Lebanon

Feb 22, 2020
Vitas Group, created by Global Communities is a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East. They are a unique group of companies with more than twenty years of proven track record of successfully lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises and the only such investment vehicle for impact investors in the region. Since 2004, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $3 billion to over 1 million customers with an annual default rate below two percent. Every two years, Vitas Group surveys clients in its affiliated institutions to assess customer satisfaction, the impact of loans... Read more
Jun 05, 2019
Vitas Group recently issued a report including a Gender Action Plan that seeks to offer tailored services and a better understanding of the needs of women clients, which is expected to result in improved retention and outreach for borrowers. Vitas Group is a Global Communities enterprise established in 2006 as a microfinance holding company with subsidiaries in Lebanon, Romania, Jordan and Palestine, and affiliates in Iraq and Egypt. In 2018 the Vitas Group launched the Vitas Values Equality initiative to raise awareness and secure from all tiers of management a commitment to embracing gender equality across the network. Then in March of this year Vitas Iraq,... Read more
Dec 15, 2018
Message from Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group The year 2017 marked several exciting developments for Vitas Group. We signed shareholders agreements and closed investments with new commercial partners in Lebanon and Egypt. Saradar Bank purchased a 49 percent stake in Vitas Lebanon and committed $20 million in new debt financing to expand our footprint across the country. Saradar Bank is a premier financial institution in Lebanon and has been at the center of Lebanese banking for over 60 years. Egyptian private equity firm BPE Partners, through its new subsidiary “Ebtikar,” entered a 50/50 joint venture to launch Vitas Egypt. Vitas Egypt will be the first microfinance company in the country... Read more
Oct 05, 2017
Fact Sheet: WASH in Emergencies Water is essential for a range of day-to-day human needs, including consumption, hygiene and irrigation. In developing countries where clean water may already be scarce, conflicts or natural disasters can devastate water and sanitation infrastructure, and reduce people’s abilities to access this key resource. As a result, contaminated water and poor quality sanitation services can increase the prevalence of diseases and deteriorate hygiene and productivity. Global Communities’ humanitarian Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programs are designed to provide immediate access to clean water and sanitation facilities, while improving hygiene practices and laying the... Read more
Aug 24, 2017
Saradar Bank SAL Acquires 49 Percent Stake in Vitas SAL Saradar Bank SAL announced the acquisition of a 49 percent stake in Vitas SAL (“Vitas” or the “Company”), a subsidiary of Vitas Group. Saradar Family Office SAL (“SFO”) acted as sole buy-side financial advisor to Saradar Bank. Based in Lebanon, Vitas is engaged in the provision of microfinance solutions to entrepreneurs and individuals with limited income. This transaction is in line with Saradar Bank’s social responsibility strategy to give back to its community through facilitating access to education, healthcare, information and culture. Moreover, the microfinance industry promotes economic development, employment and growth through the support of Lebanese micro-entrepreneurs and local small businesses. Vitas has continuously... Read more
Aug 14, 2017
Vitas Group Publishes 2016 Annual Report Vitas Group was created in 2006 to help unite the commercially-oriented microfinance institutions owned by Global Communities under one brand and one mission: Financing a Better World. Vitas Group’s staff around the world still worked tirelessly to bring that mission to life. Vitas Group is proud to share this 2016 Annual Report, to showcase the ways our work has a positive social and financial impact on communities around the world. Despite turmoil and uncertainty in many of the places where we work, Vitas remains a partner for good.... Read more
Apr 17, 2017
Digital Financial Services: The Next Frontier For Financial Inclusion In The Middle East BY ELISSA MCCARTER-LABORDE This article was originally published on SAIS Perspectives Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer of Vitas Group, is Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, where over the last 12 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. Ms. LaBorde has 18 years' experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she spent seven years in the field, having started up and managed two microfinance institutions in Armenia and Turkey, and... Read more
Feb 10, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Agriculture - Farming, Aquaculture, and Modern Greenhouses   Clustering for Economic Development and Revitalization of Industry Sectors Through CEDARSplus, which builds on predecessor program CEDARS to expand rural economic opportunities with various entities from the private, government, academic, and non-profit sectors, Global Communities has worked closely with the Moawad Rene Foundation since 1998. Working with marginalized groups such as fishermen, small farmers and rural practitioners, this partnership supports sustainable agriculture by training them with new farming techniques, as well as reducing intermediaries for farmers. These efforts help farmers keep costs down, reduce their... Read more
Feb 09, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Agriculture   Lebanon Apple Production Agriculture is Lebanon’s third most important sector, employing about 15% of the active population. Global Communities has been instrumental in supporting and expanding agricultural businesses in Lebanon by working closely with the USDA-funded Lebanon Apple Production Improvement Program (LAPI), which introduced a mechanism for quality control and food safety for the production of apples in northern Lebanon. Production is vastly improved through best agricultural practices and production techniques throughout all stages of production. Liban Village, a fruit producer founded in 2001 in the north’s mountainous region, has worked with 15 cooperatives, 150 farmers, eight exporters, five distributors and... Read more
Feb 08, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Education and Employment of Women Women living in many parts of the Middle East experience extremely high unemployment rates; some leave the work force to start families and then struggle to re-enter the job market, while some are completely new to paid employment. Instability in the region has prompted even more women to seek employment, since they may be supporting additional relatives or friends. They focus more on the work environment and might not be able to work very late. In addition, men can emigrate more easily, leaving a relatively higher number of women in the pool of the unemployed. Global Communities has partnered on several initiatives to ensure viable employment for women refugees. Even before the current conflict in Syria... Read more
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