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Fantasmeem Skills designed by Karim Farah | photo by Alia Haju


The pillar SKILLS aims at building capacity and strengthening skills of designers and design entrepreneurs in a practical and professional way, so as to help them grow their creative business and succeed in expanding the outreach of their various design projects. The design residency “Faculty,” the online training program “Design, Entrepreneurship and Co-Creation in Times of Overlapping Crises” and the intensive “Design Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme” are programs that were held under the pillar SKILLS, along with specialized workshops, targeted trainings and other qualification programs. Considering the national context in Lebanon as well as the global challenges faced by creatives and designers in particular, a focus has been especially put on sustainability and resilience in times of crises.

EnVision: Entrepreneurship Visions in Design

July 6, 2023 - October 12, 2023

EnVision: Entrepreneurship Visions in Design © Goethe-Institut Libanon / Design: Karim Farah The Goethe-Institut Libanon within the framework of FANTASMEEM, Cultural and Creative Industries, and in collaboration with INJAZ Lebanon implemented a 57-hour hybrid training and mentoring program dedicated to design entrepreneurs and creative professionals with early-stage start-ups or freelance practices based in Lebanon. The aim of the program is to strengthen the designers' creative skills and equip them with the resources and tools they need to successfully navigate their social entrepreneurial journey, adopt sustainability in their design practices, and achieve greater independence through business ownership.

Guided by design experts and entrepreneurship & business professionals, the twenty-one designers received 10 workshops on entrepreneurship, creativity, sustainability in design, financial & business planning, branding & marketing, accompanied by a series of 1:1 mentorship session of up to 6 hours for each designer. The program strongly focused on networking, exposure, and matchmaking through networking events, study tours to local design businesses in Lebanon, and four panel discussions featuring high calibre experts in the field of design and social innovation.

Between 06 JUL 2023 and 12 OCT 2023, this hybrid 3-month training & mentoring program encompassed a total of 57 hours of the following distinctive but interconnected components:

  • Design Entrepreneurship & the Creative Sector
  • Design Vision for Business Success
  • Sustainable Design and Social Responsibility
  • Business Model Development
  • Crafting a Compelling Value Proposition
  • Design Pricing and Positioning
  • Streamlining Business Operations
  • Crafting Business Marketing Story
  • Navigating Design Events
  • Personalized Mentoring Session
  • Two Study Tours in Beirut, North, & Mount Lebanon
  • A series of four Design Dialogue Panel Discussions as follows:
- Designing For Impact: Social Innovations and Circular Design
- Designing Through Uncertainty: Nurturing Innovation and Interdisciplinary Collaborations
- Navigating The Future: Trends and Emerging Technologies in Culture & Creative Industries
- Design Thinking for Social Innovation: Empowering Communities through Human-Centered Design

For more details about EnVision and the bios of the designers and involved experts, check the booklet on this link:

Pitch it Forward: Investing in Women-led Innovation

August 8, 2023 - September 13, 2023

Pitch it Forward: Investing in Women-led Innovation © Goethe-Institut Libanon / Design: Karim Farah The Pitch it Forward program is a collaborative initiative between the Goethe-Institute Libanon within the framework of FANTASMEEM, Cultural and Creative Industries, and Transformeus Consulting. This training program was designed to exclusively support creative women design entrepreneurs, who have a startup or established design businesses in Lebanon by enabling them to improve their business models and investment compatibility, create their pitch deck, and enhance their pitching & storytelling skills.

Between 08 AUG 2023 and 13 SEP 2023, this program supported 22 creative women design entrepreneurs. It encompassed a total of 26 hours of online and in-person workshops covering essential topics such as innovation, investment readiness, lean business model canvas, business finances, and pitching & storytelling. The program culminated to a final pitching event where the designers pitched their creative design businesses in front of potential investors and industry experts. At the end of the event 5 winners were selected and received extra personalized mentoring to further develop their businesses, as well as potential support from the involved jurors and investors.

The participants belonged to various design field like Architecture, Interior & Furniture, Jewelry, Product Design, Fashion Design, and Artistic Design. During the program, they honed their pitching skills through rehearsals, received valuable insights in business and finance, and learned the art of persuading investors to support their ventures. As they presented their ideas to investors and experts in the final pitching event, their creative journeys are poised for growth and enduring success.

For more details about Pitch it Forward and the bios of the 22 designers and involved experts, check the booklet on this link:

About the winners:
 © Basil Abi-Hanna Margherita Abi Hanna | Accessories Design
Margherita is a contemporary jewelry designer, who collaborates with local artisans to create timeless pieces with fearless style and architectural details. Inspired by Beirut's vibrancy, her design background fosters a community conscious approach. @margherita.jewelry
 © Lorenzo Tugnoli Chrystele Karam | Architectural Foam Innovation
Chrystele is the founder of Blocksfinj, a pioneering foam venture that merges architecture, art, and industrial craftsmanship to create innovative foam materials. Inspired by her childhood at her family-owned foam factory, Chrystele collaborates with her father, an expert in chemical engineering, to push the boundaries of foam design, and using the flexibility of this material to create Open-Form environments, designed to be transformed and reused. @blocksfinj
 © Rida Issa Manar Shehab | Upcycled Fashion Design
Manar is the founder & CDO of the impact startup Earth Weavers. She is an entrepreneur & sustainable fashion designer & up-cycler, who empowers rural women through transformative training and upcycling initiatives. With a keen focus on environmental preservation, she turns fabric and curtain waste into stunning artistic pieces. As the founder of Kimono by Manar since 2018, her unique creations have gained international acclaim. Manar's impact extends beyond her brand, as she has trained over 25 rural artisans in sustainable design. @the_earth_weavers
 © Tarek Moukaddem Diane Ferjane | Modern Fashion Design
Diane’s diverse background, spanning France and Lebanon, fuels her passion for fashion. From fashion shows to movie sets, she has explored various creative avenues. In 2005, she founded her own brand, later navigating challenges, like the Beirut Blast, by transitioning to the virtual realm while maintaining demand for her unique pieces. @diane_ferjane
 Camilia Safatli | Interior Architect
Camilia is a seasoned interior architect with 16 years of hands-on experience. She leads innovative projects from concept to delivery. Her design firm's exceptional work showcases excellence in architecture and design, fostering effective collaborations and clear articulation of ideas.

Sustainability in Design Entrepreneurship (SDE)

June 16, 2022 - September 13, 2022

Sustainability in Design Entrepreneurship © Goethe-Institut Libanon / Karim Farah In 2022, FANTASMEEM in partnership with EcoConsulting successfully implemented another programme to further support designers in the Cultural and Creative Industries in Lebanon to enhance sustainability among their creative practices. Twenty design entrepreneurs with established businesses or freelance practices took part in this hybrid 3-month training & mentoring programme.

With a focus on environmental sustainability, circular economy, business development, and social entrepreneurship, the SDE programme provided an intensive schedule of 92 hours of capacity building workshops, personalized mentoring, and need-based 1:1 coaching. Furthermore, the programme had a strong focus on networking, exposure, and matchmaking in an aim to encourage synergies, knowledge sharing, and collaborations.

From 16 JUN 2022 until 13 SEP 2022, the SDE programme incorporated the following five distinct but interconnected components:
-        Sustainable Design & Circular Business Models
-        Developing a Comprehensive Business Model
-        Branding, Marketing, and Communication
-        Pitching your Innovative Business Idea
-        Networking, Matchmaking, and Community Building

Accompanied by a group of local and international trainers, mentors, and experts, this programme supported design entrepreneurs in Lebanon to sustainably scale up their business activities; achieve a higher environmental, social, and economic impact within their creative practices; and overcome challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.

For more details about the SDE program and the bios of the designers and involved experts, check the booklet on this link:


Design Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme

August 23, 2021 - November 5, 2021

Skills Incubator Main Visual Square The “Design Entrepreneurship Incubator Programme” was dedicated to cultural and creative professionals and social entrepreneurs from different design fields in Lebanon, to support them in developing or scaling up their businesses and ideas and to contribute to building their resilience and responsiveness in a time of profound challenges.  

With a focus on sustainability, business development, and social entrepreneurship, this incubation program was implemented in partnership with EcoConsulting. It ran for 2.5 months from August 23, 2021 until November 5, 2021 and provided a 95-hour intensive schedule of capacity building workshops, training and coaching sessions, and personalized mentorship to 25 participants. It incorporated major topics such as:

  • Developing a Comprehensive & Sustainable Business Model;
  • Circular Economy & EcoDesign;
  • Pitching & Storytelling;
  • Branding, Marketing, and Communication.
The participants’ design fields consisted of Architecture, Interior & Furniture Design, Landscape Architecture, Product Design, Fashion Design, Graphic & Motion Design, and Artistic Design. Through networking and community building activities, the participants were able to exchange knowledge and discuss potential collaborations. As the 25 participants joined the FANTASMEEM alumni network, the journey is certainly not over!

For more details about the Incubator program and the bios of the designers and involved experts, check the booklet on this link:  

Regional Training Program

March 9, 2021 - May 19, 2021
Design, Entrepreneurship and Co-Creation in Times of Overlapping Crises

Skills The training program “Design, Entrepreneurship and Co-Creation in Times of Overlapping Crises” took place online in early 2021 with designers and design entrepreneurs based in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.  By offering them a high-quality on-the-job training, the objective of the program was to enhance their entrepreneurship and collaborative skills with regard to the challenges they face, with the mid- and long-term aim of promoting their creative business activities in a sustainable way, thus contributing to their creative industries locally and regionally.

On offer was a coherent set of knowledge and skills for designers and design entrepreneurs to overcome these times of overlapping crises in a collaborative, innovative, and efficient way, as well as a way to connect and network to foster synergies and collaborations beyond the borders of their respective countries. Building a reliable and strong community of designers and design entrepreneurs within the MENA region was indeed another objective of this training program, as this creates synergies and supports resources-sharing.

For more details about the program and the bios of the designers and involved experts, check the booklet on this link:



February 19, 2019 - March 5, 2019

Fantasmeem Facultiy Photo: Rima Maroun Faculty was a two-week residency which responded to a set of identified challenges faced by designers whose aim was to transform their innovative ideas into sustainable business models.

The selected participants had the opportunity to develop their startup ideas through a mini-curriculum around cultural entrepreneurship. The designers were trained in the basics of founding a business, such as concept development, marketing, digital competence, sales, legal matters, and carrying out negotiations with investors. Additionally, a guided mentorship by local and international design experts provided them with tailor-made insights on business and financial planning for their startup ideas. Spending two weeks at Hammana Artist House, the participants were placed in a creative environment where they were able to develop prototypes and prompts in order to enhance their startups. That also set the foundation for community and network building that would sustain knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices in design entrepreneurship and business development.


July 1, 2021 - August 31, 2022

Faculty Tech Tasmeem The ArD TechLab, the Digital Fabrication Unit at AUB (Department of Architecture and Design, MSFEA), and FANTASMEEM, the design-related project of the Goethe-Institut Libanon are launching the collaboration TECH-TASMEEM in order to support the design community in Lebanon. In times of high uncertainty and volatility, the collaboration aims at supporting designers to thrive in Lebanon on two levels:

  • providing access to the ArD TechLab to designers who are part of the FANTASMEEM network for them to prototype their products and enhance their digital fabrication skills;
  • offering specialized workshops on-site at ArD TechLab for the FANTASMEEM network or with FANTASMEEM designers for AUB students to share knowledge and expertise.
By joining forces through the joint collaboration TECH-TASMEEM, ArD TechLab and FANTASMEEM are contributing to strengthening the support structures for the design scene in Lebanon, and are providing means for designers to keep on thriving and enhancing their skills.