GIMED: Mortben, a start-up specialized in providing healthy plant-based meals in Lebanon
Mortben is a Lebanese start-up specialized in providing healthy plant-based meals packed in glass jars and reusable lunch bags. The start-up presents a new approach to healthy and plant-based ready-to-eat meals, life-friendly and good for the environment respecting both health, animals and society.
"We sell individual jars and meals subscriptions through our e-commerce website, social media platforms and phone number."
Hanine Ghannam, the entrepreneur behind the project, is a licensed dietitian with more than 6 years of experience, being a Food Safety Specialist and a MBA Graduate. She decided to take the leap and invest in making something good for the planet and the people and with the support of her mother, she launched Mortben in 2021. This start-up has been selected by Berytech, the GIMED partner in Lebanon, to take part in our ENI CBC Med project in order to be able to launch the product and access the markets.
In the first year, the project took major green steps such as reducing the delivery frequency from daily to twice per week, shifting from paper to reusable lunch bags, buying from local farmers and suppliers, composting their leftovers, and going paperless when invoicing. In addition, 70% of their team consists of rural women and mothers and this is what makes their food homelike.
In Hanine’s words: “The program allowed me to take a step back and see the business from another perspective. The capacity-building sessions under GIMED were like a preparatory phase to set our priorities and the entrepreneurial mindset”. In addition, she added that the coaching phase was where the actual work came in. “I believe I was privileged to get the opportunity of working closely with experts on my business”, she said.
Hanine also shared some key takeaways that she had from those sessions, like the highlight of the capacity-building phase which was accepting the idea to learn everything from a different perspective. Also belonging to a community of like-minded people helped her to create an impact on this country's environment, economy, and society.
The project also faced some constraints during its establishment, delivery issues and the fluctuation in the price of the raw ingredients, the currency rate, the availability and prices of the fuel.