Omar Itani, MEPI Student Leaders 2016 alumnus, began his entrepreneurial career in the startup world. With his schoolmates, he established his first startup, VISIO, an initiative specialized in waste management and recycling. VISIO won the 2012 INJAZ company program and the Best Social Impact Award in the Regional Competition for Arab Young Entrepreneurs in Doha-Qatar. The success of VISIO encouraged him to become more involved in the eco-conscious startup arena.
After VISIO, Omar founded FabricAID in 2017, which aims to redistribute used clothes to disadvantaged communities in Lebanon. The main goal of FabricAID is to deliver quality clothing to the hands of people who need them the most, while also reducing fabric waste. In order to ensure fabric does not go to waste, the FabricAID team also accepts clothes that may be in poor condition and re-processes them into raw materials for further secondary consumption.
With an increase governance and humanitarian crises in Lebanon, Omar and his team have widened their scope and diversified the way they give back to their community in the past year. After the Beirut explosion, FabricAID created a relief team to provide help to the people most affected through food, hygiene products, rehabilitation and clothes distributed from FabricAID’s warehouse.
Omar shares with the MEPI Alumni Connection:
“I believe the MEPI experience impacts each person differently. Personally, whenever I think back to the program, I cannot help but relish the exposure it provided me with. The exposure I am now equipped with was not limited to the people I got the chance to work alongside. It went beyond that to help me build knowledge around the processes implemented in a foreign country across different levels. Coming from a small country, this experience allowed me to have a sort of a bird’s eye view. I was able to compare my own background to a much larger scale, which also helped me draw a margin between how things are and how much better things can be. I left MEPI with an enlarged skillset, and as a member of a new community bringing together similarly passionate, driven, and motivated people.”