural food production? Do you want to scale your business from a few hundred to hundreds of thousand clients? We will help you to make your vision come true!

Once you have passed our selection process, you will get free technical support from the region’s most qualified water-energy-food business experts. Depending on your needs, we can further provide you with grants, soft loans or other direct financial support ranging from several 10,000 US$ to a few 100,000 US$. On top of that, we will link you with investors and investment opportunities that will make sure you can multiply your impact in the MENA region.

Please note that WE4F is NOT a startup program. Your solution needs to be proven and you need to have a running production, an existing customer base and recurring sales. If you are not there yet, check out the regional incubation and acceleration programs of Berytech and cewas Middle East that will get you there.

For more information on how you can profit from WE4F as an innovator and entrepreneur, subscribe to our newsletter or contact we4f@berytech.org.

For Investors

Are you looking for commercial or sub-commercial, impact-oriented investments in the water, energy and food sector in the MENA region, but you are having trouble finding viable candidates? Are potential investments in the region currently too risky for you? Contact us for more information on our growing portfolio of mid-to later stage water-energy-food enterprises and innovative financing mechanisms.  We can help you with de-risking investments by backing them up with grants, soft loans or other financial instruments at our hand. Furthermore, investors profit from our complimentary due diligence processes and substantial technical assistance we provide to our portfolio companies.

For further information on investment opportunities please contact we4f@berytech.org.

For Partners

The Regional Innovation Hub MENA for WE4F supports promising innovators with technical assistance, direct funding and investment matching. We are in an on-going dialogue with key institutional and financial players and we promote the potential of water-enegy-food innovations in tackling the region’s challenges through targeted communication, awareness raising and joint advocacy to create a more enabling environment.

If you are a government or private sector actor striving for the same goals, contact us to explore synergies and potential partnerships to support local water-energy-food innovators.

For more information, please contact we4f@berytech.org.

Who We Are

Our MENA RIH is a consortium of locally rooted organizations, with long histories of working with each other and countless partners towards a more sustainable Middle East and North Africa:

  • The consortium is led by Berytech, Lebanon’s leading entrepreneurship support organization that has supported more than 3800 innovative entrepreneurs since 2002 with a strong focus on agritech and cleantech innovations and expertise in fund management and funding social scalable enterprises and innovative enterprises.
  • Chemonics Egypt (CE), with offices in Egypt and projects across MENA, brings in strong expertise in energy, agriculture, water and has supported over 1,000 entrepreneurs at the idea stage and 100 growing businesses in the water-food-energy nexus since 1992. CE also supports large firms, governments and international organizations in the sectors of focus above.
  • cewas is the planet’s first dedicated organization specifically supporting water nexus entrepreneurs with an impact focus. Although operating on a global level, the Middle East is cewas’ most important regional program with long-term entrepreneurship and ecosystem development programs and local staff in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine since 2013.
  • Finally, IWMI has global presence and a regional office in Egypt and brings in a longstanding expertise in policy, advocacy and research on the use of water in agriculture and other related water-energy-food nexus matters as well as ample of experience with smallholder farmers, social inclusion and resource sustainability.

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