Posts Tagged ‘legal’

The Freedom to Start – An Insider’s Perspective

by Lana Al-Kazimi

Karim Kobeissi is currently the Senior Legal and Policy Advisor to the Minister of Telecommunications in Lebanon. Moreover, he is a managing partner at Kobeissi and Frangie, a law firm established in 2006 that specializes in various facets of law, such as finance, commercial, corporate, real estate, construction, insurance, telecommunications, and energy. Karim received his Bachelor’s of Science in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut before turning his focus to Law and gaining a degree in International Law from Saint Joseph University in Lebanon and his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2000. Over and above that, Karim used to play professional basketball for the Lebanese national team, is co-founder of the Civil Center for National Initiative in Lebanon, president of the Harvard Law School Association of Arabia, and teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate level at AUB, among other things.

A prime example of giving back to his country, Karim’s latest endeavor is the Beirut Digital District, which is the key focus of this interview. Karim was my Business Law professor while I was pursuing my Bachelor’s, and I am proud to say I am still learning from him!

What is your view on entrepreneurship in the MENA region?

Entrepreneurship is a mindset, and to allow it to flourish you need to have the necessary institutions in place

This is an interesting question. There are definitely a lot of talented people here. Countries in the MENA are well equipped in terms of education to produce entrepreneurs. However, there needs to be more emphasis on certain freedoms, such as the freedom of speech and assembly. Entrepreneurship is a mindset, and to allow it to flourish you need to have the necessary institutions in place. There is not one initiative that can take off without having the freedom to do so, just look at the examples in the USA. The beauty of Lebanon is that the freedom to aspire and create is here, but it needs to trickle over to other countries in the region. At the same time, the market itself needs to be positioned correctly, and not all countries in the MENA have this at the moment. For entrepreneurship to flourish, the market needs to be open and receptive, as well as ready to experiment. Ultimately, there is definitely a lot of potential for the region, but we are still working towards it.
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Keeping it Legal in the MENA with Aymen Almoayed

This is part of an ongoing series of expert articles about entrepreneurship. It answers the questions you have asked on YallaStartup answers. If you would like to contribute to this series, contact us at exec@yallastartup.org with your proposal.

Q1. In Arabic below:

ما الفرق بين “رأس المال” (المبلغ المسجل ضمن الوثائق القانونية لتأسيس الشركة) و”قيمة الشركة”، قبل مرحلة تمويلية معينة (لنقل مثلا التقدير الأولي Pre-money valuation)؟

حسب فهمي الشخصي ثمة فرق. لكني اليوم في اجتماع مع محام، علمت منه أن قيمة الشركات ذات المسؤولية المحدودة في المغرب، هي نفسها قيمة المبلغ الذي سجلت به كرأس مال. وهي قيمة لا تتغير بحجم المداخيل. فلو تم تأسيس شركة ذات مسؤولية محدودة وحدد لها مبلغ ألف دولار، فسيكون ذلك المبلغ هو قيمتها. ولو جاء مستثمر وأراد الدخول في تمويل الشركة، فإن تقييمه الوحيد الممكن سيكون هو ألف دولار. على الأقل هذا ما يعرفه المحامي الآن، وقد طلبت منه البحث أكثر في موضوع الاستثمارات.

أو ربما الأمر يختلف من دولة إلى أخرى، وهذا يقودني إلى السؤال الموالي

نظام الاستثمار المخاطر (Venture Capital) ظهر بداية في أمريكا، وتطور كثيرا هناك. في حين لم ينتقل هذا النموذج الاستثماري إلى كل الدول، ولا بنفس الشكل. ما هي الدول العربية التي تتوفر ترسانتها القانونية على أنظمة التمويل المخاطر القريبة من النظام الأمريكي؟ وهل تعرف تفاصيل معينة عن نظام (قانون) استثمار رؤوس الأموال المخاطرة في الشركات الناشئة في المغرب؟

Thank you for your question.

Founders/entrepreneurs in any jurisdiction must differentiate clearly between two terms that will be crucial in setting up their business and potential entertaining third party funding – namely capital and valuation.

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