In a country where women entrepreneur are very few, Lebanese Hala Fadel is leading the way to many young entrepreneurs and women especially, to be able to settle their own business.

Graduating from HEC (Paris) in 1996 and taking an MBA from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management in 2001, Hala became a specialist in mergers and acquisitions at the investment bank Merrill Lynch, working in London and Paris.

In 2001, she joined the French asset management company,Comgest, which manages funds totalling 14 billion Euros. She assumed leadership of a fund managing equity on behalf of a major European institutions.

Since then, Hala has continued to work with the investment company. She even persuaded its management to open a bureau in Beirut to better reach and retain regional institutional clients. Today, she continues to work at Comgest, management funds in Paris and Beirut.

In 2005, with the help of other MIT alumni and the support of Bader, Hala founded theMIT Entreprise Forumfor the Pan-Arab Region, which has organized the MIT Arab Business Plan Competition since 2006.

This initiative seeks to promote entrepreneurship in Arab countries through an annual competition for the best business start-up idea in the Arab World. It receives over 3,000 projects each year from over 17 Arab countries.

Hala Fadel also developed a similar association in northern Lebanon, an economically depressed region.Te Maurice FadelPrize , which recognizes the year’s best business start-up idea, was launched in 2010 to promote local entrepreneurship. Twenty-two universities in northern Lebanon and many partners in the business world support this initiative, which in its first year accepted 503 entries from northern Lebanon.

Check Hala’s amazing speech at TedX Beirut.