Building Tomorrow’s Leaders - Winning is Just the Beginning
Injaz, a local non-governmental, non-profit organization, has been working hand in hand with the private sector to help bridge the gap for students between the world of academia and that of the workplace. It is a cause to which Fransabank is deeply committed and in which it has actively participated over the years. In 2008, this participation took on a new flavor when Fransabank took part in the piloting of Injaz Lebanon’s Company Program. This gave the opportunity to 25 students between the ages of 16 and 18 to attend weekly meetings at the Fransabank headquarters and to form their own company with the mentoring and support of a group of Fransabank employees. Fransabank staff helped them nurture their project from company formation all the way through to liquidation. Over a three month period, they guided the students as they chose their board of directors, divided their new company into departments, assigned the management, decided on their product, marketed it, sold it and finally liquidated the company.
In addition to the Company Program, Fransabank’s collaboration with Injaz has also included the hosting of high school students at the Bank’s headquarters for job shadow days to give them a first-hand experience of the world of work.
Making Education Accessible to All
It only takes one simple glance at the statistics to understand that lack of money can be a barrier to education. In Lebanon, according to the UNDP, only 3.24% of the poor have a university level education, compared to 18.63% of those who are better off financially. At Fransabank, we believe in making education accessible to all and in helping those with financial constraints to still achieve their dream of one day attaining a university degree. With this in mind Fransabank’s university loan was launched in 2009, offering all qualified students the opportunity to pursue their university education either in Lebanon or abroad. This product takes into consideration the particular needs of students, offering loan facilities ranging from LBP 6 million to LBP 375 million, a low interest rate, a grace period that includes all years of study plus an additional year after graduation, and a repayment period that can be up to 10 years. The response to Fransabank’s university loan has been phenomenal with applications received from a diverse range of students from across the country. The strong demand is of little surprise considering the value placed by Lebanese on education. Today, Fransabank is proud to play a major role in maintaining this strong bond between people and their future.
Fransabank has granted 1,984 university loans and the total outstanding amount is USD 13,344,179 as end of December 2013.
The Adnan Kassar Annual Scholarship Grant at the Lebanese American University (LAU)
According to Mr. Adnan Kassar: “At Fransabank, we are keen to provide all less-privileged outstanding Lebanese youth today with educational opportunities in order to give them the individual freedom and empowerment they deserve to turn into tomorrow’s leaders.”
In line with its continuous support to education in Lebanon, within its main CSR initiatives, Fransabank signed with LAU a cooperation agreement whereby Fransabank consequently donates an annual scholarship of USD 60,000 to support the tuition fees of ten good academic standing and preferably needy students enrolled in the School of Business.
“Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty”
Fransabank strategically partnered with CSR Lebanon for its Third CSR Lebanon Forum under the theme: “Corporate Social Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty”, held under the patronage of President of the Republic H.E. Mr. Michel Suleiman. The event was also attended by Central Bank Vice-Governor Dr. Saad Andary, the Executive director of the UN Global Compact Mr. Georg Kell, as well as a wide range of companies, banks and institutions, regional and international, as well as by global experts and ambassadors from Norway and France, including the French ambassador to Lebanon, Patrice Paoli, and many other key officials.
H.E. Mr. Adnan Kassar received an award from the Executive Director for the UN Global Compact, Mr. Georg Kell who commended the important role of Fransabank Group Chairman, Mr. Adnan Kassar when as President of the International Chamber of Commerce, in 1999 he accepted, on behalf of the world business community, the challenge of then UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan and founded together the UN Global Compact.
Sharing Strategies and Experiences
Fransabank Group held in 2012 its "Knowledge®" Conference, an economic and finance conference, entitled: “Global Business Leaders Talk: Performing in a Challenging World”, with renowned Lebanese and international speakers from the business and financial sectors: H.E. Mr. Riad Salame - Governor of The Central Bank of Lebanon, Mr. Helmut Maucher - Honorary Chairman of Nestlé S.A., Germany, Mr. Jean-René Fourtou - Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi, France - Mr. Philippe de Fontaine Vive - Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg. Speakers shared their experiences, insights, and strategies as well as emerging topics with around 500 of the community’s key public and private sectors decision makers, top finance and business leaders, senior executives and leading academicians.
Support for Academia
Fransabank’s financial donations target all levels of academia, from sponsoring year-end celebrations at Lebanese schools and offering awards to their top performing students to providing significant endowments to Lebanese universities for student scholarships. Beyond this, we have been only too glad to act as sponsors for congresses and meetings held by various academic institutions as well as lectures and invitations to international speakers that give university students access to the most up-to-date information in their relevant fields. In this context, Fransabank sponsored educational programs for the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at the American University of Beirut that focused on the latest achievements in the fields of engineering, architecture and graphic design. Fransabank brought international professors and experts from the U.S. and Europe to provide advanced theoretical and practical aspects in these fields to the university students. Five educational programs were provided: the science of signs with Professor Paul Mijksenaar, architecture with Professor Enric Miralles, the design of line and Photolithography with Professor Wolfgang Weingart, architecture with Professor Jorge Silvetti, and the graphic design for books’, magazines and the media with Professors Daniella Haufe and Detlef Fiedler.
In addition, Fransabank Group contributed to the expansion of the educational center at Collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour. This school is a private French-language, Jesuit catholic educational institution set in Jamhour - Eastern Suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. It enjoys a high standing among the Lebanese schools. Among its Notable alumni, we list: Former Presidents of the Lebanese Republic, Former Lebanese ministers and deputies, Central Bank Governor, Chairmen of Lebanese Banks, main business, economic, educational and artistic personalities among others.
First Library in the Faculty of Law
We pride ourselves on funding of the construction and replenishment of the first library at the Lebanese University. This library was named after, and filled with the books of, the late Mr. Wafic Kassar, the father of Fransabank's Chairman, Mr. Adnan Kassar, and Deputy Chairman, Mr. Adel Kassar, a prominent, well-known judge and the first to chair the law school. It now constitutes a reference to all students, faculty members and researches interested in the legal issues and topics.
Form, Inform and Transform!
For the fourth consecutive year, Fransabank partnered with the prestigious French School of Administration, the Ecole Nationale des Affaires (ENA) and the Basil Fuleihan Institute of Finance which is an autonomous public institution operating under the tutelage of the Lebanese Minister of Finance, for a joint education program, under this year's theme of, "Rencontres des Cadres Dirigeants de la Fonction Publique Libanaise."
The program consists of sequences of Meetings of Senior Officials of the Lebanese Civil Service on the various challenges and managerial topics that are of both individual and national benefit. Each year, over 20 leaders from the public sector, judges and directors general of various public institutions and ministries, participate in this program in which high-caliber professors and experts from ENA share their knowledge in building the capacity of civil servants and developing their skills and performance.
Fransabank strongly advocate that the Basil Fuleihan Institute of Finance tackles profoundly topics that serve the monetary and administrative reforms which are essential to align and meet the public finance policies and objectives.
Vigorous Presence at Universities Job Fairs
Fransabank’s strategy in building prosperous tomorrows and assisting the young generation in achieving their ambitions is among the Group’s main priorities. That’s why Fransabank presence at American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanese American University (LAU) and École Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) job fairs, was part of the Bank’s CSR strategy towards to youth. Groups of ambitious students, seeking suitable employment or looking forward to adding a twist to their existing careers, visited Fransabank booth to inquire more about the Bank’s potential job opportunities and internship programs. Students also had the chance to inquire about Fransabank’s educational plans, the various youth-related services such as the University Loan that offers financial facilities to students, at competitive terms.
Fransabank welcomed 197 students from various universities for the year 2013, offering them customized training at the Bank’s different departments and branches as part of the Bank’s Summer Internship Program.